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Jakegr
02-08-2012, 12:26 AM
I went on a holiday in early January to Mexico and enjoyed 9 dives. Here are some of my pictures taken with a Nikon P7000 camera. The camera housing (Fantasea) also has a Sea and Sea YS-01 strobe, an Olympus UFL-1 strobe, and a clip on fish eye lens.

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Reefscenex1of1.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Reefscene.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Queentriggerfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Queenangelfish3.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Live%20stock%20guide/Commonlionfish1of1.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Porkfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Pedersonscleanershrimp.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Longspinesquirrelfish3.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Longspinesquirrelfish2.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Hawksbillturtle2.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Greenmorayeel.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Graysby.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Grayangelfish2.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Gardeneel4.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Gardeneel1.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Frenchangelfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Flagtails.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Doctorsurgeonfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Crab31of1.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Christmastreeworm.jpg

I went on a bull shark dive too... there was a lot of debris in the water, so I couldn't get a very nice picture:

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Bullshark2.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Bullshark1.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Branchinganemone.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Bluesurgeonfishintermediate.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Bouesurgeonfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Bipinnateseaplume3.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Unknownsurgeonfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Yellowstingray2.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Unknownsponge.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Unknownspong.jpg

Jakegr
02-08-2012, 12:27 AM
http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Whitespottedfilefish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Unknowncrab.jpg

Can anyone ID the below fish me?
http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Unknownfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Unknowncrab.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Trumpetfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Sunanemone2.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Stringray21of1.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Stoplightparrotfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Spottedgoatfish2.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Spottedgoatfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Spotfinbutterflyfish.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Sargassumtrigger2.jpg

http://i778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/Sailorschoicegrunt.jpg

Coralgurl
02-08-2012, 12:42 AM
Wow! Gorgeous! The fourth pic with the 3 fish looks like you were joining a fishy discussion, great photos, thanks for sharing!

fishoholic
02-08-2012, 01:08 AM
Wow and Wow and OMG WOW!!!!!!!! Beautiful pictures!

Stones
02-08-2012, 01:13 AM
You sir take some amazing photos! I can't believe the clarity on all of the close shots.

spawn
02-08-2012, 01:34 AM
Very Nice indeed. What was the wreck, & what was the Bull site? Thx.

Jakegr
02-08-2012, 01:55 AM
Thanks everyone!

The wreck is called Mama Vina.

I'm not sure what the bull shark dive site was called. It was literally a 2 minute boat ride directly off shore of Playa del Carmen. Here is a video of it, not sure how to embed a video:

http://s778.photobucket.com/albums/yy64/jagraas/?action=view&current=DSCN0196.mp4

spawn
02-08-2012, 02:16 AM
Thats awesome! I guess I know where my next dive is gonna be. Thx for sharing.

sphelps
02-08-2012, 02:36 AM
Wow I never saw half that diving in the Mayan, please share as much info as you can on the sites you went to! I'm heading down there this summer to do some diving among other things :mrgreen:

hillegom
02-08-2012, 02:43 AM
You are a great photographer. Beautiful pics.
Thanks for sharing

Treebeard
02-08-2012, 03:53 AM
Your photos are absolutely awesome! Thanks for sharing.
Can you please provide the details of the dive sites and dive shops you used?
We are doing a dive trip to Akumal and Cozumel in August and that shark dive looks exhilarating. They were bull sharks??

Delphinus
02-08-2012, 06:32 AM
Wow, fantastic pictures!

Casey8
02-08-2012, 06:35 AM
WOW WOW WOW beautiful pictures ! Love the grey angelfish !

Foxface
02-08-2012, 07:25 AM
Wow, those are some great pictures, thanks for sharing!

Jakegr
02-08-2012, 09:15 PM
Thank you again everyone.

The dive shop was "Dive Mike". They were pretty good and I would recommend them.

Unfortunately I didn't write down the dive site names. All of them were within a 20 minute boat ride of Playa del Carmen. I do remember the wreck "Mama vina" and my favorite site, which was a shallow ~30 ft dive, Jardines.

The bull shark dive is seasonal (I went in January), so I'm not sure if it will be available in August. It was really expensive for a single tank dive ($120!), but still worth it. The dive master feeds the sharks with a chain mail vest on.

Treebeard - Cozumel is a fantastic dive destination. It is far better than where I took these pictures. Have fun!

kien
02-08-2012, 09:33 PM
wow great photos! So jealous of all you diver type people and your fancy pants diving photos.

Coleus
02-08-2012, 09:52 PM
So nice. one day i will have to move to some place warm and near ocean

kien
02-08-2012, 09:54 PM
So nice. one day i will have to move to some place warm and near ocean

but didn't you move AWAY from some place warm and near the ocean? LOL

Coleus
02-08-2012, 09:58 PM
but didn't you move AWAY from some place warm and near the ocean? LOL

i would not call it warm :-), it was HOT. And i did not have choice back then, but yeah i will go back there eventually.

scubadawg
02-08-2012, 10:00 PM
Nice Photos, keep up the great work, I love the drive by shooting in Cozumel.

For all that have nevered scubadive Cozumel "Drift Diving" drop down 60 ft or so underwater, take pictures as the current takes you about 1 km away and the boat follows your bubbles.

Blue World Aquariums
02-08-2012, 11:12 PM
Just incredible...very jealous. Thanks for sharing!

High tide
02-09-2012, 03:54 AM
Very beautiful! Thank you for posting. The fish you asked about is a Redband Parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum).

Jakegr
02-09-2012, 04:29 AM
Very beautiful! Thank you for posting. The fish you asked about is a Redband Parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum).

Thank you! That ID was driving me crazy.

Treebeard
02-09-2012, 04:47 AM
Hey Jake, I would pass on the bull shark dive but not because of the price. My dive instructor aka my wife tells me that bull sharks have a rather aggressive nature, and being from South Africa I trust her advice. :biggrin:

Next August will actually be our third trip to Cozumel. Last August we had some great dives...Columbia, Tormentos, Palencar, Cedral...can't wait to get back!
We have a Nikon S8100 with an Ikelite housing, but I can tell from looking at your pictures that I need to get a strobe.

patd
02-09-2012, 05:14 AM
Fantastic pics!
I think I love the shots of the schooling grunts and porkfish the best.
Thanks for posting

High tide
02-09-2012, 07:10 PM
Thank you! That ID was driving me crazy.

No problem, I figured it was the least I could do for the pleasure of viewing those photos, seriously, got any more? That, and the fact I have a nice collection of books and jump on any opportunity to use them.:biggrin:

Reef_Geek
10-06-2013, 02:10 AM
good 'ol search function on CanReef... found this old post. Dusting it off...

I'm heading to Playa del Carmen in December, looking forward to diving there. I have more vacation days than my wife, so I'm going down alone. My sister and her family are going to be there at the resort, but they don't dive. I'll get to sneak off and do lots of diving.

