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Thread: Addis Charters invades Mexico

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    Supporting Member Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36's Avatar
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    Addis Charters invades Mexico

    I finally got my chance to go cave diving in the Mexican cenotes. I was fortunate (for lack of a better term) enough to be invited by Renowned and world famous author/instructor, Mel Clark, for a week long excursion. She took care of all the local logistics and all that I had to do was show up in Cancun. Jeff and myself ended up having to wait at the airport in Cancun for almost 8 hours until Mel, Curt and Craig got in. Can you say "boring"?
    ======
    I got a bit ahead of myself already. I am not very well traveled and have never been to Mexico and therefore was a bit nervous about the whole airport thing. I was very dissappointed with Jet Blue for not allowing my sorb to be checked. Jeff got all up in their face about it, but it didn't help. He even pulled out his expired airline pilot ID in a futile attempt to look important. They did agree to store it in baggage service until my return. We both got the nice little search of our carry-ons at both the TSA and at customs. It would appear that those idiots don't know what a rebreather is. We got through without any issues anyway. If you don't count Jeff's cussing about needing a drink.
    =======
    We get to Mexico and they x-ray our stuff again upon getting off the plane. Of course this means another round of opening up my carry-ons and getting the "Ohhhhh" until a cute little customs girl came up and said "scuba". I replied that it was and everything was fine after that. OK, now back to waiting at the airport for the others..
    =======
    The first spanish that I learned was "dante esta el bano" (spelling is most surely wrong) and proved to be a handy little phrase to know. It is amazing how pleased the locals are to help with language, if you will just make the effort. "Ola" was needed too, lots of pretty girls running around down there.
    ========
    We all got together for the shuttle to the rental car place with all of our luggage. They had to make 2 trips to get all of us and our gear. Mel did the paperwork for the van as the rest of us began to remove a couple of rows of seats from the back of our van. We loaded up our gear and headed to Playa Del Carmen where we would be staying at Mom' Hotel right next to Protec. This turned out to be convenient for fills and Jeff's EAC's. Of course Mel and Curt had the suite while the rest of us mere peons had double rooms. Craigs room had a pluming issue and the bathroom smelled like inside of Jeff's drysuit. They immediately gave him another room and let him use both rooms. Craig ended up having a dedicated gear room.
    ========
    We all got unpacked and settled in, anxious for the following days diving adventures in the cenotes. Each day we did 2 dives. The first was generally around 2 hours and the second was usually about 1 1/2 hours long.
    =========
    The dives kind of run together in my giant brain over the course of time and I might get some of this out of order or sync with the right cenote, but here goes anyway.
    =========
    Day 1 - Taj Mahal:
    Craig, Jeff and myself were going to take turns being the 2 strobe monkeys for Mel's photography. On the first dive it was Jeff and Craig until Craig handed the strobe to me and gave up on that idea. This was my first experience with a halocline, it was cool. We went to the Chinese Gardens. I was running the jump reel while Mel flopped around trying to find the way. Just my luck, the reel ran out of line. Mel's 20' was more like 75'. I had just enough to clip it to the line. I pulled a 2nd reel and tied it in to secure the first and we continued. When I popped my head into the room, I was spellbound by the size and beauty of the place. It was incredible. Oh, someone blew off their catheter and filled their drysuit with a nasty yellow liquid (a pilot).
    =======
    Day 2 - Gran Cenote:
    We had planned on a circuit, but I wasn't feeling too comfortable and put my arrows on 3 different T's during the dive. When we popped up in a air chamber to see the bats on the ceiling I told Mel and she immediately went into her Herr Fuhrer routine and began yelling and bitching about me not following the plan. Needless to say Mell and myself had to do a quick 3rd dive to reteive them. At least Mel didn't kick up any silt on this dive like on the first one. She actually had the nerve to call Craig and myself "silt monkeys". Oh, someone had a pee valve quick connect come apart and filled their drysuit with a nasty yellow liquid (a pilot). I think this is the dive that Jeff had his hammerhead electronics crap out again. Luckily he brought his spare head and did not have to set out the whole trip. Pretty expensive item to need to have in the spares kit. Needless to say Jeff did not do the second dive. We headed into a tight sitly passage. Mel, Curt, Craig, silt, silt, silt, and me. When the cloud of silt rolled out and was about to cover my, I reached out and grabbed the line. I though to myself "Self, do you really want to follow them or just wait for them to turn and come back?". Right then I saw the glow of Craigs light and he signaled the turn. We went and found a bigger passage to go through.
    ===========
    Day 3 - Chan Hol:
    This is a tiny little pond that is only about 3' deep. There is a small rabbit hole entrance to one side and the vis is crap during entry due to kicking up the pool while kitting up. This was my first blind entrance and told the team that I was planning to go slow as a forewarning to them. The lack of vis was no match for my superior line skills. There was some Mayan pottery setting on a ledge right inside the entrance.
    ==========
    Day 4 - Mayan Blue:
