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Favorite photos from scuba diving and snorkeling off Cozumel

After I dropped Lee off at the Cancun airport, I extended my Mexico stay for 4 beach days on Cozumel and so I could go scuba diving; my prior visits to Cozumel had all been via cruise ships where you don't get a real feel for a destination

After I dropped Lee off at the Cancun airport, I extended my Mexico stay for 4 beach days on Cozumel and so I could go scuba diving; my prior visits to Cozumel had all been via cruise ships where you don't get a real feel for a destination

This huge spotted eagle ray was the highlight of one of my dives; the coral looked in OK shape but there was surprisingly little marine life with no turtles, sharks, only one eel and even a smaller than typical range of tropical fish

This huge spotted eagle ray was the highlight of one of my dives; the coral looked in OK shape but there was surprisingly little marine life with no turtles, sharks, only one eel and even a smaller than typical range of tropical fish

Adult rock beauties are normally encountered as pairs and appear to form long term monogamous relationships so maybe I swam upon a menage a trois; the first Spanish expedition to visit Cozumel was led by Juan de Grijalva in 1518 with Cortes a year later

Adult rock beauties are normally encountered as pairs and appear to form long term monogamous relationships so maybe I swam upon a menage a trois; the first Spanish expedition to visit Cozumel was led by Juan de Grijalva in 1518 with Cortes a year later

In 1861, President Lincoln ordered Secretary of State Seward to meet with the Mexican chargé d'affaires to explore the possibility of purchasing Cozumel for the purpose of relocating freed American slaves offshore

In 1861, President Lincoln ordered Secretary of State Seward to meet with the Mexican chargé d'affaires to explore the possibility of purchasing Cozumel for the purpose of relocating freed American slaves offshore

This was the only eel I saw when in Cozumel; as usual, I was the only diver who opted not to wear a wetsuit but the water temperature was 81 degrees and our dives were not very deep

This was the only eel I saw when in Cozumel; as usual, I was the only diver who opted not to wear a wetsuit but the water temperature was 81 degrees and our dives were not very deep

Yellow stingrays were the only animals of note I saw when snorkeling from my hotel located north of Cozumel town; one day I saw 8 cruise ships docked here with just a narrow 2 lane road running along the coast to handle them all

Yellow stingrays were the only animals of note I saw when snorkeling from my hotel located north of Cozumel town; one day I saw 8 cruise ships docked here with just a narrow 2 lane road running along the coast to handle them all

Since the snorkeling was so poor, I opted for a couple of days of diving; it was a challenge finding a company to take me since most were either not going out or already were fully booked

Since the snorkeling was so poor, I opted for a couple of days of diving; it was a challenge finding a company to take me since most were either not going out or already were fully booked

The first dive one day was at the Santa Rosa Wall, one of the most famous Cozumel dive sites; there were numerous swim-throughs but surprisingly little current with the wall starting at 50 ft and plunging down to almost 3000 ft

The first dive one day was at the Santa Rosa Wall, one of the most famous Cozumel dive sites; there were numerous swim-throughs but surprisingly little current with the wall starting at 50 ft and plunging down to almost 3000 ft

French angelfish; the island of Cozumel is about 30 miles long by 10 miles wide and lies 12 miles off the Yucatan coast near Playa del Carmen, about 50 miles south of Cancun; the island has a population of roughly 100,000 excluding cruise ship passengers

French angelfish; the island of Cozumel is about 30 miles long by 10 miles wide and lies 12 miles off the Yucatan coast near Playa del Carmen, about 50 miles south of Cancun; the island has a population of roughly 100,000 excluding cruise ship passengers

Sea anemones were a rare sight diving around Cozumel; since I had a rental car, I took the slow car ferry to Cozumel which has fewer crossings, takes longer and is more expensive than the passenger catamarans which cross from multiple mainland cities

Sea anemones were a rare sight diving around Cozumel; since I had a rental car, I took the slow car ferry to Cozumel which has fewer crossings, takes longer and is more expensive than the passenger catamarans which cross from multiple mainland cities

One day I drove an hour south of town to the southernmost coast of the island to visit Punta Sur Eco Beach Park which was supposed to have good snorkeling; it was virtually deserted but, other than rays and a few turtles, the snorkeling was still poor

One day I drove an hour south of town to the southernmost coast of the island to visit Punta Sur Eco Beach Park which was supposed to have good snorkeling; it was virtually deserted but, other than rays and a few turtles, the snorkeling was still poor

The highlight of my snorkeling at Punta Sur Eco Beach Park was this spotted eagle ray; admission was $18 and you need your own transportation since it's prohibitively far from town for a taxi; ideal if you just wanted a quiet sandy beach with bar service

The highlight of my snorkeling at Punta Sur Eco Beach Park was this spotted eagle ray; admission was $18 and you need your own transportation since it's prohibitively far from town for a taxi; ideal if you just wanted a quiet sandy beach with bar service

The queen triggerfish is called cochino in Cuba and this is the probable origin of the name Bahía de Cochinos, which is known as the Bay of Pigs in English; this species preys on a variety of invertebrates, notably sea urchins (good!)