Anyone else with experiences / dive operations for Playa del Carmen?

Also, thinking of getting a GoPro Hero3+ for this trip. Anyone do any diving with GoPros? Advice on mounts / where to get red filters in Calgary?

paddyob
10-06-2013, 02:43 AM
Cage diving with Bulls or just free swimming?

Bull sharks are the number one shark for attacks on humans. Aggressive sharks!

How was it?!

Snappy
10-06-2013, 03:13 AM
How did I miss this thread the first go 'round?
Awesome pictures.
I am heading to Playa in mid Nov - can't wait to try out my new fins & Hawaiian sling. :mrgreen:

Treebeard
10-06-2013, 03:33 AM
Hawaiian sling? I had to Google that because I was certain it was the preferred beachwear for the Italians dudes you see down there. :biggrin:
The countdown is on for us to two weeks in Bonaire over New Years. Unfortunately I was hit with a hernia last week and now the panic is on to get it fixed in time for 6 weeks of recuperating before the first dive.


How did I miss this thread the first go 'round?
Awesome pictures.
I am heading to Playa in mid Nov - can't wait to try out my new fins & Hawaiian sling. :mrgreen:

Jakegr
10-06-2013, 04:08 AM
good 'ol search function on CanReef... found this old post. Dusting it off...

I'm heading to Playa del Carmen in December, looking forward to diving there. I have more vacation days than my wife, so I'm going down alone. My sister and her family are going to be there at the resort, but they don't dive. I'll get to sneak off and do lots of diving.

Anyone else with experiences / dive operations for Playa del Carmen?

Also, thinking of getting a GoPro Hero3+ for this trip. Anyone do any diving with GoPros? Advice on mounts / where to get red filters in Calgary?

Good thing Canreef sends me an email every time someone posts in my threads haha.

I'm heading back to Playa del Carmen in January! I have never dived with GoPros, but have seen fantastic video from them. They seem to be great value too as you could easily spend $2000 on a underwater housing/light for a video camera.

Unfortunately I don't remember the operation I dove from. Looking at the map, I think it was Dive Mike. I thought they were pretty good. Honestly liked them more than any dive shop I went with while living in Hawaii.

The bull shark dive was really cool. They charge you a lot, but it is worth it. I saw 20-30 sharks on that dive, many of which where within an arms reach. It is seasonal, but you are going at the peak time I believe. It is a cageless dive.

The diving overall can be good. Generally the further south you go, the better the diving. Cozumel was really nice, but it wasn't worth a whole day of my vacation on the bus/ferry just for two dives.

The cenote dives are very cool too, but again they take up most of your day in travel time.

Anyways, have a great time! I love the Mayan Riviera.

Reef_Geek
10-06-2013, 05:19 AM
Good thing Canreef sends me an email every time someone posts in my threads haha.

I'm heading back to Playa del Carmen in January! I have never dived with GoPros, but have seen fantastic video from them. They seem to be great value too as you could easily spend $2000 on a underwater housing/light for a video camera.

Unfortunately I don't remember the operation I dove from. Looking at the map, I think it was Dive Mike. I thought they were pretty good. Honestly liked them more than any dive shop I went with while living in Hawaii.

The bull shark dive was really cool. They charge you a lot, but it is worth it. I saw 20-30 sharks on that dive, many of which where within an arms reach. It is seasonal, but you are going at the peak time I believe. It is a cageless dive.

The diving overall can be good. Generally the further south you go, the better the diving. Cozumel was really nice, but it wasn't worth a whole day of my vacation on the bus/ferry just for two dives.

The cenote dives are very cool too, but again they take up most of your day in travel time.

Anyways, have a great time! I love the Mayan Riviera.

Thanks for the tips!

Yeah, GoPro just released a new cam... Hero3+ that's supposed to have better battery life, wider field of view, and auto frames/second for low lighting. I also like the high frames/second rate to allow for some really cool slow motion. The time lapse shots are pretty neat too. I think I've talked myself into getting one.

I think I'm up for the Bull Sharks. I've dove with seasonal aggregations of Lemon Sharks off Jupiter Florida, that's a blast. I am a bit sad my timing misses the whale shark aggregation there, maybe another trip.

That's a good tip on Dive Mike. I'll do some TripAdvisor research on them. It looks like the top TripAdvisor operator is Reef Quest Divers but I emailed them a small question and they have not responded (2 days now)... maybe it's a sign...

Did you find that the dive sites were much different between the Playa del Carmen reefs and Cozumel? I do have quite a bit of free time, but if the diving is pretty similar... that's a waste of time to ferry over.

How did I miss this thread the first go 'round?
Awesome pictures.
I am heading to Playa in mid Nov - can't wait to try out my new fins & Hawaiian sling. :mrgreen:

Greg, which operator are you planning on diving with? Have you used any in the past that you really liked?

paddyob
10-06-2013, 05:21 AM
Hawaiian sling? I had to Google that because I was certain it was the preferred beachwear for the Italians dudes you see down there. :biggrin:
.


Ha ha ha ha!!

Snappy
10-06-2013, 07:13 AM
Greg, which operator are you planning on diving with? Have you used any in the past that you really liked?
I had one place recommended to me but they haven't got back to me so I doubt I'll use them. Previous dives in the area were through a company in Cancun. Long story short - I am not sure who I will use yet. If anyone has suggestions I am open to them. I was thinking of using Phantom Divers - anyone had experience with them?

Jakegr
10-06-2013, 09:05 AM
Thanks for the tips!

Yeah, GoPro just released a new cam... Hero3+ that's supposed to have better battery life, wider field of view, and auto frames/second for low lighting. I also like the high frames/second rate to allow for some really cool slow motion. The time lapse shots are pretty neat too. I think I've talked myself into getting one.

I think I'm up for the Bull Sharks. I've dove with seasonal aggregations of Lemon Sharks off Jupiter Florida, that's a blast. I am a bit sad my timing misses the whale shark aggregation there, maybe another trip.

That's a good tip on Dive Mike. I'll do some TripAdvisor research on them. It looks like the top TripAdvisor operator is Reef Quest Divers but I emailed them a small question and they have not responded (2 days now)... maybe it's a sign...

Did you find that the dive sites were much different between the Playa del Carmen reefs and Cozumel? I do have quite a bit of free time, but if the diving is pretty similar... that's a waste of time to ferry over.



Greg, which operator are you planning on diving with? Have you used any in the past that you really liked?

Cozumel has far better diving. The water is extremely clear. My only complaint was the travel time. Playa/Cozumel have similar reef life, but the dive sites are in better condition in Cozumel and you are more likely to see some of the more "charismatic" life, like turtles, sting rays, etc.

I'm pretty skeptical about Cancun dive shops... I used one of the main ones to get to Cozumel, and again the travel was just crazy. They put me on a bus to a ferry to get to Cozumel, then bused us to a dock where a boat was waiting, then that boat took us to our dive boat. I was fortunate that my dive buddy was fluent in spanish as the shop left us out to dry on the way home (nobody picked us up from the ferry). Then again, it is Mexico, so organization and efficiency are rarely a top priority. If you go to Cozumel and have your own gear, put it in a rollable suitcase as these is a lot of walking and hauling gear on the way.

