We got wet, showered, then got wet again. This was our day in Cozumel, an island off the coast of Mexico.
The ship pulled up to the dock at about 2 PM on Wednesday. It wasn't leaving until 10 PM, so we had most of a day to wander around the place. Sirhc, Mrs Notthat, and I booked a triple snorkeling tour and made arrangements to meet up with the rest later at Señor Frogs, which we were assured was right at the end of the pier, for dinner.
Eiluj, Eibbed, and Tap all had the goal of finding a beach and moving as few muscles as possible. It was at this point that we also found out that Señor Frogs was not located at the end of the pier, but was in historic (?) downtown Cozumel. We were still determined to eat there though.
Sirhc and Mrs Notthat waiting to board the boat. I was nervous about getting on this boat since the water was not especially calm (there were storms brewing in the distance) and the boat was not the size of our cruise ship, so I had taken a couple of dramamine before leaving the ship. They must have worked (or I didn't actually need them) since I had no issues with keeping my lunch in its proper place.
Finally it was time to follow Monty to the boat (the one on the left). It was a fairly large group of people that went with us on this adventure.
This is Monty explaining the intricacies of not getting eaten by a shark. Or drowning. Okey dokey? (He was a lot of fun and that was his catch phrase.)
All three of us went on the first dive. Note the life vests we are wearing. We were required to wear them, but were not required to inflate them. I had started to inflate mine but stopped once I realized it was going to be uncomfortable before we got in the water. Sadly, I forgot to finish inflating it before we jumped in, so I floundered a little bit while trying deal with it. With a bit of an assist I was able to get it filled and start peeking at the fish.
This is a picture of a picture that was taken of Mrs Notthat and I, holding hands underwater while trying to avoid being eaten by these fish that were hanging around. (I swear, it would not have surprised me to have a photographer show up in a bathroom stall to capture that special moment when, well, never mind.)
That first dive we saw a lot of fish like are in this picture plus a large lobster that Monty coaxed out of a cave. The coolest thing was a huge school of some sort of fish that were all bunched together like a large ball. Monty dived into the middle of them and they formed a huge donut.
Mrs Notthat was not feeling well after the first dive, so she sat out the second dive. This is me all geared up and ready to go.
There I go, doing my best motorboat impersonation. (Amazingly, I almost forgot to blow up my life vest again. I blame all the salt water that I had ingested on the first dive.)
Sirhc was also going to sit out this dive due to issues with her face mask, but a nice woman next to her let her use her spare pair she had brought - these worked great for her. She caught me totally by surprise when she showed up.
Here is the blog and Sirhc waiting to board the boat at the end of the second dive. Cool things on this dive were two stingrays.
By this time I was done. My nose and throat were very irritated by all the salt water that kept finding its way in, and my arms were tired from trying to paddle around. (Throughout the rest of the day I would occasionally tilt my head just right and water would start dripping out of my nose. It was the weirdest thing. Twice during the night I rolled over only to have a small bit of water drain out. Weird.)
But both Sirhc (already in the water in this picture) and Mrs Notthat were ready to go on the third dive. Monty mentioned a shark he had pulled from a cave earlier in the day, and weirdly, people got excited. He didn't find the shark again, but they did manage to see a lot more fish and another ray.
Here Mrs Notthat is heading out to the pod of other snorkelers. (There were several assistants that kept us more or less herded together while in the water, and kept their eyes out for anyone struggling or forgetting to inflate their life vest (blush).
One benefit of me skipping this dive was that I was able to get started on the free beer sooner. (I just had to be careful to not dribble nose water in it.)
While I lounged on the upper deck, Mrs Notthat and Sirhc rinsed off some of the salt water once the third dive finished.
Everyone relaxing, sharing horror stories, and eating snacks. The lobster was quickly growing from "about a foot long" to "the size of a German Shepherd." Note the clouds in the background. The cloud cover brought a welcome shade and kept things from getting too hot.
Once the boat docked, we headed back to the ship to take a quick shower, put on some dry clothes, and then head back to the city to the much anticipated Señor Frogs.
We managed to find the place and the rest of the group, but after twenty or so seconds there we headed out due to the amazingly loud music. It was weird - the place was almost empty but they were so determined to make our ears bleed that we headed down to a place called Carlos' and Charlie's. They also had music, but it was much closer to tolerable. (One unanticipated bonus was that us snorkelers were given a batch of stickers that were worth a free drink at either of these places.)
Eibbed and Tap. We started at a table out in the open air. It was actually very pleasant.
The blog (nose water free, for the moment) and Sirhc.
Llessur and Eiluj (Ydnas had already headed back to the ship due to not feeling well).
While waiting for our food, a photographer showed up (naturally), put these hats on all of us and took our picture. Weirdly, he could not understand or hear us when we asked him to use our cameras. He showed back up a few minutes later with a print out of the picture that Tap bought and promised to copy for all of us. (Digital cameras and good quality fast color printers have created a massive opportunity to separate tourists from their money. And it works.)
And then the rain came. This was our table - we moved one table closer to the building, under an awning, and kept on eating.
By the time we finished eating and getting back to the dock, it had stopped raining and Mrs Notthat and I did some shopping. (OK - she did some shopping and I just followed around holding things for her.)
She did manage to take this great picture of the sunset and the ship.
And that was pretty much it for day three. The next day would be spent on the ship, powering our way back to Miami. And for me, some true relaxing. Probably.
That's it - move along...