Mexico Here we Come!
My introduction to diving in Mexico started the day after we arrived. We (Jimmy, Per and my buddy Andy) hired a truck, filled it with twinsets and kit, then drove off into the wilds, heading for a cenote called Angelita. (the word Cenote, pronounced Senotee, is Mayan for "sacred Well" and is actually kind of pool that drops down through the ground leading eventually into a labyrinth of water filled tunnels and caves.)
To get there, you first have to find probably the oldest man in Mexico, Dom Pablo in order to pay him to go into his cenote.
The next step is another 28Km drive to the site iteslf. Once there, Jimmy said "Come on guys, I will show you the way"… some 100 M further on and we can see it (bearing in mind we are fully kitted up with twinsets (double tanks) at this point! This diving is not for the weak of knees… carrying twins over jungle terrain, can take its toll!!
"Giant Stride???" More like a free fall flop!!!!. There was a 2m drop, through which I held my breath before hitting water! Angelita is fmous for its sulphate layer at about 28metres. So… off we go descending down towards the hydrogen sulphate "cap". As we hit this, it reminded Andy of Superman when he flew Louis Lane over the clouds. Per thought it was like the film "The Fog". The cap is like a layer of mist with tree branches sticking out of it (a reminder of when this was once dry land), and an island in the middle. The weirdest thing is that as you drop through the cap it looks like half your body has gone! I will admit, it was spooky. Jimmy asked Andy and I to drop through the fog and pop back up again. Yeah like that was going to happen… you can't see or have any idea what's below it, on the other side! So, I started to drop through (zero viz results), got spooked and popped back up again. We tried again… SPOOKED!!! But we still decided to drop through the sulphate. Ohhh, the smell of bad, rotten eggs!!! What Jimmy didn't tell Andy and I is that you not only drop through the sulphate, you hit a helocline as well. This is where salt and fresh water meet, resulting in a sudden gain in buoyancy. In normal water this looks rather like a thermocline, but in the sulphate, it was just foggy.
Per and Jimmy disappeared, leaving myself and Andy stuck bouncing on top of the salt water layer… 30m, 30.1m 30m, 30.1… I'm clinging to the back of Andy and Andy watching my torch light.Three or four minutes later, and we drop down into clear but dark water, a very strange sensation. As I said, this was a spooky dive, but next time we will be OK, as not knowing what was below the fog was the hardest bit.
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