    The first dive was The B,E,F tunnels. This was a beautiful big blue cave that was making me want my scooter. This might be the dive tha Craig had problems with his Predator. It ssems that he left it in OC mode and ended up with 51 mins of deco. His buddy, Mel, neede to piss and abandoned him in the water. A concerned girl came over and asked us about a diver that had been in the water not moving and no bubbles for 5 min. Curt told to get the f**k out of there and to mind her own business. I thought he was being a bit rude , but what the heck.
    The second dive was to tunnel A. This one was a much darker tunnel.
    =========
    Day 5 - Jailhouse:
    This is just a little further down the road from Mayan Blue. This was a zero vis entrance in a heads down position. There is a 90 degree turn and gets a bit tight also. Not too tough, but if you don't like the dark or tight curvy spots this might make you cringe. Curt was only doing the one dive today and Craig stayed in town. I later found out that Craig had an ailment. It turns out that one evening at the 69 club (gay club on 5th), that his limp wrist had migrated to his ankle and wasn't able to fin. I hope he recovers or reclosets.
    First dive we went left at the T and did a circuit. About 1/2 way into the dive Mel moved me into #1 position with the strobe for pics. There was a point when I was ascending into a perfectly still and undisturbed halocline. It looked like a false ceiling. I went extremely slow and just got my eyes above and into the upper layer of water and back down again. It was simply amazing to me. At the end of the dive upon reacing the T, went went the other way to install the jump for the second dive. It would have been hard to find with Mel's help.
    On the second dive it was just Jeff and myself. I lead, as Jeff is an idiot, and we found the end of that line tied to a rock with a wall in front of it. Mel's briefing came into play. I tied in and went straight up the wall, through a tight spot, through a halocline and found another line. Jeff popped up through the silt right behind me. We first went left at that line but ran out of line. We turned and went to the other end of that line. I had just tied in a jump reel when Jeff knocked it out of my hand. I could hear him laughing as it reeled out on the way to the cave floor. I figured it was going to sink 30' into the silt and cloud out everything. Fortunately it was still visible and I was able to recover it witout any more incident or interference from my buddy (I use that term loosely).
    ========
    A few of the other things that may be general or just of interest. Long blonde hair will go a long way with the cute girls down there. It has been decades since a true hottie winked at me and blew me a kiss (no, she wasn't a pro either). I even had one adjust her cleavage just for me at supper one night. I could get used to this stuff.
    =========
    Protec was great about having our tank ready and filled for us. Patrick was extremely nice a pleasure to deal with. Jeff, being the complete idiot that he is, forgot to get his EAC one day and we ended up having to blow off the first half of the day waiting on his butt.
    ========
    Mel's bouyancy control was truly awesome. I think she only smacked the ceiling twice the whole time we were down there. Jeff, Curt, Craig, and myself were perfect the entire time.
    ==========
    I takes a bit of time to get the idea through my thick skull, that toilet paper goes in the wastebasket. This seems just fundementally wrong on some many different levels. We did all take turns going out into the corn fields for our morning dump. Mel was doing her best to get a free shot of all the man parts (penis envy or something).
    ========
    Jeff was called a "stupid gringo" by one of the waiters when he spilled his drink. I think that it was more than justified.
    ========
    I am dumbfounded by Craig's ability to actually get up and go diving after pounding down a fifth of tequila every night. That is not including the 5 or 6 shots at every meal.
    =========
    After having to put up with Mel's constant "hurry up", "chop chop", and making everything about her; Jeff coined the phrase MELOCRACY. We think it is very fitting. She might tend to argue, but I am right and she is wrong.
    =========
    The trip home was not nearly as smooth as I had hoped. We got our bags checked and went to security. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a stupidity clause for employment there. I was expecting to have to open up our bags again. Not a big deal, right? Wrong! Those frickin' idiots would not let us brinf AA batteries. Jeff had to throw away 8 and I had to throw away 8 rechargeable ones. Then they say we can't bring our canister light battery packs either. By now Jeff is jumping up and down and throwing a tantrum like a 8 year old boy. Funny thing is that when looking through my bag and seeing all the spare batteries (AA, cr123, saft) they were ok with them. Jeff had to take our batteries and go put them in our checked baggage. Baggage was already gone. Sheet, now he buys a backpack to ship them in and they finally take that. Both of my battery packs were damaged but repairable. I don't know how Jeff's faired. We are standing in line and ready to board. Here comes 4 security guards with tables. They are doing another baggage check inside the airplane ramp. Jeff is the first to go through and security flags him to the side as I am signaled to continue. I stopped to wait for him and the guard made certain that I kept moving. It is amazing what a short mexican kid with a gun can make you do. Jeff just could not let it go and he went off on another tyrant. Security drug him off as I was heading down the ramp. After setting in the plane for about 15 minutes as all the other passengers (except Jeff) got situated, two security guards come down the aisle. They are carrying Jeff's limp unconscience body to his seat and strap him in. When he finally woke up and started running his mouth again, he was worned more that once, he seriously offended a rather large lady.
    =======
    Jeffs wife was nice enough to pick me up at the airport on her way to bail Jeff out of jail.
    =========
    I gotta learn spanish and get back down there. It was a blast.
    =========
    I may or may not have taken some creative liberties with this report.
    =========

