Cozumel – May 2016 – Grad-Ge-8-Shen Trip

What happens in Cozumel on the Grad-Ge-8-Shen trip, stays in Cozumel on the Grad-Ge-8-Shen Trip. Just kidding. Welcome to the second trip of the year. Check out the shenanigans that this group got into… With 10 of us, surely we couldn’t have caused that much trouble, right? Just wait!

Our first day, we decided that we didn’t want to get up at the crack of dawn. We were on vacation and thought it would be fun to be a little more laid back. We told the boat to come pick us up at 9am (instead of the normal 8am).

Apparently the guys at Cozumel Marine World know Grady and thought he might have fallen off his rocker. We started congregating ready to board around 8:30. The boat arrived at 8:45am. Every day we’d tell them the next morning we wanted 9am but the boat arrived earlier and earlier every day. By the end of the week we were boarding the boat at 7:45 for our 9am dive. I guess we wanted to get a good jump start. And we took bets every day on who would be “late” aka the last one to arrive to board the boat.

So this is the ladder to get on the boat from the water, but Grady told me it was an air dryer.

It was interesting to hear Grady say that we could board the boat and be out of there long before some of the other dive boats. We proved that every day. And some of the other boats just stared at us picking their jaw up off the floor or so it felt. Once everything and everyone was boarded, we pulled out, then we put our gear together. If you’ve been on a dive trip with Deb and Grady, you know this is how it works, but if you haven’t, I’m warning you know, this is a well oiled machine system they have down.

This poor shark… it was the debate most of the trip, or at least for a few days. Deb and Dan disagreed how long this shark was. Dan finally had to conceed (on Facebook I’ll have you know) that Deb was correct and he was, in fact, wrong.

More than once one of our divers was almost hit by one of these massive guys. You get out of the turtles way, not the other way around.

There is a selfie with Deb and everyone in our group. I hope I was able to make sure to include everyone. This is Deb and Karen.

Deb and Dan aka Jebadiah Claus…

Deb and Mark

Deb and me, aka the blogger, aka Nicole in case you don’t know me.

Deb and Grady

These two… they’re a mess if you haven’t already guessed. It was quite funny to see how many times of this trip they showed up wearing the same “outfit.” By the way, they both loved these compression Rash Guard shirts.

The first day I was in Cozumel, I sat the hour+ ride back to shore on the back of the boat. Let’s just say I might have burned my legs… like lobster red burned them. So the next day, to avoid that but still be able to stay on the back of the boat, I wore my wet suit. It works!

Ah the Barracuda… There was something about this fish and our dives, the whole week. More than one dive we wound up with a Barracuda making the entire dive with our group. Karen had one try to touch her. Mark had one almost kiss his mask. They were everywhere and throughout our whole dives, but what was more ironic is they made the whole hour dive with us, etc.

Deb and Jared

Clamente was our Dive Master on all dives this week. He was excellent at pointing out things to see. In fact he carried a metal stick and would beat his tank trying to get our attention. There were a few times we weren’t so sure he didn’t put a dent he was beating the tank so hard trying to get all of our attention. He was awesome.

Doing the deep dives, especially along the wall, sometimes the current can “drag” you. Dan was picking on Karen, twice. The second time, Karen hit the current and went from 80 feet to 124+ feet in no time flat. When she hit the current she grabbed Dan who grabbed her and they went to trying to get out of the current. Both of their BC’s were totally inflated and they got out of the current. On the boat, we were all laughing about them hitting the Down button on the elevator.

On Wednesday night, we, I use that term loosely, did a night dive. The whole group didn’t… Just Grady, Doug, Rachele, and Dan. More of us were going to but we didn’t for different reasons. This was the only night dive of the whole trip.

Deb, Jared, Mark, Karen, and I (aka the blogger, aka Nicole) headed off to town to eat dinner and walk around. Mark and I have never been to Cozumel so we wanted to see the city and explore. The five of us piled into a cab and our cab ride was $7. I really didn’t think that was too bad. We walked all the way back… had to walk off dinner!

How to: Get an audience to watch you pee. Wait, what? You read that correctly… So you know when the current is dragging you along, if you get ahead or just need a break, you come in behind a reef, put a finger down, and stop. Well, I did that to be able to pee. (Hey, all my friends wear wet suits and pee themselves.) I’m hanging out and everyone stopped to see what I was looking at. There was nothing. But there are photos and video of me peeing, with an audience. Sweet!

And then the reel. Poor Doug isn’t the only one who had a reel get away from him… he was just the only one caught on camera.