Myka
10-06-2013, 03:21 PM
I went to Cozumel last April/May. I don't have dive certification, but I went on several snorkeling tours. We just rented the boat to ourselves for a few hours and went out to Palencar and Colombia reefs. Palencar was a bit deep for snorkeling at about 50 feet, but it had a lot of current that just floated us along. I saw many, many HUGE Barracuda, but the reef was too deep to really explore. Colombia was awesome! It was about 30 feet deep and had big rock formations all over that came within 15 feet of the surface. Lots of Acropora corals and brain corals and BIG Angelfish. I can dive down about 30 feet with my snorkel so I was able to check it out well. We also went to another one I can't remember the name of. It was shallow - only 15 feet or so, but was all sand with the occasional rock here and there. We saw tons of starfish, but not much else. Clarity was terrible so I was freaked out about sharks.

As a side note, there is a submarine tour on Cozumel that was really great too. It was US$100 per person I think, but it went down to 110 feet and we saw lots of really cool reef life including Nurse Sharks, Sting rays, Angelfish, Barracuda, Lionfish, Octopus, etc. It took us to the edge of the Palencar wall so we could look down into the black abyss. I have no idea how people have the balls to dive down there! :eek:

Snappy
10-06-2013, 04:55 PM
Cozumel has far better diving. The water is extremely clear. My only complaint was the travel time. Playa/Cozumel have similar reef life, but the dive sites are in better condition in Cozumel and you are more likely to see some of the more "charismatic" life, like turtles, sting rays, etc.

I'm pretty skeptical about Cancun dive shops... I used one of the main ones to get to Cozumel, and again the travel was just crazy. They put me on a bus to a ferry to get to Cozumel, then bused us to a dock where a boat was waiting, then that boat took us to our dive boat. I was fortunate that my dive buddy was fluent in spanish as the shop left us out to dry on the way home (nobody picked us up from the ferry). Then again, it is Mexico, so organization and efficiency are rarely a top priority. If you go to Cozumel and have your own gear, put it in a rollable suitcase as these is a lot of walking and hauling gear on the way.
My experience with the shop I used in Cancun was great, including the dives to Cozumel. I'll have to check my dive log but I think their name is "Manta Ray Divers". If memory serves we went in their own boat across and never took a ferry ride. Fantastic dives in Cozumel and in the Cancun reefs as well. :biggrin:

Jakegr
10-06-2013, 07:12 PM
My experience with the shop I used in Cancun was great, including the dives to Cozumel. I'll have to check my dive log but I think their name is "Manta Ray Divers". If memory serves we went in their own boat across and never took a ferry ride. Fantastic dives in Cozumel and in the Cancun reefs as well. :biggrin:

Goes to show you can't judge them all by a single one! It would have been great if the only travel was aboard the dive boat.

Treebeard
10-06-2013, 08:59 PM
Although I love Akumal, the diving in Cozumel is better hands down. Cozumel is more expensive but it is worth it and I would never consider just a day trip. Cozumel has it all, from deep wall dives, fast drift dives, huge coral pinnacles, turtles, huge groupers, nurse sharks, you name it. It's a 45 minute ferry ride from PDC to San Miguel and sometimes the sea can be very rough. If Cancun dive ops do go to Coz not sure if it would be a pleasant trip on a rough day.
For diving on the mainland, consider staying at or near Akumal. There is some nice diving there and the attitude is much more laid back than the cattle boat operations Cozumel is known for. When we go to Cozumel we tend to go with the smaller shops. When we dive in Akumal we always dive with Akumal Dive Adventures. We get to pretty much decide where we want to dive and we are treated like family.

Treebeard
10-06-2013, 09:06 PM
Maybe you're one of the snorkelers in this photo from our dive at Columbia last year!

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/17526971/Canreef/snorkelers.jpg

I went to Cozumel last April/May. I don't have dive certification, but I went on several snorkeling tours. We just rented the boat to ourselves for a few hours and went out to Palencar and Colombia reefs. Palencar was a bit deep for snorkeling at about 50 feet, but it had a lot of current that just floated us along. I saw many, many HUGE Barracuda, but the reef was too deep to really explore. Colombia was awesome! It was about 30 feet deep and had big rock formations all over that came within 15 feet of the surface. Lots of Acropora corals and brain corals and BIG Angelfish. I can dive down about 30 feet with my snorkel so I was able to check it out well. We also went to another one I can't remember the name of. It was shallow - only 15 feet or so, but was all sand with the occasional rock here and there. We saw tons of starfish, but not much else. Clarity was terrible so I was freaked out about sharks.

As a side note, there is a submarine tour on Cozumel that was really great too. It was US$100 per person I think, but it went down to 110 feet and we saw lots of really cool reef life including Nurse Sharks, Sting rays, Angelfish, Barracuda, Lionfish, Octopus, etc. It took us to the edge of the Palencar wall so we could look down into the black abyss. I have no idea how people have the balls to dive down there! :eek:

Scuba Diver Gal
10-06-2013, 09:09 PM
We dive with a GO Pro Hero 3 black. It's a great camera. We use a SeaLife AquaPod pole mount which gives us single handed use and an extendable pole. Use a carabiner to attach it to your BCD so you won't lose it or drop it. It doesn't have a light/strobe attachment but where we mostly dive (Cayman Islands) you don't really need it. We use a red filter that we purchased at Cathy Church in Cayman Islands. Maybe you can find them at AquaSport Scuba or Dive Shop (I seem to recall Dive Shop on Macleod sold the Go Pro accessories). Don't buy the "dome" red filter as it left a slight round reflection on our vids taken in higher light (shallower). Use a flat red filter. I also think that Caribbean Dreams dive shop on 16 avenue was going to get in a line of go pro accessories, check with them, they have awesome customer service.

The videos are mostly done by my 14 year old son. They are great quality vids. My son used to dive with an Olympus Pen in a dive housing with double strobes on a tray. I hated him not having his hands free, so I love the AquaPod. He keeps asking for a tray and strobes for the Go Pro :)

Also, we travel with our macbook. When we load the vids they are too high quality for the iphoto app to play without stalling. We drag them onto our desktop and play with VLC Media player...no troubles at all :)

Happy diving! Here fishy fishy :)

Reef_Geek
10-06-2013, 09:25 PM
Cozumel has far better diving. The water is extremely clear. My only complaint was the travel time. Playa/Cozumel have similar reef life, but the dive sites are in better condition in Cozumel and you are more likely to see some of the more "charismatic" life, like turtles, sting rays, etc.