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  2. #2
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    Re: Addis Charters invades Mexico

    As the tears clear from my eyes and I slowly regain a little composure. I raise a glass to you, for that very "liberating" essay (or is that, ese, amigo?).
    Thanks for the very descriptive and colorful recount of your adventure, I actually felt as though I was there!
    cargas del verde a usted sir!

    Cheers,
    Hunter
    Last edited by 19Hunter68; 18th November 2010 at 02:46.

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    LEARNING CONTINUALLY rigdiver is a jewel in the rough rigdiver is a jewel in the rough rigdiver is a jewel in the rough rigdiver is a jewel in the rough rigdiver is a jewel in the rough rigdiver is a jewel in the rough rigdiver is a jewel in the rough rigdiver is a jewel in the rough rigdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Addis Charters invades Mexico

    Thanks Don. You are really a great writer. Maybe this is a calling for you.

  4. #4
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    Re: Addis Charters invades Mexico

    Next time, maybe you should invite someone that is fluent in Spanish, knows the ways of Mexico, and is an expert and negotiating security in the Mexican airport when it comes to dive gear! Hint, hint!

    Protec is great, but Mom's is a hole. I know a place within walking distance from there that is a little more but is really nice. Word to the wise for next trip.

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    Re: Addis Charters invades Mexico

    darn thing posted twice??
    Last edited by scubagrunt; 18th November 2010 at 06:19.

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    Re: Addis Charters invades Mexico

    Hi guys I have to clarify a few points. Don has a over active imagination for sure

    With sorb, you always “package” (aka. hide) it in a rubber maid tub, never fly with it simply in the bucket!!!

    The line arrow fiasco was the first day in Taj, cuz Mr. Six does not listen to dive briefings!!

    Don I did not know you and Jeff wanted the single king size bed suite. Next time I will book the two of you in there. It will be nice for you guys after your night on the town at the 69 gay dance club to retire to the comfort of the king size bed and snuggle.

    Silt Silt and Silt, hmmmmmm, I think the multiple hits to your head on the cave ceiling has caused some confusion as to who were the silt monkeys!!

    Yes I was trying to cop a peek at those male parts but I would hardly say I was envious!! And you’all say there is shrinkage, it was 85F out!!!!! Perhaps if the correct size condom catheters were applied there would be less squealing about peeing the drysuits!!

    That is all from the “melocracy”

    It was fun none the less. And dont forget the fun it was driving also

    mel


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    Re: Addis Charters invades Mexico

    Thanks Don!
    Awesome material...

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    Re: Addis Charters invades Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaDadMiami  View Original Post
    Next time, maybe you should invite someone that is fluent in Spanish, knows the ways of Mexico, and is an expert and negotiating security in the Mexican airport when it comes to dive gear! Hint, hint!

    Protec is great, but Mom's is a hole. I know a place within walking distance from there that is a little more but is really nice. Word to the wise for next trip.
    Don, Pics or it didn't happen
    (thanks for the story)

    Howard, no way in hell they would ever let you into Mexico through the airport with all of the talcum powder that is in your undergarments for your dry suit. Not to mention the small white bags that you will pack. Next thing we would know is that you would be on "banged up abroad" screaming "papi"

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    Re: Addis Charters invades Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by rigdiver  View Original Post
    Thanks Don. You are really a great writer. Maybe this is a calling for you.
    Hopefully so cuz diving sure ain't!

    Great report Don. Brings back some memories, bad ones at that, of my travels through the airports and hotels in the Far East. Nothing like spending time in a 3rd world airport or hotel.

  10. #10
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    Re: Addis Charters invades Mexico

    Nice, always entertaining.

    I'm surprised you guys didn't get hammered at the Cancun airport, there are numerous bars all around that place.

    I would suggest that you stay much farther south next time, like Akumal or Tulum, the caves are down there anyway and you have less chance of getting robbed.

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