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Feeling crowded in Cozumel? Dive Villa Blanca!

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There are countless dive sites in Cozumel, Mexico. Some you will find in a guide book, some you will not. The most popular sites are full of boats and divers by 10 a.m. Those sites are famous because they are awesome, but with several boats full of divers, the animals have often moved on to other, less crowded sites. I spent a few weeks in Cozumel during October last year, and had the pleasure of diving a few less popular spots – and had great dives as a result.

Villa Blanca is a reef north of the cruise ship port, and one does not see many dive boats in the area. Most of the “dramatic” dive sites are in the south, so Villa Blanca gets much less credit than it deserves. Villa Blanca is a wall dive, filled with sponges and soft corals and fans rather than towering mountains of hard coral. There is abundant life on the reef…much of it small, but every dive on this trip involved seeing Eagle Rays… they stayed just far enough away that taking a photo would be fruitless, but just seeing an Eagle Ray several times during a dive is simply lovely.

I took lots of photos – check them out:

 

Beautiful Yellow Cheek Wrasse

Beautiful Yellow Cheek Wrasse

Stingray eye

Stingray eye

Tam 3

A very dark Spotted Moray Eel

Trumpetfish are so awesome to see and watch…they are always hiding.

Trumpetfish are so awesome to see and watch…they are always hiding.

A close up of the Trumpetfish. See how well they blend in!

A close up of the Trumpetfish. See how well they blend in!

Yellow sponge fingers.

Scrawled Filefish were breeding…I have never seen so many of them!

Scrawled Filefish were breeding…I have never seen so many of them!

Look carefully….how many Filefish can you count??

Look carefully….how many Filefish can you count??

Talk about camoflauge!

Talk about camoflauge!

I LOVE these squat anemone shrimps!!!

I LOVE these squat anemone shrimps!!!

They are so tiny!

They are so tiny!

Tam 13

Honeycomb Cowfish change color also…I love their pursed little mouths.

The big Rainbow Parrot

The big Rainbow Parrot

Tiny, tiny Sharpnose Puffer

Tiny, tiny Sharpnose Puffer

Gorgeous WhiteSpotted Filefish

Gorgeous WhiteSpotted Filefish

So don’t be afraid to venture out of the “usual” reefs… the dive boats tend to go to the more familiar spots that everyone asks for, especially Palancar. I can assure you that Villa Blanca is worth diving, and the best news? You’ll probably be the only boat there, and that is a rarity on Cozumel’s dive sites. Enjoy the leisure of this unusual wall dive… and by the way, it is also an incredible night dive.

For more from Tam, visit www.travelswithtam.com.

Tam Warner Minton is an avid scuba diver, amateur underwater photographer, and adventurer. She encourages "citizen science" diving, whether volunteering with a group or by one's self. For Tam, the unexpected is usually the norm!

Competitions

WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!

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beuchat-logo-1-300x58.jpgFor this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away an Air Light Bag!

The Air Light Bag from Beuchat is a practical travel bag that takes up minimum storage space.

  • Material: 600 denier and 1,000 denier nylon/PVC
  • Soft roller bag, easily stored in its mesh bag
  • Internal retaining straps
  • Zip fastener with eyelets for padlocks
  • Side compartment for fins
  • Outer document pocket with coated zip and carry strap
  • Backpack style straps concealed behind the foam back-plate
  • Drainage vents
  • Red over-moulded wheels; detachable wheel block

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported that Mexico is to host the first annual Cancun International Boat Show and Marine Expo this year. But when is the event due to take place?

Is it:

  • A) 9th – 11th July
  • B) 16th – 18th July
  • C) 23rd – 25th July

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Beuchat Air Light Bag February 2021

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Beuchat and their families or employees of Suunto Diving UK and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 07/04/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Miscellaneous Blogs

Jeff chats to… Jill Heinerth – underwater explorer, author and presenter (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Jill Heinerth.

Jill is one of the world’s premier underwater explorers, and the first person to dive inside iceberg caves. According to filmmaker James Cameron, “More people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places Jill Heinerth has gone right here on earth.”

An acclaimed polar explorer, cave diver, author, speaker, filmmaker, and climate advocate, Jill is the first Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. She is the inaugural recipient of the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration and Canada’s Polar Medal.

Jill leads expeditions into extreme environments to advance scientific and geographic knowledge. Her projects have been broadcast on the CBC, BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, and television networks worldwide. Jill was announced as the recipient of the William Beebe Award from the Explorer’s Club and was inducted into the International Scuba Divers Hall of Fame in fall 2020.

Her bestselling book INTO THE PLANET – My Life as a Cave Diver  has drawn acclaim from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and O Magazine. Heinerth details her journey into the extreme world of underwater cave exploration, where she has had to overcome fear in order to go where no one has gone before.

Find out more about Jill and her work at: www.intotheplanet.com


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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