Shangra-La Dive Site in Playa Del Carmen


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Two wonderful and unbelievable activities happened yesterday. First for all for those of you that don´t believe Nicola dives, guess what, she was in the water in Playa Del Carmen. Wish we had a photo, but we dont. You will have to just trust us on this one.

So, eager to get into the water, Nicola, and a visiting family of three, Dana, Brent and Loren, hopped onto Orca 22 for a two tank afternoon dive. Gabino, our boat captain was happy to race to a new area that he has not been to for a while. Jorge, our visiting boat help from Tulum, was eager to do some snorkeling in Playa Del Carmen while watching the divers below.

Steve had prewarned Nicola that visibility was extraordinary, but he did not tell her that the fish were out in full force….nor did he tell her that possibily the group could be embarking on one of the best dives they could have that day….

So Dana, Brent and Loren were taken to the Shangra-La dive site about 10 minutes from the dive center. This is a semi-secret sight that Mitch and Diego showed Nicola many years back and for whatever reason, she decided to visit here for the first time in about 2 years…

It is hard to express the magic of this 12m/40 ft dive…our dive family came up in awe…as Nicola said…..the schools of fish were bigger than the ocean, or at least it seemed that way….and no she did not drink before this dive….and yes she does love to exegerate but we dont think she was this time…

This magical moment happened, unsuspecting, like this. Normal decent, diver check, coral looked great….slight current to make everything that much easier…a slight curve to the left and WHAM….thousands upon thousands of silver fish. The dive group swam closer to the school, thinking they would all disappear. Then the miracle dive happened. The entire school surrounded the divers and created a canopy of silver that ranged aboput 20 meters in diameter. After about 10 minutes, the divers moved on to find schools of pork fish and snappers. As they continued they found that the school of fish built a blanket over top of them, leading them to the end of the dive…how fantastic…a stone fish was spotted under a rock, spider crabs around some barrel spnges and finally a bat fish. Could a better dive be had? Always, just wait until our next one. Never any guarantees, but these surprises are why we dive, and love every minute of it!

Wish you were here, don´t you…well we are thinking of you all…as we get into our dive gear and out of it, make a back roll out of the boat and take our first breathe underwater. And of course we still sit around and have a beer or two after 5 o´clock…never before….but always after….Cheers.

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