The queen triggerfish is called cochino in Cuba and this is the probable origin of the name Bahía de Cochinos, which is known as the Bay of Pigs in English; this species preys on a variety of invertebrates, notably sea urchins (good!)

The second dive one day was at Columbia Shallows which had a maximum depth of just 50 feet making it a good dive for beginners; this site, like all popular Cozumel dive locations, is on the west side of the island south of Cozumel town

The second dive one day was at Columbia Shallows which had a maximum depth of just 50 feet making it a good dive for beginners; this site, like all popular Cozumel dive locations, is on the west side of the island south of Cozumel town

I need help identifying this fish which has no apparent dorsal, ventral or anal fins; it's not one I remember seeing in other places and just has an odd-look so maybe some of my diving friends will know the answer to this mystery

I need help identifying this fish which has no apparent dorsal, ventral or anal fins; it's not one I remember seeing in other places and just has an odd-look so maybe some of my diving friends will know the answer to this mystery

American whitespotted filefish; the Cozumel reef is part of the much larger Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System which is the second largest reef in the world, stretching over 620 miles

American whitespotted filefish; the Cozumel reef is part of the much larger Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System which is the second largest reef in the world, stretching over 620 miles

The second day of diving included the San Francisco Wall and Palancar Caves which are part of the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park which is included in the UNESCO protected area called Isla Cozumel Biosphere Reserve

The second day of diving included the San Francisco Wall and Palancar Caves which are part of the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park which is included in the UNESCO protected area called Isla Cozumel Biosphere Reserve

In addition to their hard exterior, smooth trunkfish can produce a toxin through their body mucus that is used for defense; this toxin makes them a poor choice for an aquarium since they can poison the entire tank if stressed

In addition to their hard exterior, smooth trunkfish can produce a toxin through their body mucus that is used for defense; this toxin makes them a poor choice for an aquarium since they can poison the entire tank if stressed

The bluestriped grunt is a common fish in the Caribbean, more often seen in small schools; they are preyed on by larger fish such as sharks and groupers; rarely seen in private aquariums because of its size, it is fairly common in public aquariums

The bluestriped grunt is a common fish in the Caribbean, more often seen in small schools; they are preyed on by larger fish such as sharks and groupers; rarely seen in private aquariums because of its size, it is fairly common in public aquariums

Yellow tube sponges were common and there were also many interesting soft coral species; Cozumel's coral reefs have been struggling due to cruise ships, hurricanes, climate change, etc. so several efforts are underway to restore/replenish the reefs

Yellow tube sponges were common and there were also many interesting soft coral species; Cozumel's coral reefs have been struggling due to cruise ships, hurricanes, climate change, etc. so several efforts are underway to restore/replenish the reefs

The red cushion star is the largest Caribbean sea star, growing to 20 inches in diameter; and inhabits nearshore sandy bottoms and coral rubble; in the winter, they migrate to offshore locations with little water movement in order to avoid turbulence

The red cushion star is the largest Caribbean sea star, growing to 20 inches in diameter; and inhabits nearshore sandy bottoms and coral rubble; in the winter, they migrate to offshore locations with little water movement in order to avoid turbulence

This scrawled filefish was swimming horizontally, like a flounder; Cozumel was struck by two Category 4 hurricanes in 2005, Emily and Wilma, with Wilma's eye passing directly over the island causing widespread destruction

This scrawled filefish was swimming horizontally, like a flounder; Cozumel was struck by two Category 4 hurricanes in 2005, Emily and Wilma, with Wilma's eye passing directly over the island causing widespread destruction

Juvenile French angelfish have yellow bands that will disappear once they are about a year old; they act as cleaner fish, establishing cleaning stations where ectoparasites are removed from a wide range of other species such as jacks, snapper and wrasses

Juvenile French angelfish have yellow bands that will disappear once they are about a year old; they act as cleaner fish, establishing cleaning stations where ectoparasites are removed from a wide range of other species such as jacks, snapper and wrasses

The stoplight parrotfish is a protogynous hermaphrodite that shows full sexual dichromatism, meaning that it changes its sex from female to male during its lifespan, and its color changes with its sex change

The stoplight parrotfish is a protogynous hermaphrodite that shows full sexual dichromatism, meaning that it changes its sex from female to male during its lifespan, and its color changes with its sex change

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:55

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Comments

How large is the unidentified fish? I think it is a wrasse of some sort unless it is quite large.

by mball58

Wrasse appear not to have ventral or dorsal fins when swimming at times.

by mball58

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