That settles it. I'll simply have to plan another trip to do Cozumel. It's the only logical solution. SOLD! I'm stuck in Playa del Carmen because that's where my sister's family wanted to go. I don't want to stray too far by myself travelling & lugging gear to Cozumel. I'm without a dive buddy (it's ok, I'm an OWSI) this trip and just tagging along with dive groups, whoever shows up for the day.


As a side note, there is a submarine tour on Cozumel that was really great too. It was US$100 per person I think, but it went down to 110 feet and we saw lots of really cool reef life including Nurse Sharks, Sting rays, Angelfish, Barracuda, Lionfish, Octopus, etc. It took us to the edge of the Palencar wall so we could look down into the black abyss. I have no idea how people have the balls to dive down there! :eek:

Sounds neat! My nephews might like that. They're too young to dive.

We dive with a GO Pro Hero 3 black. It's a great camera. We use a SeaLife AquaPod pole mount which gives us single handed use and an extendable pole. Use a carabiner to attach it to your BCD so you won't lose it or drop it. It doesn't have a light/strobe attachment but where we mostly dive (Cayman Islands) you don't really need it. We use a red filter that we purchased at Cathy Church in Cayman Islands. Maybe you can find them at AquaSport Scuba or Dive Shop (I seem to recall Dive Shop on Macleod sold the Go Pro accessories). Don't buy the "dome" red filter as it left a slight round reflection on our vids taken in higher light (shallower). Use a flat red filter. I also think that Caribbean Dreams dive shop on 16 avenue was going to get in a line of go pro accessories, check with them, they have awesome customer service.

The videos are mostly done by my 14 year old son. They are great quality vids. My son used to dive with an Olympus Pen in a dive housing with double strobes on a tray. I hated him not having his hands free, so I love the AquaPod. He keeps asking for a tray and strobes for the Go Pro :)

Also, we travel with our macbook. When we load the vids they are too high quality for the iphoto app to play without stalling. We drag them onto our desktop and play with VLC Media player...no troubles at all :)

Happy diving! Here fishy fishy :)

Awesome tips! Thanks! I'll call the dive shops around for a red filter. I saw some on Amazon.ca also but would prefer to buy local.

I don't currently have a GoPro. Why do you prefer this 'VLC Media Player' over the free GoPro downloadable software?

Scuba Diver Gal
10-06-2013, 09:39 PM
I've never tried to GoPro software to be honest. We were in Caymans and my son wanted to show his vids and the iPhoto app wouldn't play. I just tried to play with VLC and it worked. Don't know if the GoPro software would be better...Maybe try it out before you leave Canada. Our internet in Caymans is slow so I don't usually try new things out there, plus the night dive was calling me :)

In the past I have also called down to Cathy Church Photo shop on Grand Cayman. They are super helpful for advice on what to buy.

Just tracked down my son's GoPro bin...the red filter we are using now is a Backscatter Flip 3. I like it much better. Our first one was the Snake River Prototyping Dome...didn't like it as much. Plus the Backscatter just flips on and off without having to put it into your BCD pocket, making it easier to take off the red filter for your shallow safety stop :)

We love our GoPro Hero3. Had the 2 and it didn't work that well, kept freezing up. So we returned it on warranty and upgraded to the 3 halfway through our last dive trip in Cayman...My son uses his Hero3 for fishing, we use it for wake surfing (attach it to the back of our boat and put on a floaty back), etc. It's awesome! The GoPro has even made it into our tank (despite the fact that it's just rock right now as we are new to the hobby). I swear if my son could fit, he would put on his dive gear and be in that tank!

I am jelly of your dive trip, we have to wait a little longer :)

Scuba Diver Gal
10-06-2013, 09:42 PM
[QUOTE=Reef_Geek;849982]That settles it. I'll simply have to plan another trip to do Cozumel. It's the only logical solution. SOLD! I'm stuck in Playa del Carmen because that's where my sister's family wanted to go. I don't want to stray too far by myself travelling & lugging gear to Cozumel. I'm without a dive buddy (it's ok, I'm an OWSI) this trip and just tagging along with dive groups, whoever shows up for the day.

Check out Gardens of the Queen (Jardines de la Reina) for a future dream dive trip...Booked through Avalon. There's a 12 minute video online of when 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper, went there. You may never want to see Cozumel or Cancun again after that...

Jakegr
10-06-2013, 10:03 PM
...the cattle boat operations Cozumel is known for.

Good description of my experience with dive operations over there.

Reef_Geek
10-06-2013, 10:05 PM
I've never tried to GoPro software to be honest. We were in Caymans and my son wanted to show his vids and the iPhoto app wouldn't play. I just tried to play with VLC and it worked. Don't know if the GoPro software would be better...Maybe try it out before you leave Canada. Our internet in Caymans is slow so I don't usually try new things out there, plus the night dive was calling me :)

In the past I have also called down to Cathy Church Photo shop on Grand Cayman. They are super helpful for advice on what to buy.

Just tracked down my son's GoPro bin...the red filter we are using now is a Backscatter Flip 3. I like it much better. Our first one was the Snake River Prototyping Dome...didn't like it as much. Plus the Backscatter just flips on and off without having to put it into your BCD pocket, making it easier to take off the red filter for your shallow safety stop :)

We love our GoPro Hero3. Had the 2 and it didn't work that well, kept freezing up. So we returned it on warranty and upgraded to the 3 halfway through our last dive trip in Cayman...My son uses his Hero3 for fishing, we use it for wake surfing (attach it to the back of our boat and put on a floaty back), etc. It's awesome! The GoPro has even made it into our tank (despite the fact that it's just rock right now as we are new to the hobby). I swear if my son could fit, he would put on his dive gear and be in that tank!

I am jelly of your dive trip, we have to wait a little longer :)

I just looked up this filter. This thing is amazing! Thanks!

PS, their video has convinced me to get the GoPro for my trip. I'll just double check that this works with the new smaller Hero3+

http://vimeo.com/61244379

Slyguy00
10-07-2013, 12:20 AM
Amazing pictures!!! Wow

Delphinus
10-07-2013, 04:58 AM
I have the Backscatter flip for my GoPro. Awesome filter. Found I didn't really need it for 10' or under but HUGE difference after that.

http://www.backscatter.com/sku/bs-flip31-side-dive.lasso?gclid=CJPJqrTrg7oCFQE6Qgod8UQAvQ

You can probably pick it up at any dive shop or even down there when you go but I got mine from Backscatter themselves.

Reef_Geek
10-07-2013, 06:13 AM
I have the Backscatter flip for my GoPro. Awesome filter. Found I didn't really need it for 10' or under but HUGE difference after that.

http://www.backscatter.com/sku/bs-flip31-side-dive.lasso?gclid=CJPJqrTrg7oCFQE6Qgod8UQAvQ

You can probably pick it up at any dive shop or even down there when you go but I got mine from Backscatter themselves.

Thanks. I was just thinking the same thing. The only two filters I'd want is the Dive (20-50 feet) and Deep (50+ feet). However, getting the Flip 3.1 plus the top flip and Deep filter... comes about $5 shy of getting the kit with all 3 filters.