Thursday afternoon we dove a 1 tank dive afternoon dive (along with our 2 tank morning dive). Our goal was to dive the wreck. We also took Show Me Magazine and Dive Training Magazine down with us for this dive.

This was the crab inside the wreck. He was huge!

Jebadiah Claus

Now I was one of the air hogs on this dive trip… I was going up the line back to the boat when I looked down and saw something weird next to the wreck. Turns out it was the passenger submarine. Dan said that in the 14 years he’s been diving in Cozumel he’s never seen the sub anywhere but on the surface. I guess it was me… I brought it out. Especially since this trip was to celebrate my graduating Grad School. I’m going with that anyway. Oh and you see the diver just in the corner bottom of this  picture… That’s Deb chasing after the submarine to get a picture.

Then Deb and Grady got their picture with the Sub in the background.

Then we met back up with the sub as it was being towed into land on the surface. I want to also mention here that when we left for this trip, I still didn’t know if I graduated or if I would graduate in July. Everyone Spring and Summer walks at the May graduation. I was waiting on a test result to come back. On our way back to shore Mark started pounding his foot into the deck of the boat screaming, “You did it. I told you you would!” I told him I needed a bit more context. He said I passed that test and that I was officially graduated. While everyone else was congratulating me, I was sitting in aw and started crying because I wasn’t sure it was true.

How many people does it take to fix whatever they were working on?

Friday morning they did Devil’s Throat. I say they because I was in the group that went up and over. My mask fogged over and I lost sight of Jared and Deb and wasn’t sure where to enter through so I went with the group up and over the top. It sounds like an excuse and I was nervous, but I really wanted to do it, I just lost everyone. Oh well, I’m coming for you next time! But this isn’t about me, although maybe it is .

During this surface interval we were in water that was about 15-30 feet deep. They told us we were allowed to snorkel if we wanted. Doug was the only one with a snorkel, the rest of us just used our mask/fins and deep breaths. It was gorgeous water!

I even found a baby shark.

Cezar went on 3 days worth of dives the whole trip. This particular ending of a dive, Cezar was trying to rinse off and Clamente was messing with him dumping soapy sudsy water on him. We all laughed our rears off.

Friday afternoon we rented Jeeps and went around the Island. It was awesome.

We went to the South Lighthouse.

Tried to spot crocodiles (Crocs)….

These were the only crocs we found….

So I put my camera on 10 second timer, set it up and ran like heck to get into this picture. And if you haven’t seen this flag… I actually came into the picture over by Carlene. Luckily I didn’t hit any holes and didn’t fall into the water below.

Friday night’s sunset.

Saturday morning we still had jeeps. We had them for 24 hours… so we did afternoon dives on Saturday. We worked on group photos on Saturday morning. This was our first attempt (may pictures later). This was at the hotel. Then we went up to the Cozumel sign and took the first picture of this post. I had my camera on a 10 second timer again for that one. This one was done by the lady at the front desk.

Now fun info about Cozumel… you’re outside the US. ha.. if you didn’t know that…. Anyway none of us really had phones to call each other and we got mixed up on where to meet up at the Cozumel sign because we were in 3 different Jeeps. Finally we all found each other and got our picture.

Then a few of us went up to the North Marina. Now this was right about the time of the huge debate on letting people use whichever bathroom they associated with. I laughed because Damas is female and then there’s the man/woman sign. There was something about this I found funny, but it was also related to the stuff going on back home. I had to include it in case you found it as funny as I did.

Saturday and Sunday while we were there, there was a HUGE fishing tournament. These poor guys were having boat trouble and hoped to get out and going by 1pm. Hopefully for them it happened.

And the last Sunrise in Cozumel before our flight home. Such a beautiful sight. Doug was supposed to get up and go with me, but he didn’t.

This poor gal has been reading the same book for a long time.

Monday that we left, we noticed that they were starting to remodel where the salon is. People who go next year, I want pictures on what they did to remodel please! I got the before shots!

This picture is for John P. Apparently your first trip you’re supposed to kiss this gals derriere. 

And this is our human Cell Phone Charging Station at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport. Jared had the charging brick and was charging 4 phones walking through the airport.

And somehow I missed adding these selfies with Deb… So don’t worry, you weren’t forgotten! I’m not sure why they aren’t up higher. Blame the blogger!

Deb and Carlene

Deb and Doug

Deb and Rachele.

And that folks, is what happens on the Grad-ge-8-shen-trip.

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