I was thumbing through my dive book one night, remembering dives I have taken and people I have met along my journey as a diver. All I can say is I have been fortunate to dive in some unique places with some special people. My wife and I took the first trip to Roatan, which has become a special place for us, but I have been to one other dive location that I would like to revisit.
Huatulco Dive Center was the operator for my first dives in the Pacific Ocean (dive numbers 10 and 11 for me – see what taking notes do for the memories). Luca, the owner/operator, and Alex were the dive masters for the dive. The weather on top was fantastic, but because it was the ocean, things were different underwater. There had been some storms in the area that had prevented the dive operators from going out the days prior, but the weather broke, and the conditions settled down enough that we got two dives completed that morning.
The first dive at the dive site called Laborinto was different than the dives I had done in Roatan. The sandy bottom and rock formations kept my attention as different fish moved in and out of view. Being these dives were very early in my diving experience, I was more focused on breathing and keeping my buoyancy in check than everything else that was going on during the dive.
My notes have comments about a giant blue heavy body starfish with brown tips to the arms and the number of zebra eels that we saw swimming along the rocks. Other notable fish included scorpionfish, blue pufferfish, and flutefish. By the way – the hand signals that divemasters use were still new to me at that time, so when they signaled the fish to me, I’m sure they got a quizzical look back of “what the heck does that mean….?”
The second dive site was at Maguey Rocks included more flutefish, zebra moray eels, and a BIG green moray that was free-swimming. I say big, and my notes say four feet long and thick; I mean very thick. Oh yea, and something about a giant grouper that was eyeballing me. I also recall the surge kicking my butt, but you know, that is diving. Sometimes you have to go with the conditions you have if you want to get in the water.
The thing I remember the most, though, is the attention that Luca and his staff gave to a newbie diver in the Pacific ocean for the first time. They made sure that I had a good time. Luca – one of these days, I’m going to come back and dive with you again.