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Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

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Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by ritter678 on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 12:58 pm

Just got back from a cruise in the Caribbean. We went snorkeling in Costa Maya at the second largest reef in the world. I'm getting my underwater reef pics developed today so I hope some turn out good. It was raining and cloudy the whole time we snorkeled but it was totally worth it. I hope to have some decent reef shots to show later today. We had an awesome time. The reef was amazing. The amount of life down there is ridiculous. Every single rock on the floor had corals, algae, or gorgonians growing on them and every rock had fish around it, even the smallest rocks had some life on or near it. There were some cool things you don't get to see in tanks. We were literally face to face, (and sometimes back to back Shocked ), with the reef. I'll post more later when I get the pics developed but I highly recommend if you ever get the chance to view the reef in Costa Maya don't turn it down.

Conch I found in the surf in Costa Maya.


This huge parrot fish was swimming in the surf next to the bar in Cozumel along with a bunch of huge Sgt. Major damsels and Atlantic Blue Tangs.


Beach in Cozumel


This boat was stranded from a Hurricane in Costa Maya.


Some sunsets from various places or in the middle of the Caribbean/Gulf.






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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by matt_longview on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 2:58 pm

Jealous!! I can't wait to see the underwater pics. Did you see anything that you just had to add to your tank?
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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by Siberman on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 5:51 pm

cyclops
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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by ritter678 on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 6:22 pm

matt_longview wrote: Did you see anything that you just had to add to your tank?

Yes, everything! Very Happy There was so much down there that I could have spent the day at one large rock and not seen everything on it. The coolest parts were seeing the fish in natural habitat. There was one tiny knoll on the bottom with a small gorg growing out of it and underneath was a pair of yellow tail damsels side by side. Another bigger rock had a trio of large tangs hanging out together like they were protecting the spot. I'm not sure what kind of tangs they were but they looked like orange shoulder tangs without the orange shoulders. Most of what we saw was hard corals, brains, sps, pagoda cups, etc. There was one large rock formation that was covered on the back side in yellow pagoda cups. I didn't notice many soft corals but there where a ton of purple sea fans, gorgonians and others I didn't even recognize. I didn't notice any anemones but where we were snorkeling was a lot of flow. There were Atlantic blue tangs and Sgt. Major damsels EVERYWHERE, huge ones. The damsels were as big as my hand. There were so many fish I didn't recognize but they looked like wrasses. There were a few huge fish here and there but they mostly hid unlike the reef fish that seemed unfazed that we were there. This spot we went to wasn't even the main reef. A little further out was the main reef and you could see the waves breaking over the top of it. It would have been too tough for us to snorkel around but I'd like to get a look at it one day. You can see in the pics the amount of algae floating around is insane. It was everywhere. It didn't bother our view but it made taking pics difficult. The pics didn't turn out like I wanted to but you'll get the idea of what it's like down there. We were literally there at the reef close enough to touch but I sure didn't want to disturb anything. The algae, weather, current, waves and a crappy disposable camera made for some bad pics but you can sort of get the idea. We were in about 6-7 feet of water at all times. It was pouring rain almost the whole time and we drove a two person boat out to a floating platform to snorkel. We were freezing on the boat ride out but the water was perfect. It felt so nice except for when we had to swim through a floating mat of algae and got stung by something. I asked the guide what was stinging and he said they were sort of like "no see ums". Not sure what they were but it felt like jelly fish but it was burning in small spots. It burned for a day a little but by the next day it was completely gone...and totally worth it. I'd swim right through it again if I had to.













This colony of sps was as big as a small car.



This colony of sps was so bright it caught my eye from a distance. The camera doesn't pic up the color but it was an electric yellow/green that I've never seen in a tank.


I could have spent the entire day at this one spot. It was about as big around as a large truck and completely covered in life. The top of it was maybe only a foot under water.


Another thing I noticed was the amount of death on the reef. The beach was COVERED in dead corals, sps branches and anything you can imagine. You could literally scoop up a handful of beach and it was littered with dead corals. Most of it was sps branches but there were also a ton of open brain and Caribbean Rose brain skeletons. We also found several euphyllia skeletons but I didn't see any in the spot we snorkeled. Not sure what the were but it looked like branching hammer coral heads and there where a few that looked like elegance coral skeletons. You could scoop up a handful and it was crawling with amphipods, snails, crabs and all sorts of life.
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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by Yeti on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 9:22 pm

ETAK ROAD-TRIP!!!!

Showing no envy what so ever. "it looks very .... pleasant."
I'm amazed that you managed to spend some of the daylight hours not in the water, it looks bloody marvelous, and your wish list must now have extended 10 fold. Were you not in the slightest bit tempted to get a few small plastic containers and on your last day, go back and frag a few samples to bring home?
I know I would have been.

Airport Security "Excuse me Sir, but what's in that 2 ft long plastic bag over your shoulder?" A bright Gorgon floating around in the bag.

Gabe (Thinking quickly) "Oh it's just a piece of dead coral, it's my son's, for his school project"

On a slightly similar topic to that, I knew a guy that bred Canaries. He was married to a Greek lady, and happened to see one he really liked whilst on vacation visiting the In-Laws.
As the family saying went "Auntie Elfie, smuggled a canary, stuck up her bloomers leg."
The UK had strict 6 months quarantine rules, against Rabies ( although the thought of a rabid canary does bring strange images to ones mind), hence the smuggling.
What's more, they got away with it, and it survived!

Sorry Gabe, but I just got this image of you with a couple of Anemones attached to your thighs under your boxers.....urgh....not a nice image.
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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by Grimreefer on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 10:51 pm

Unbelievable stuff. I hope that one day I can go snorkeling on a reef. It is one of those things on the bucket list. I am with Jet. A few frags would never hurt anything. U could have overnighted them to me and I could have held on to them till u got back. Wink

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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by J.Davis on Tue 03 Jan 2012, 1:52 am

Awesome Gabe!
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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by DonnieP on Tue 03 Jan 2012, 10:01 am

Cool stuff Gabe, I always wanted to snorkel a reef, great barrier to be exact but we know that aint gonna happen :>) Glad you enjoyed it and shared it with us!
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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by grawlfang on Tue 03 Jan 2012, 10:10 am

awesome pics I hope you had a blast I need to get salty again myself have not scuba dived since 1995 ( due to exwife taking everything and not wanting to replace it)
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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

Post by ritter678 on Tue 03 Jan 2012, 2:14 pm

Glad you all liked the pics. If any of you get a chance to get out there you totally should. We booked the snorkeling trip through the cruise line and it didn't even cost that much. I think it was about $60 each to drive a boat in the Caribbean, snorkel for a couple hours and spend the rest of the day at a super nice beach with free food and open bar!
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Re: Cozumel, Costa Maya Pics

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