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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Akumal Mexico, Nov. 7-14: Day 4 Comment
    Beth Morris, 12/7/05 11:20:55 am
    The day I finally get to swim with sea turtles!
    We woke up early again today, around 6:30 am. The power is still out and we discovered we didn’t have any water (makes sense.) It didn’t really matter much though. We ate some cereal and juice at the condo and then headed off to find Carlos who was taking us fishing and snorkeling all morning. We headed over to Akumal Bay where all of the boats are moored. Carlos and the mate were loading gear and preparing poles when we arrived. We soon set off in an open topped small sized fishing boat with an engine that Greg is telling me was a 60-horse power Yamaha outboard with a tiller. We almost immediately started trolling. There were four lines, two on outriggers. We rode down the coast in the beautiful morning sunlight. I spend a lot of time looking at how the sun glistens off the water at this time of day and the rest of the time trying to catch the color of the water in my hand. All of a sudden there was a frenzy of activity and tell tale whir of the line being taken by a fish. “Amiga, take the pole!!” OK, Here I go. Pull up, reel down, pull up, and reel down. Repeat. It was definitely a fish. I pulled in a small yellow-tail. Yellow-tales are a pretty yellow and pink color. It seems like any time I go fishing anywhere all I catch are pink fish. Go figure. You have to be careful of the yellowtails dorsal fins, as the mate’s finger found out. They pop them out for protection and they are spiky and sharp (kinda like blue-gills back home.) We took a few photos and started trolling again. There were a few small hits, but we weren’t having much luck. It was getting warm so we decided to go find a lagoon to snorkel in for a while. We pulled into a rocky lagoon, put our fins and masks on and jumped in. It was colder than I expected. We started to kick up further into the lagoon. I began to think I was really out of shape because I was having a hard time keeping up with the mate and Greg. Finally we got up into the lagoon fairly far and the mate stopped. He said, “Loots of current.” No wonder I was having such a hard time. He explained that this was a place where fresh water flowed into the ocean from streams inland. It also explained why the water looked so strange. It was murky in a distorted “oil and water” way some places and totally clear in others. We let the current carry us back into the large part of the lagoon. Much easier this time! Under the water there were thousands of fish; big blue ones, pink and green fat ones, corals, anemones, and other beautiful things. I really wished I knew the names of different types of salt-water fish. Greg might know what they’re called. I’ll have to read up before we come next time. It’s so relaxing to be able to look under water, kick around, and be able to breathe easily. You forget about everything. It’s a pure experience. Eventually we headed back to the boat to fish again. We trolled and again weren’t having any luck. We talked to Carlos about his life and ours. He told us he had a three-year-old daughter. He grew up in Akumal and told stories about fishing with his grandfather for sharks with only hand lines. He said his grandfather was one of the first people in Akumal. We talked about other things, movies, TV, music. And you wouldn’t even guess that Greg found out that Carlos was a Linux guy (for those of you who don’t know, Linux is an open-source operating system loosely based on Unix.) Turns out Carlos went to school for web design, etc. He was totally our kind of people. In the middle of conversation we hear, whhiiiiirrrrrrr, buuuuzzzzzzz…. This time a big hit on Greg’s side on the outrigger line. Greg grabbed the pole and started fighting something that seemed a lot bigger than mine. It took a while to get it near the boat. We all reeled in the other lines while he was fighting the fish, and I readied the camera. The mate grabs the gaff and Greg’s line and up comes a large (it was thiiiiissssss big!) barracuda. It was around three plus feet long and furious that we took him out of the water. We took some more pictures and they put him down near the transom. Then I see blood on Carlos. The reason they use a gaff to bring the fish into the boat is because Barracuda have huge freaking teeth. He bit Carlos when hew as getting the hook out. So Carlos is dripping blood all over and Greg and I tell him he should put some pressure on it, but he keeps dripping and putting it in the water. At one point he grins and says “here sharky sharky”. I was kinda worried for a while. After some more trolling, it was time to go in search of sea turtles. It turns out that Akumal Bay is one of the best places to see the turtles. We get our gear back on and jump in the water. Carlos joins us. He finally wrapped something around his finger, I’m glad to see, and he gets into guide us. We stopped in that particular stop because we had seen a turtle poke his head up right beside the boat. Needless to say, because of my turtle obsession, I was excited! The bay was calm and there was relatively good visibility. It was a little over cast, so more sun would have helped, but you could still