I got invited to Cozumel to explore the option of doing a future dive expedition combO of Cozumel and cavern diving. I haven’t done a lot of diving in Cozumel. When I lived in Playa del Carmen, the only time I would go over to Cozumel was to teach the wreck specialty, so this felt like the perfect opportunity to put together a new kind of trip for my community. Unfortunately, things went sideways…

I met my hosts for the trip and pretty early on, got an inclination that something wasn’t going to go right. My gut is usually spot on with people, but I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt, so I went diving.

Currents and drift diving

If you’re new to drift diving, this is how it works: you get dropped in one place of the reef by the boat, drift with the current, and get picked up downstream. Drift dives can be super mellow, or if you get in the water during the full or new moon, you could have a more rip-roaring experience.

I spent some time diving in currents when I owned my dive shop in Indonesia, and I’m taking a group to the Komodo National Park in June. There are 2 spots available on that trip, so you can check out the details here.

Scuba diving the reef in Cozumel

The reef in Cozumel is truly beautiful. The structures are HUGE. There are tons of sponges and corals, along with all the common tropical fish of the Caribbean. You wouldn’t realize it from your first drift dives in Cozumel, but there is also a thriving macro scene throughout the reef if you can slow down enough to see it.

Most notably, the creature you want to be on the lookout for is the Splendid Toadfish, which is most commonly seen in Cozumel. It used to be considered endemic to the island but has been spotted on nearby reefs as far as Cancun and Honduras. It is a goofy-looking thing with yellow accents, but my favorite thing is its little barbell beard.

Spotting the splendid toadfish

Splendid toadfish are found in recreational limits, usually between 10 and 25m. They are small ambush predators, growing to about 12-16 inches long. They are also known for their mating call, which is a buzzing, croaking sound loud enough for divers to hear underwater.

Getting kicked out of my Airbnb

Getting back to my experience in Cozumel. I will just say this. I am pretty laid back when it comes to people being flirtatious with me out in the wild when I feel safe, but if I’m traveling alone and feel vulnerable in any way, I have a zero-tolerance policy and will shut it DOWN…

Which is how I got kicked out of my Airbnb on the island. I was told I was mentally unstable for not wanting the advances of a much older man. The whole situation was unnecessary.

I urge all of us to PAUSE before letting inside thoughts become public knowledge. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If there is any possibility that it could be inappropriate, keep it to yourself.

I won’t say anymore about this experience here, but I shared the details about what happened with my Patreon members. I want that to be a safe space for myself and everyone in the community.

Luckily, I had friends from my last BAJA DIVE EXPEDITION visiting the island, so I took my luggage to their hotel for one last day of diving-and I finally got to do one of the iconic dive sites of Cozumel-The Devil’s Throat.

Scuba diving the Devil’s Throat

The Devil’s Throat is an epic, chimney-like swim-through that takes you on a journey through the reef down to about 32 meters. The path is generally pretty open and has plenty of light peeking through several exit points. There is one tight-ish section at the deepest portion of the swim-through. Divers typically take nitrox on this dive, so the key safety consideration is taking the right blend of nitrox and maintaining your depth awareness. I recommend having an alarm on your computer to let you know if you reach your limits because, as you experience this swim-through, it can be easy to forget your gauges, especially if you are susceptible to gas narcosis at this depth.

The dive is iconic and fun, plus there is a lot of life all around these giant boulders of sponges and coral.

Revisiting old homes

2024 is the year of revisiting some places of my past and tying a little bow on the healing I’ve done over the past 4 years. Moving to Mexico in 2015 was the beginning of my bottom with drinking, and although I didn’t get sober until I was in Indonesia several years later, it was a pivotal moment in my life, proving that changing my geography wasn’t fixing my relationship to booze.

This is also why I’m so excited to take a group of divers to Komodo in June. I haven’t been back since leaving my business, and it will be beautiful to visit the place that violently pushed me toward becoming the person I am today. For that, I am so thankful.

Join me on upcoming Azul Unlimited dive expeditions

See what trips are coming up. I always give my community first dibs on spots, so you can sign up for Patreon (and get trip discounts) or my email list to be the first to know about new expeditions in the future.

scuba diving trip to los cabos
whale shark snorkel trip to la paz

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