I was thinking of ordering from Backscatter as well if local Calgary dive shops don't have it. Just waiting to hear from them that it'll fit the new Hero3+.

mohammadali
10-07-2013, 11:06 AM
what kinda fish is that in 5th pic from the bottom ? it digging the sand it kinda looks like SW koi fish lol

Jakegr
10-07-2013, 04:19 PM
It is a species of goatfish. They use their barbells to probe the sand and dig for food.

Reef_Geek
10-11-2013, 04:28 AM
just an update on my GoPro research.

1) I contacted BackScatter about whether the flip 3.1 that is made for the Hero3 would fit the new/smaller Hero3+ and they said that they are releasing a low cost adapter within 2 weeks.

2) I won some bucks at work for employee recognition that will more than cover the new Hero3+ and a 64G micro SD card.
...and boom goes the dynamite...
I just need to wait til the local Best Buy has it in stock (on their website now).

Can't wait to try out on my December Playa del Carmen trip. Hopefully the videos will be worthy of sharing.

Treebeard
10-11-2013, 03:02 PM
I was diving with a DM in South Africa who had a GoPro3 black edition. He took some really good video but his major complaint was it would occasionally freeze. I wonder if they have sorted it out with the +.

Treebeard
11-20-2013, 07:57 PM
Did you get the Hero 3+?
Just wondering how you liked it and if you were having any issues with it. I am considering picking one up before our Bonaire trip in December.


just an update on my GoPro research.

1) I contacted BackScatter about whether the flip 3.1 that is made for the Hero3 would fit the new/smaller Hero3+ and they said that they are releasing a low cost adapter within 2 weeks.

2) I won some bucks at work for employee recognition that will more than cover the new Hero3+ and a 64G micro SD card.
...and boom goes the dynamite...
I just need to wait til the local Best Buy has it in stock (on their website now).

Can't wait to try out on my December Playa del Carmen trip. Hopefully the videos will be worthy of sharing.

Reef_Geek
11-20-2013, 11:49 PM
Did you get the Hero 3+?
Just wondering how you liked it and if you were having any issues with it. I am considering picking one up before our Bonaire trip in December.

Not having any issues, liking the Hero3+

I've found that although it does pretty high resolution shooting (up to 4K resolution), the best setting I've found is still 1080 at 60 frames per second (fps). At the highest resolution, it will only do 12 fps so it's choppy. Then there's a bunch of options in between... 48 fps, 36 fps etc etc... but 1080 is still HD and very good at 60 fps. at 60 fps, you can do some neat slow motion in editing.


The GoPro free software for video editing on their website is pretty slow and cumbersome, but if you can be patient, it works. Haven't tried any other software yet, I'm sure they are out there.

I haven't used it much for still photos. My friend got one, and he's pretty displeased with still photos from it, but let's face it, you don't buy a GoPro for still photos. That's what an SLR is for.

I have not yet gone diving with it. My trip is in early Dec. Looking forward to diving with it then. I ordered the Flip 3.1 combo from BackScatter directly from their website. They now include an adapter to fit the smaller Hero3+ vs Hero3. Have not yet received it, but don't expect any issues. The dive shop in Calgary up on 16 Ave is getting dive filters, but not the BackScatter Flip version... they sell much cheaper versions the snap on the front... for about $40 bucks or so.

I have not had any battery issues. The 'as promised' better battery life on the Hero3+ seems to be good... I haven't found the need to change batteries excessively. I disable the WiFi, the LED, the sound (pressing buttons), the Auto low light fps adjustment... to get good battery life. I got a 32G micro SD card and at 1080 (60fps) that's 1.5 hrs of video footage. I recently also bought a 64G card just for my upcoming trip, and that's 3 hrs of video at 1080 60fps.

Hope this helps.

Reef_Geek
11-20-2013, 11:51 PM
I was diving with a DM in South Africa who had a GoPro3 black edition. He took some really good video but his major complaint was it would occasionally freeze. I wonder if they have sorted it out with the +.

I wonder what memory card he was using... for write speed. The GoPro Hero3+ recommends 'class 10" micro sd cards. I got a class 10 32G micro SD (SanDisc) from Best Buy for about $40, no issues... did not have to get the uber 'extreme' speed (and uber expensive) kind.

Treebeard
11-21-2013, 12:32 AM
That definitely helps.
Doesn't the old Hero 3 also do 1080p at 60 fps? I went to Bestbuy yesterday and they had zero Heros in stock of any kind but I think Amazon still sells the old model. But the + supposedly resolves the battery issues.
Looking forward to seeing your videos when you get back.

Reef_Geek
11-21-2013, 01:04 AM
That definitely helps.
Doesn't the old Hero 3 also do 1080p at 60 fps? I went to Bestbuy yesterday and they had zero Heros in stock of any kind but I think Amazon still sells the old model. But the + supposedly resolves the battery issues.
Looking forward to seeing your videos when you get back.

I didn't really bother to research the older Hero3... there's only about 80 bucks difference (new) when you're talking $370 vs $450... the magnitude of spend is about half a grand after taxes and accessories. 80 bucks on that scale is just like buying an extra accessory. Plenty of kijiji ads of people selling their used Hero3's though, I'm guessing they're upgrading to the +

Reef Pilot
11-22-2013, 12:07 AM
Can't wait to try out on my December Playa del Carmen trip. Hopefully the videos will be worthy of sharing.
I'll be near Akumal (Grande Bahia resort) during the 1st week in Dec. Hope to find some decent snorkeling nearby. Will be trying out my new Olympus TG-2 camera underwater.

Reef_Geek
11-22-2013, 12:22 AM
I'll be near Akumal (Grande Bahia resort) during the 1st week in Dec. Hope to find some decent snorkeling nearby. Will be trying out my new Olympus TG-2 camera underwater.

That's funny, I'll be in Playa del Carmen at one of the Paradisus the first week of Dec... there must be a sale to Canadians or something for that week...

Reef Pilot
11-22-2013, 12:31 AM
That's funny, I'll be in Playa del Carmen at one of the Paradisus the first week of Dec... there must be a sale to Canadians or something for that week...
Haha, yeah, it's called expedia.ca (via Westjet).... We're going up with friends. They can't go up until the Sat. But we are going on the Fri (Nov 29) and saving $300 over their price, but get to stay an extra day. You really have to try all the combinations online to get the best deal...

Treebeard
11-22-2013, 01:19 AM
Akumal Bay and Half Moon Bay are not far away. Akumal Bay has lots of turtles but can get very crowded. If you get there early before 9:00 its not so bad. I would not be surprised if your resort runs a shuttle to Akumal Bay. Many of the larger resorts do and it really agitates the people that stay right on Akumal Bay, hence the reason we always stay in Half Moon Bay. Half Moon Bay has no crowds because it is mainly condos. There are lots of fish and coral in Half Moon Bay but not as many turtles. If there is not shuttle to Akumal Bay a cab ride would probably only be a few bucks.