see the ocean floor. There is a really nice reef in the bay, so Carlos said he’s take us there first and then find the turtles. We saw all kinds of coral, brain coral, sea anemones, fish, baby barracuda, etc. Carlos dove down and was looking at something along the bottom. He came back up and said, “There was an evil fish down there. An evil looking one. Like an evil snapper.” We looked too, but didn’t see anything. We joked that maybe he had too much sun. We left that area and swam along the turtle grass. Since the hurricane, there aren’t as many turtles and the ones that are there are a little scared, so we swam carefully with our eyes peeled. Swimming along and looking and finally right in front of me are not one, but two turtles happily munching away on turtle grass. I stopped all movement and looked quickly over to Greg to make sure he saw and was getting pictures. They surfaced and I watched them glide through the water. They almost move like birds, using their front flippers to smoothly fly through the water. I followed them for a while closely behind. I also noticed that a fish (remora maybe?) was riding along the under belly of one of the turtles between its back legs. It was hitching a ride. They swam off and Carlos said it was time to go back. Back on shore Greg decided to take his barracuda with us to lunch, or rather eat the barracuda for lunch at Cueva del Pescador. I ordered beef tacos and some delicious guacamole and salsa. Greg ate his fresh barracuda. He said it was much better than he expected. After lunch we went back to the room. We found that the power was back on, but the water was still not. Greg relaxed, reading on the hammock, while I wanted to go and lay on the beach for a while to read and get some more sun. I found a flat place without rocks or coral and laid down on my towel. I read for a few hours and then came back up. I attempted to use the restroom, but since we didn’t have water, there was no flushing. After a failed attempt involving canisters of water from the kitchen, we gave up and went to Lol Ha to use their bathrooms and have some dinner. We ate a light dinner and just sat for a while. Greg saw a man with a Loco Gringo.com hat on and called out to him. Loco Gringo is a message board that Greg had been going on with others that travel to Akumal and the Riviera Maya. He introduced himself by his handle, Whale. We talked a while about the area and previous trips and what not. We said good night and told him we’d see him at the Loco Gringo party on Saturday. I wasn’t ready to go home yet, so we stopped at the grocery store for a few things and decided to take a drive to Tulum to try to find a road with some interesting beaches people had been telling us about. Driving at night is even more interesting that during the day. We found the road and drove down a ways, but turned back because it was dark and too hard to see anything. We had a few problems with the jeep on this drive. On the way there, we were cruising along when all of a sudden we heard a scrape and a dragging noise under the jeep. We pulled over and found one of the bars that hold the top up dangling from the strap. On the way back, since all the bars that hold the top down had broken off, the back of the top disconnected and tried to fly off forwards as we were driving at high speeds on crazy Mexican roads. Again we pulled over and since the straps were already off, Greg used them to tie the top down to the roll bar. Off we were again. We decided just to head back since we’d had enough of the jeep for one night. We considered stopping at Lol Ha again to use the facilities, but decided to go back and check to see if the water was back on. We walked in and Greg went to the sink and said, “Do you hear that?” Yay, the water was back! I did a happy was have water back dance. I hadn’t taken a shower since Wednesday morning which was yesterday, and I couldn’t wait to get clean and get all of the sand, salt, and sunscreen off of me. I thought about it, and decided I should probably first write a little about today, and then take a nice long hot shower and then to go bed clean and happy. So I’m out here writing away and Greg comes out and says, “Um, we have a little bit of a flood inside.” What?! So the condo has two bedrooms, but we only needed one, so they locked the other off. I walk inside and the entire hall way is a river of water coming from the other bedroom. This is a long hall too probably 20 feet. There is a rug down a step at the end of the hall that caught a lot of the water, so thankfully our kitchen didn’t flood too. The manager Elio was squeegeeing the water when I walked in. He said he thinks the water heater burst. It did, all over! So since it’s connected to our room, we don’t have any water until tomorrow. I look at Elio and say, “Look I haven’t had a shower in two days. Can I please take one somewhere?” After a few minutes, he got me a key to the condo next door since our neighbors had left the night before.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: Akumal Mexico, Nov. 7-14: Day 4
    name, 5/23/06 7:41:49 am
    How would I get in touch with Carlos?

    thebromleys@austin.rr.com
    < "Akumal Mexico, Nov. 7-14: Day 3"
    "Akumal Mexico, Nov. 7-14: Day 5" >


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