Monday was the first day of true diving (after the refreshers and the cert dives). We did a morning dive at a couple shallow sites (first dives for Edward and Jay). We almost immediately ran into turtles and rays.
After the dives we walked around downtown. We tried to go to Sabores for lunch but couldn't find it. We stopped at the Cozumel Capital real estate office and asked them for directions. They told us it had closed. I understand from some other comments I've seen recently that the cook from Sabores is at the new French Quarter but I'm not sure about that nor about what the food and prices are over there. We ended up at Chi's chinese for lunch. I like their food. We then walked around and shopped. Tim and I are from Ann Arbor, Michigan home of the University of Michigan. We were surprised to find a U of M pancho at the upstairs part of the Punta Langosta mall. They started at $50 for it. Tim didn't buy one then but later in the week we ran into one again at the main square. That shop keeper started at 55. Tim said "no way" and walked away. The young lady chased her across the square asking what price he would pay. To get her to go away he said $20. Eventually she agreed to that price and Tim picked one up.
After shopping around we drove over to Ave 30 to pick up some rotisserie chicken. I was 90 pesos per chicken and came with rice and spaghetti. It was pretty good. We got 4 of them an munch on the left overs for the next few days.
Tuesday morning Pancho had his annual boat safety inspection in the morning so we went to Jeannie's for breakfast. Nice location on the water across from Mega. Nice food. They do the 'snuba' thing there (a type of diving where they use an aircompressor on the surface and air hoses that go down to old fashion looking bell helmuts. You put them on and walk around on the bottom and look at things.
After Pancho passed his inspection, we dove at Palancar. Hugh coral walls and corridors with the deep, deep blue just over the edge. Lots of little holes in the walls called 'swim thrus' that are like swimming thru caves. By the end of the week, Jay decided that swim-thrus were his favorite.
Tuesday night we went to Pancho's Backyard (a very nice restaurant inside an inner courtyard at the main Cinco Soles store on the north part of Melgar (around Calle 8). They have nice food and great margaritas. We convinced our waiter that we would only order desert if he flamed it at our table for us. He went away for 15 minutes to learn how to flame things from the bartender. He poured the heated liquor down a spiral sliced lime and then flamed it. The flame moving down the lime was like a mini 'serpent of kukulcan' shadow moving down the coil.
Thru this site (CozumelMyCozumel) I have meet several people. Some have become virtual/online friends. Some I've had a chance to meet in person and they've become real-life friends. Over the past year I've been reading and corresponding with a member of this forum who also writes a blog about life in Cozumel - who goes by the name Mexicelia on this site. She mentioned she wanted to do a series of articles about typical Cozumel experiences. We invited her to come along on a dive trip with us and she came with us Tuesday morning. It was great to meet her and share a dive trip with her. The blog she wrote about the dive trip was called "the guys, the sea, and me ...". Some of the next photos are her's. Tim, Edward, and Pancho heading out to the dive site. Pancho getting his wetsuit on before a dive. Julio watching our bubles during the dive so that he can be there when we surface.
Pancho's boat is one of the smaller ones (hold 8 divers). You enter the water by doing a 'backward roll' (you sit on the side of the boat and fall backward holding your mask and regulator so they don't fall off as you enter the water). At the end of the dive, you take your equipment off at the side of the boat and Julio and/or Pancho lift it into the boat for you. That way you don't have to climb the ladder into the boat with a heavy tank on your back.
Wednesday night we were going to go out to Pancho's house for dinner. But he lives in a heavily forested area called Las Fincas and there have been a lot of mosquitoes lately because of some strong rains they had a week and a half ago. So Carla made tamales and Pancho made octopus ceviche. We contributed salad and drinks.