I'll be near Akumal (Grande Bahia resort) during the 1st week in Dec. Hope to find some decent snorkeling nearby. Will be trying out my new Olympus TG-2 camera underwater.

Reef Pilot
11-22-2013, 01:24 AM
Akumal Bay and Half Moon Bay are not far away. Akumal Bay has lots of turtles but can get very crowded. If you get there early before 9:00 its not so bad. I would not be surprised if your resort runs a shuttle to Akumal Bay. Many of the larger resorts do and it really agitates the people that stay right on Akumal Bay, hence the reason we always stay in Half Moon Bay. Half Moon Bay has no crowds because it is mainly condos. There are lots of fish and coral in Half Moon Bay but not as many turtles. If there is not shuttle to Akumal Bay a cab ride would probably only be a few bucks.
Thanks, that's what we heard, too. At our resort, apparently you have to go out about 400 metres to the reef, and depending on surf conditions, might be a bit rough. And I don't want to get run over by some speed boat.

Jakegr
11-24-2013, 08:53 PM
I'm going back January 11-18th... unfortunately I'll probably only be able to dive a couple of times this year. I'm going to do the Bullsharks again... I was also wondering if anyone has heard of a Whale shark trip near Playa?

Treebeard
11-24-2013, 11:24 PM
Whale shark viewing season runs from June to August. The two most popular places to go for short boat trips to see them are Isla Mujeres and Holbox. We went to Isla Mujeres in late August and swam with 20 or 30 of them. It was about an hour boat ride out with a stop at Isla Contoy on the way back for lunch and more snorkelling.
If you decide to do a summer trip sometime plan for 3 or 4 days stay on Isla Mujeres. It's a nice little island, golf cart is the main mode of transportation for tourists and there is some very nice diving. You can also book whale shark trips from PC but it would make for a long day because you have to go all the way back to Cancun and jump on a boat with at least another 1.5 hour boat ride out to find the sharks.

I'm going back January 11-18th... unfortunately I'll probably only be able to dive a couple of times this year. I'm going to do the Bullsharks again... I was also wondering if anyone has heard of a Whale shark trip near Playa?

Reef_Geek
11-30-2013, 04:13 PM
That definitely helps.
Doesn't the old Hero 3 also do 1080p at 60 fps? I went to Bestbuy yesterday and they had zero Heros in stock of any kind but I think Amazon still sells the old model. But the + supposedly resolves the battery issues.
Looking forward to seeing your videos when you get back.

I just got BestBuy's email. Their Dec 1st cyber online sale has the Hero3+ for $399.99. Good deal.

Treebeard
11-30-2013, 05:26 PM
Thanks for the tip but will have to pass. We decided to get a strobe for our dive camera instead. Heading up to Aquasport today to order it and pick up my brand spanking new nitrox cert card. :biggrin:


I just got BestBuy's email. Their Dec 1st cyber online sale has the Hero3+ for $399.99. Good deal.

Reef_Geek
11-30-2013, 10:55 PM
Thanks for the tip but will have to pass. We decided to get a strobe for our dive camera instead. Heading up to Aquasport today to order it and pick up my brand spanking new nitrox cert card. :biggrin:

Nice! I used to dive pressed steel 100 cubic foot tanks. At 80 ft depth on Nitrox, me and my buddy used to stay down for 45 mins or so... while everyone else who dove with air were already back on the boat and getting sea sick waiting for us to surface. Now YOU can be THAT guy too. :)

Reef_Geek
12-05-2013, 03:06 AM
alrighty... I am broadcasting from the Paradisus in Playa del Carmen (PDC) sipping on apple martinis and snacking on cerviche. I arrived today into Cancun international, got to PDC via ADO bus which dropped me right into the middle of the tourist area... so I thought... hey, why not walk around and see if I can arrange for my dive charters before checking into my resort? I had intended to dive with Dive Mike as some other CanReefers recommended and they had been very good and responsive to some of my email questions. However, I was really intrigued with checking out Cozumel if not for the hassle of the independent travel to Cozumel. A friend of mine found an operation called Tank-HA out of PDC (maybe someone here mentioned too) whose boat takes you right to Cozumel dive sites direct from their shop in PDC. So I thought... hey, let's check out Cozumel with these guys. Well, I walked up to them today, luggage in tow and all, and they set me up with 2x 2tank charters of local PDC dives, 1x 1 tank bull shark charter, 1x 2tank Cozumel charter... all for $315 USD. So, I'll let everyone know how this charter was. Hopefully also have some GoPro videos at the end of this trip.

Treebeard
12-05-2013, 03:22 AM
Great! Looking forward to seeing some diving photos and videos. Especially wondering about the trips to Coz from PDC. Thinking it could be a long bumpy ride! :biggrin:
My wife has packed our dive gear but still 23 days until departure.

Reef Pilot
12-09-2013, 10:04 PM
Just got back from there. Stayed at the Bahia Principe Tulum resort. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed. Was expecting to find some nice snorkeling close by, but no joy with that. In fact, the reefs all around were basically a coral graveyard. You can see that there was once lots of SPS, but only saw a few softies and LPS. The SPS were mostly all dead. I suspect the resort and beach development is what killed them, with probably phosphates and chemicals leaching out into the ocean.

Plus you had to go out quite a ways, and the winds were up all the time, making the trek to the reefs and snorkeling in the waves downright dangerous at times. Good thing I had good flippers, and other than getting quite tired, I managed not to scrape myself on the reefs. A friend, who was with me had smaller flippers, and he had a really hard time. We only did it a couple times and gave up after that.

We also made a trip to Akumal, but it was no better there. Winds were high as well, and a guy on a kayak (assume a lifeguard) wouldn't let us go past the outer buoys. So we didn't see much there either. Lots of turtles though, and also saw a big ray.

I guess you need to go on a diving excursion to see the really good stuff there. We normally go to Hawaii (Maui) and I guess I got spoiled there with great snorkeling all over the place, including right beside our hotel.

hillegom
12-10-2013, 12:17 AM
I went out to the reef at Akumel. About 2 yrs ago and there wasn't a lifeguard then luckily. A bit of a swim and we had to wait while the boats passed, but definately lots to see. Saw a few eels sticking out of the sand and a basking shark. A lot of coral and fish.

Reef Pilot
12-10-2013, 12:21 AM
What kind of corals? Any nice looking SPS?

hillegom
12-10-2013, 12:29 AM
Because I do not have any sps, they were all nice looking lol

Reef Pilot
12-10-2013, 12:42 AM
Well, at Bahia they obviously used to have a lot of SPS, as you could still see the dead skeletons. We had hoped to get out to the reefs at Akumal, but the winds and rough seas just didn't allow. And the water was also very turbid, which I guess was understandable with the rough water.

I guess our timing was just off. What times of the year do the winds die down? It was blowing the whole time we were there.

