Akumal

DSC08037Akumal is located on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The town was officially established in 1958 as a community for scuba divers but it's history starts long before that. My brother and his wife Jody have been there several times before and suggested we take our family vacation there this Christmas. The highlight of the trip for me was cavern diving but there was plenty of other fun stuff to do.

With the winter hiking shenanigans, I've been messing around with recording my track via GPS and posting them on Google Maps. Track recordings have long been part of my boating and racing activities but it's just lately that I've employed their use in other activities and I posted several below. For the dive tracks, no, I did not carry a GPS with me underwater, rather left it on the boat which explains the random track recording squiggle. My underwater path was much more of a straight line between the two extremities of the squiggle track.

The first dive was a drift dive just outside of Akumal Bay. Here are some photos.

CIMG3566Monday, my Mom, Dad and I went to see the Mayan ruins at Tulum, a seaside town North of Akumal that was inhabited from 1200-1500 AD. The only other Mayan ruins I've viewed was Tikal in Guatemala over 10 years ago when my brother and I did some diving in Belize. The site was far less extensive than Tikal but a good example of a Mayan seaside community nonetheless. We walked most of the site and took some photos along the way.


 

CIMG3586Tuesday Jeff, Jody and I went diving just outside Akumal Bay at a site called motorcycle (for obvious reasons when you see the photos) then snorkeling inside the bay along with my Dad. The underwater housing on my camera failed to exclude water from its contents on this dive and these are the last photos we shall see from it. Luckily Jeff and Jody had an underwater camera that was good to 30ft so that worked well for our snorkeling trips, cavern dives and boat rides.

 


PC230099Wednesday Jeff, Jody and I went cavern diving to a site called Dos Ojos which was fairly close to Akumal. The Yucatan Peninsula is littered with underground waterways, the entrances of which are called cenotes, and this area is widely recognized as having some of the best cave and cavern diving in the world. As a distinction, cavern diving is like cave diving on training wheels. As none of us had done it before, we followed an established route marked by a line and were never below 25' of depth. It was an overhead environment for most of the dives, that is, if something went wrong, you can't simply surface, however we were never really that far from the exit. The level of difficulty was probably on par with a shallow wreck penetration at dusk of a moderately sized ship stripped of most snag points. The first dive was called Dos Ojos (Two Eyes) and the second was Caverna de Murcielagos (Bat Cave).

PC240172Thursday we did two more dives outside Akumal Bay, the first just Jeff and I then Jody joined us for the second. We only have a couple photos from the rough boat ride on dive 2.


 

PC250263Friday, my dad, Jeff and Jody and I went snorkeling in Half Moon Bay and Jody took some good shots along the way. Then she went snorkeling in Akumal Bay again and took these.