Old but new ONline Dive Magazine

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Our duty as a dive center is to keep you informed about diving. This blog is our way of sending up to date material that is at your fingertips so that you dont have to search for it. WE try, selfishly, to give you news about the Mexican Caribbean, cenotes and cave diving. No one said we were perfect, but that is our intent.

Many months ago, we came across a super interesting online dive mag called Xray www.xray-mag.com which has some interesting flora and fauna information, dive gear reviews and travel reviews. In their 15th edition, the Mayan Riviera, that is us!, was featured. http://x-ray-mag.com/X-Ray_Magazine_Issue_16 yes it says issue 16 on the link but it really, technically is Edition 15….

This is an article on the cenotes or as some refer to them, caverns, which we are famous for in the area. The pictures are super, the information great and it will give you a nice overview of the cavern and cave diving experience.

Now I dont know if you all know, but our very own Hotel Tropical CasaBlanca has an onsite cave and a small exposed area where there are turtles and fish. The turtles annually lay eggs, this year we have seen over 7 eggs layed in the sand by the cenote and last year we gave birth to three baby turtles. So it is alive and well and a great addition to your experience and understanding of this unique area.

For those who dont know what a cenote/cavern is….let us unlighten you as it is one of the main diving reasons our divers come to visit! Lets put aside for a moment, that we dive in an ocean that has visiblity of 30meters , that the average watertemperature is 80F28C, that there are numerous fish, turtles and corals, and that we dive on the second largest barrier reef in the world…the attraction to the area besides all of this (how could there be more) is the caverns.

We call the caverns ‘cenotes’, and this really confuses people. So let us define really what we are talking about without getting into too much detail, or suffice a book written on this blog. Cenote is the spanish transation from the Mayan word D’znot, both meaning sacred waters. The english translation for the cenotes is cavern, a technical word that describes the actual geology of these areas. A cavern has an opening and maintains a visible source of light once a person enters. It is an overhead environment which means that there is not direct exit to the surface of the earth, and in diving terms, no direct exit to the surface.

A cave is a place where the entering person does not maintain a source of light, has an overhead environment and can have portions where only person can pass through the area at a time…not always but in some instances. This is called a restriction. A cavern allows in all areas the passage of two people together, there fore adding another dimension into its definition.

Everywhere in the world has dry and wet caverns and caves, the difference for us is that we have submersed caverns that can be explored with open water recreational divers in a safe and standardized way. In other international locations, only submerged caves exist making the excursion only safe for certified Cave divers, a technical certification that takes over 8 days and requires that the student have a minimum of rescue diver and over 60 dives.

So how are Mexican caverns safe for recreational open water divers and international caves not? A cavern means that there is a source of light, or in our case an exit no more than 55meters from any point in the dive. The caverns in the area, and not all can be explored by recreational divers as they do not satisfy this standard for save cavern diving, do have this naturally, as there are natural openings in the caverns that allow us to keep within a site of light….The porousness of the limestone in this area, enables the standards of cavern diving to be met….this does not exist anywhere else internationally…no where else. The standards also state that recreational divers have to be escorted by a certified cave diver who is your guide, and there are equipment and air standards that must be followed. This makes for safe cavern diving, and guides in the area follow these rules, including the property owners of the cenotes. The self regulation system of the public cenotes is incredible, including our ‘do not touch’ regulation in the caverns. Allof these ingredients make for a super great and safe diving experience that we can safely say is not had anywhere else in the world.

So this is one feature of diving in the Mayan Riviera. Cenotes, caverns and for those technically certified, cave diving. It is unique, exceptional, exisite and most of all beautiful. It is what sets us apart from other diving locations, not to mention the fact that we are great at what we do, love what we do, and love the ocean as well as the cenotes. But we will let you be the judge of that when you visit. The semi book on cavern diving is now done…hope you enjoyed and hope we clarified something for you. Further questions, if you have any can posted as comments on the blog as everyone can learn from the questions of others.

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