In Maui, the trade winds would pick up in the afternoons, but nothing like this. And there are more protected coves where you don't have to battle the surf. I paddle boarded there, too, even in the afternoons sometimes. But didn't see anyone on a paddle board the whole time we were in Mexico. Just a few kite boarders (they like the wind).

Jakegr
12-10-2013, 03:56 AM
I think there are areas in the Mayan Riviera that have pretty good diving, but overall I completely agree Maui is a lot better. There are so many amazing dives and snorkel spots there.

Treebeard
12-10-2013, 02:55 PM
Apparently you have never dove Cozumel. :biggrin:

I think there are areas in the Mayan Riviera that have pretty good diving, but overall I completely agree Maui is a lot better. There are so many amazing dives and snorkel spots there.

Reef_Geek
12-10-2013, 02:59 PM
I am writing from my room at the Paradisus resort in Playa del Carmen (PDC) procrastinating until I have to head home to Calgary in about 30 mins.

Had a decent week of diving. I went on 7 dives with Tank-HA out of PDC. Good operation and I'd recommend them for anyone staying around PDC, very professional, and... very important... fast boats (big twin outboards). This meant they could get to the further remote spots and get you off the water sooner if you're prone to seasickness. They also have slightly larger boats.

First dives were supposed to be local PDC reefs, but I arrived just after a few days of rough seas... PDC vis was poor, and in fact, my first scheduled dives were cancelled due to the authorities closing the port to small crafts. So... my first 2 dives were in cenotes. They are worth while if you haven't dove cenotes before... pretty neat... but you can get bored of them after trying them... just rocks and caverns. Next, I did the bull shark dive (single tank). That was neat, they came very close to me (within 1 meter). I also like that Tank-HA does not feed the sharks. One of the shop guys was bitten before (good guy). You can ask him about it. But the shark dive is pretty safe if you don't feed them. They come up to you, see/smell if you have food, and keep moving on. My next 2 dives were in Cozumel. Tank-HA is the only PDC dive shop what takes you directly from the PDC beach to the dive sites in Cozumel and back. These two were my favourite dives of the whole trip. If I come back, I think I'll look for a resort in Cozumel instead of PDC. My last two dives were PDC local reefs, they were my two least favourite dives of the trip. There were some cool formations, but due to the week of rough seas, PDC visibility was really bad (15-20 feet). Cozumel was very clear despite the week of rough seas... and the surface was rough on the ride over from PDC, but was flat once you get to Cozumel... weird how the currents work. I spent yesterday off gassing to fly.... so I took an excursion to Tulum and a sea turtle sea grass bed snorkeling tour in Akumal. Yup, I'm one of those non-local vacationer that crashed Akumal bay. It was really neat though, I've done a lot of diving/snorkeling and it's not too many places where you can snorkel within 100 yards of the beach for 30 mins and see half a dozen sea turtles just grazing and ignoring the snorkelers. Also saw 3 or 4 stingrays, one spotted eagle ray, and a group of cuttlefish. My nephews really enjoyed it, and I think my sister & brother in law also liked it... it was their first snorkel trip in 10 years since their first time on honeymoon.

Anyway... I should finish packing. Back to the great white north... to go through my GoPro videos and hours of editing by the fireplace. I'll post videos whenever I get around to them...

Treebeard
12-10-2013, 03:16 PM
Take my advice and miss your flight. Not to pleasant around these parts lately. :biggrin:

I am writing from my room at the Paradisus resort in Playa del Carmen (PDC) procrastinating until I have to head home to Calgary in about 30 mins.

Had a decent week of diving. I went on 7 dives with Tank-HA out of PDC. Good operation and I'd recommend them for anyone staying around PDC, very professional, and... very important... fast boats (big twin outboards). This meant they could get to the further remote spots and get you off the water sooner if you're prone to seasickness. They also have slightly larger boats.

First dives were supposed to be local PDC reefs, but I arrived just after a few days of rough seas... PDC vis was poor, and in fact, my first scheduled dives were cancelled due to the authorities closing the port to small crafts. So... my first 2 dives were in cenotes. They are worth while if you haven't dove cenotes before... pretty neat... but you can get bored of them after trying them... just rocks and caverns. Next, I did the bull shark dive (single tank). That was neat, they came very close to me (within 1 meter). I also like that Tank-HA does not feed the sharks. One of the shop guys was bitten before (good guy). You can ask him about it. But the shark dive is pretty safe if you don't feed them. They come up to you, see/smell if you have food, and keep moving on. My next 2 dives were in Cozumel. Tank-HA is the only PDC dive shop what takes you directly from the PDC beach to the dive sites in Cozumel and back. These two were my favourite dives of the whole trip. If I come back, I think I'll look for a resort in Cozumel instead of PDC. My last two dives were PDC local reefs, they were my two least favourite dives of the trip. There were some cool formations, but due to the week of rough seas, PDC visibility was really bad (15-20 feet). Cozumel was very clear despite the week of rough seas... and the surface was rough on the ride over from PDC, but was flat once you get to Cozumel... weird how the currents work. I spent yesterday off gassing to fly.... so I took an excursion to Tulum and a sea turtle sea grass bed snorkeling tour in Akumal. Yup, I'm one of those non-local vacationer that crashed Akumal bay. It was really neat though, I've done a lot of diving/snorkeling and it's not too many places where you can snorkel within 100 yards of the beach for 30 mins and see half a dozen sea turtles just grazing and ignoring the snorkelers. Also saw 3 or 4 stingrays, one spotted eagle ray, and a group of cuttlefish. My nephews really enjoyed it, and I think my sister & brother in law also liked it... it was their first snorkel trip in 10 years since their first time on honeymoon.

Anyway... I should finish packing. Back to the great white north... to go through my GoPro videos and hours of editing by the fireplace. I'll post videos whenever I get around to them...

Reef_Geek
12-11-2013, 03:16 PM
Take my advice and miss your flight. Not to pleasant around these parts lately. :biggrin:

you were right. I should have missed my flight.

Reef_Geek
12-23-2013, 06:51 PM
Still editing GoPro videos. Here's the first one.

GoPro Hero3+ at 1080 resolution, 60 fps. Backscatter 3.1 deep filter.

Depth at 70-80 feet. Off Playa del Carmen Bull Shark dive with Tank-Ha (dive shop)

They were circling pretty close at 6 minutes into the video.

Recommend you click on the settings wheel at the bottom right of player and set the quality to 780 or 1080 HD, as the visibility wasn't exceptional.

http://youtu.be/BSV6f3cmQ-M

Reef_Geek
12-24-2013, 04:30 AM
here's two dives on the reefs off Playa del Carmen, diving with Tank-Ha.

Visibility wasn't great, not too many large animals. Some neat formations, would have been nice if visibility was better.

Shot with GoPro Hero3+ at 1080 HD 60 fps. Recommend changing the Settings wheel at the bottom right of player to 1080 quality.

