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Cozumel here I come!

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Pro Dive Mexico’s Marketing Manager Susann Seifert gets some time out of the office and gets to experience her favourite side of the business – the diving!

Who doesn´t know that feeling of sitting in the office scrolling through all those intriguing posts with stunning pictures of beautiful dive destinations… the moment you start daydreaming until you finally reach that point when you shout out loud: “That’s it! Cozumel here I come!”

The idea of packing all my dive equipment that I will need to carry through that heat is not really all that appealing, but HEY! the outlook on what awaits simply can´t hold me back any more. Deciding to leave all the heavy equipment at home and rent instead, I just grab my mask, dive computer and underwater camera before catching the next taxi to the ferry.

There are plenty of options to ferry over to the island of Cozumel for my 1pm 2-tank dive (The excursion offered by Pro Dive Mexico would have probably been the more comfy way by the way, as they take care of all the arrangements, provide transportation from your hotel, a guide, lunch and even soft drinks).

Not even 1 hour later, after a smooth 40 minute ride through the turquoise Caribbean waters and a quick trip by taxi, I arrive at our popular partner hotel Occidental Allegro Cozumel, which seems even more shiny after last year´s renovation and is surrounded by lush greenery.

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Finally… the breathtaking view I´ve missed sooo much for the last 6 months!! I feel like just throwing all my stuff on that white sandy beach and running into the 28°C warm luxury bathtub of the Caribbean Sea.

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I´m early, so it´s still calm and quiet before all of Pro Dive Mexico´s diving and snorkeling boats return from their morning trips. Look! My name is already on the board! Good times.

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Here they are… LIONS II – Pro Dive Mexico´s fastest boat, GYPSY, 3 HERMANOS and ESTRELLA DEL MAR.

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Time for me to get my equipment ready. Bodegero Alex is very friendly and helpful and already guesses my required sizes. I´ll go with a long 3mm M-size wetsuit, since I tend to freeze pretty quickly, but take another shorty to put on top… just in case.

Look how clean and neat his Bodega looks. You can even keep your equipment here if you are diving with them for a couple of days and do not want to carry it up and down from your hotel room. Having said that, the ‘Ultimate Dive Experience’ room category at the Allegro is located only a few steps from the base and even features a rack to hang your wetsuit! If you stay for at least 4 or 5 nights, you will get 1 free tank every day, and the hotel´s dive coordinator will assist you with all your dive arrangements. Sounds so comfy… I’ll definitely be checking that out next time!

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I´m so excited!! Now it´s my turn to head out on 3 HERMANOS to Columbia Shallow and Palancar Gardens. Columbia Shallow is indeed pretty shallow, an aquarium-like crystal-clear vibrant dive site where it’s perfect for taking pictures, whereas Palancar Gardens as the northernmost reef of Palancar dive site is characterized by beautiful coral walls, plenty of swim-throughs, and canyons that are home to Groupers, Jacks, Turtles, large schools of Grunts, Lobsters, Nudi Branches, Spider Crabs and many more. A true wonderland – very relaxing and rewarding dives.

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The crew is really helpful – they provide an informative briefing, assist with the equipment, entry and exit, and offer water and fruits. Memo, of A La Aventura Diving Films and Pro Dive Mexico´s underwater video & photographer, who had been requested by some friends from Toronto to film all their adventures, also made sure to share some beautiful marine life shots with me. That´s him on the surface on the second picture.

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The end of a fantastic day in Cozumel with one of the best buddies I´ve ever had! And there is way more out there! Watch out for it and join me for my next adventures!

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Thanks to Memo/A La Aventura for the wonderful underwater pictures.

For more information about Pro Dive Mexico, visit www.prodivemex.com.

News

Jeff chats to… Underwater Photographer Ellen Cuylaerts (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Ellen Cuylaerts about her diving and underwater photographic career.

As an underwater and wildlife photographer, Fellow of The Explorers Club and having a front seat in exploration being part of the Flag and Honours Committee, Ellen is also a Member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She travels the world and tries to make the most of every destination and the path that leads her there. Ellen acts as an ocean citizen and believes as divers we should all be ocean ambassadors and lead by example. She is now based in the UK after many years in Grand Cayman.

Find out more about Ellen and her work at www.ellencuylaerts.com


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

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Marine Life & Conservation

Huge thresher shark is the latest of six murals to be painted around the Solent this summer

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The murals celebrate the Solent’s extraordinary marine life – marking National Marine Week.

Secrets of the Solent have commissioned street artist ATM to paint a series of marine-themed artworks at various locations around the Solent this summer. The latest mural to be finished shows a thresher shark on the Langstone Harbour Office. Langstone Harbour is an important area for wildlife as well as a bustling seaside destination for sailing and water sports.

Artist ATM, who is painting all six murals, is well-known for his iconic wildlife street art. This, his second artwork of the series, took three days to paint freehand, from a scaffolding platform. The thresher shark was chosen out of six marine species to be the subject of the artwork by the local community, who were asked to vote via an online form or in person on the Hayling Ferry.

Secrets of the Solent hope the mural will become a landmark in Langstone Harbour and inspire visitors to learn more about this enigmatic oceanic shark. The project, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, works to celebrate and raise awareness of Solent’s diverse marine environment.

Aiming to highlight the exotic and unusual creatures found close to our coasts, artist ATM says: “I really enjoyed painting the thresher shark because it’s such an amazing looking animal, with a tail as long as its body. I hope when people see the murals, they will become more aware of what lives under the waves and the importance of protecting the vital habitats within the Solent.”

Dr Tim Ferrero, Senior Marine Biologist at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust says: “The thresher shark is a wonderful animal that visits our waters every summer. It comes to an area to the east of the Isle of Wight, and this appears to be where the sharks breed and have their young. Not many people know that we have thresher sharks in our region, and so having our mural here on the side of the Langstone Harbour Office building is a fantastic way of raising awareness of this mysterious ocean wanderer. I really hope that people will come away with the knowledge that the Solent, our harbours and our seas are incredibly important for wildlife.”

Rachel Bryan, Project Manager for Secrets of the Solent at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust comments: “We are really excited to have street artist ATM painting a thresher shark on the side of the Langstone Harbour Office building. We chose this building because of its prominent location right on the entrance to Langstone Harbour so that anyone who’s visiting, whether that’s walkers, cyclists or people coming in and out of the harbour on their jet-skis or sailing boats, will all be able to see our thresher shark. People on the Portsmouth side of the harbour will also be able to see the mural from across the water.”

The thresher shark is a mysterious predator which spends most of its time in oceanic waters. It uses its huge whip-like tail as an incredibly effective tool for hunting its prey. Herding small fish into tight shoals, the shark will lash at them with its tail, stunning several in one hit and making them easier to catch.

Secrets of the Solent hope to work with the species this summer to discover more about its behaviour.

Dr Tim Ferrero explains: “Nobody really knows where thresher sharks go in the ocean. Later this summer we are hoping that we are going to be able to attach a satellite tag to a thresher shark and monitor its progress for an entire year. This will provide really important information that will help us learn so much more about the shark’s annual life cycle.”

The new thresher shark mural is a fantastic start to National Marine Week (24th July – 8th August), which celebrates the unique marine wildlife and habitats we have here in the UK. Over the two weeks, Wildlife Trusts around the country will be running a series of exciting events to celebrate the marine environment. We really hope people will be inspired by our murals and want to learn more about each chosen species.

Events in the Solent include the launch of a new Solent marine film on the 29th July, installation of a new Seabin on the 4th August to reduce marine litter, and citizen science surveys throughout summer.

For more information click here.

Header image: Bret Charman

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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.

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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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