Divers on a dive with Pro Dive Mexico have spotted a Manatee at Jardines Reef in Playa del Carmen.
This is unusual, as Manatees usually inhabit the shallow, marshy coastal areas and rivers of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Encounters with these gentle creatures are rare in Playa del Carmen, so it’s no surprise that they leave an awe-inspiring impression on divers when they occur.
It was perfect timing for Pro Dive Mexico’s professional videographer Tomas Durban/A La Aventuras, who was right there accompanying some Discover Scuba Divers and able to capture some great footage of the amazing creature, which you can watch here:
Manatees are generally solitary animals, apart from mothers with their young, or males following a receptive female.
They can grow between 8 – 13ft (2.4 – 4m) and weigh 440 to 1,200lbs (200 to 600 kg) – which is quite a lot for a Herbivore that only eats water grasses, weeds and algae. Manatees never leave the water but, like all marine mammals, they must breathe air at the surface.
Manatees were traditionally hunted by Native Americans for their meat, but also to make warshields, canoes, shoes. They also collect their bones to treat asthma and earache. Manatees are currently classified as endangered.
Jardines (Gardens), as the name indicates, is characterized by a colourful garden-like vegetation and small overhangs inhabited by an abundance of marine life like moray eels, turtles, snappers and schools of fish, a variety of sponges, hard corals, fans and seawhips.
With low to no currents, Jardines provides divers of all levels with a very rewarding and picturesque dive in a depth of just 20-45ft/ 6-13m, and is always good for a nice surprise – even Bull Sharks can be spotted there during the winter season (Dec-Mar) if you are lucky.
To find out more about the wide range of services and dive experiences that Pro Dive Mexico has to offer visit www.prodivemex.com.