First dive was about 105 feet, using deep filter (backscatter flip 3.1). Second dive was about 30 feet and less, no filter used.

http://youtu.be/wiMgwffKarA

Reef_Geek
12-25-2013, 11:55 AM
This is Cozumel!!!

Tank-Ha is the only dive shop (that I found) out of Playa del Carmen that will go direct with their boat from the playa to Cozumel. Very fast boat! We went to this reef at the southern tip of Cozumel... few boats there, I assume because of the time it takes to get there. Lots of cool swim throughs and columns.

Deepest depth was about 113 feet with the bulk of the time at 90 feet.

I was going to take that sea turtle and nurse shark home... but then I thought... that's crazy, my wife will never let me get a bigger tank.

One of the last clip has a giant Goliath Grouper (previously called Jew Fish) and a giant Parrot fish. Notice how far off they are (incredible visibility)

Click on the settings wheel and change the quality to 1080 HD.
http://youtu.be/Li0Y4WMJOmI

Reef_Geek
12-25-2013, 09:19 PM
This is Cozumel!!!

Tank-Ha is the only dive shop (that I found) out of Playa del Carmen that will go direct with their boat from the playa to Cozumel. Very fast boat! We went to this reef at the southern tip of Cozumel... few boats there, I assume because of the time it takes to get there. Lots of cool swim throughs and columns.

Deepest depth was about 113 feet with the bulk of the time at 90 feet.

I was going to take that sea turtle and nurse shark home... but then I thought... that's crazy, my wife will never let me get a bigger tank.

One of the last clip has a giant Goliath Grouper (previously called Jew Fish) and a giant Parrot fish. Notice how far off they are (incredible visibility)

Click on the settings wheel and change the quality to 1080 HD.
http://youtu.be/Li0Y4WMJOmI


apparently the music by the Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime" kept this from being played. Usually YouTube let's it go if you simply acknowledge the third party content. So here's the new link with a change in tunes... to ZBB!

http://youtu.be/Llml0Jo2MjU

Reef_Geek
12-26-2013, 12:27 AM
here's another cozumel dive

http://youtu.be/67l9BtEQYS0

Reef_Geek
12-26-2013, 03:10 AM
here's all sea turtles right off the beach at Akumal, snorkeling with my nephews

http://youtu.be/4bSNwr7t5s4

sumpfinfishe
01-24-2014, 09:35 PM
Well i was lucky enough to stumble onto this post!
I haven't been to Playa del Carmen for some years-around 12 to be exact.:sad:
A buddy and myself traveled there for many trips usually in november at the tail end the hurricane season. We always stayed at one of Playa's original divers hotels(Hotel Treetops), which i think is no longer there after the big hurricane years back. It was one block from the beach, one block to Tank-Ha, and directly across from Dive Mikes shop at 5th an 8th.
We logged many trips with both shops and found them both to be very safe, professional, and affordable outfits.

It's very sad to hear that Playa's local reefs have been damaged or completely died off.There use to be two really great reefs, one in Playa at Coco beach, which i believe now has a large resort facing that reef. The other reef was at Paamul beach which is in between Playa and Akumal. Both of these two reefs were filled with amazing life the last time i was there!(2002).
Both reefs were thriving with hundreds of varieties of fish and coral, from large angels, schools of powder blues, damsels, sea turtles, sponges, montipori, gorgonian, acropora, to urchins and lobster. We would swim out about 1000m to both of these local reefs with a float bag with water and food, complete with snorkel gear we would spend three or four hours before beaching ourselves for a rest. The life on these reefs was simply amazing and its hard in some ways to believe that they are now no longer. The last time there we did notice however that at both reefs instead of having a single anchor point, there were many more submerged anchor points and also anchor damage was effecting the reef as well. I'm sure the storms have taken there toll on these shallow reefs as well.

I will be taking my mother for a much needed break to either Tulum or Akumal in May, so if anyone knows of some local reefs to snorkel at, further down the coast this info would be greatly appreciated.:biggrin:

Treebeard
01-24-2014, 11:41 PM
There is lots of good diving in Akumal still and the snorkeling is not bad in Half Moon Bay. Consider renting a condo on Half Moon Bay. There is also a small hotel. Check out LocoGringo.com for lots of good info.

Well i was lucky enough to stumble onto this post!
I haven't been to Playa del Carmen for some years-around 12 to be exact.:sad:
A buddy and myself traveled there for many trips usually in november at the tail end the hurricane season. We always stayed at one of Playa's original divers hotels(Hotel Treetops), which i think is no longer there after the big hurricane years back. It was one block from the beach, one block to Tank-Ha, and directly across from Dive Mikes shop at 5th an 8th.
We logged many trips with both shops and found them both to be very safe, professional, and affordable outfits.

It's very sad to hear that Playa's local reefs have been damaged or completely died off.There use to be two really great reefs, one in Playa at Coco beach, which i believe now has a large resort facing that reef. The other reef was at Paamul beach which is in between Playa and Akumal. Both of these two reefs were filled with amazing life the last time i was there!(2002).
Both reefs were thriving with hundreds of varieties of fish and coral, from large angels, schools of powder blues, damsels, sea turtles, sponges, montipori, gorgonian, acropora, to urchins and lobster. We would swim out about 1000m to both of these local reefs with a float bag with water and food, complete with snorkel gear we would spend three or four hours before beaching ourselves for a rest. The life on these reefs was simply amazing and its hard in some ways to believe that they are now no longer. The last time there we did notice however that at both reefs instead of having a single anchor point, there were many more submerged anchor points and also anchor damage was effecting the reef as well. I'm sure the storms have taken there toll on these shallow reefs as well.

I will be taking my mother for a much needed break to either Tulum or Akumal in May, so if anyone knows of some local reefs to snorkel at, further down the coast this info would be greatly appreciated.:biggrin:

sumpfinfishe
01-24-2014, 11:47 PM
Thanks Treebeard
Im looking at akumal and also tulum, and no diving on this trip, prefer a smaller resort with 200 or less rooms.

Reef_Geek
01-25-2014, 01:51 AM
my last trip was so terrible... I decided to rope my wife into going back with me at the end of March. This time I'm staying at Akumal Beach Resort. It doesn't look fancy, but last time I was in Akumal Bay.... I really liked how quaint it was with the amazing snorkelling right off the beach (within a 45 min snorkel, encountered 6 sea turtles, pod of cuttlefish, 3 or 4 stingrays, 1 eagle ray). All we care about is beach time and snorkel time. I'll try out the (only) dive shop in Akumal on a dive or two. This was actually a last minute decision to squeeze into a trip to a friend's wedding in Florida. Ha! Headed to Florida by way of Akumal! Really, who needs to hang out among all the wedding drama in the week ahead anyway?

sumpfinfishe
01-25-2014, 02:04 AM
Thanks for the info reef geek, its a real toss between akumal an tulum but akumal beach resort is looking really good the last few days!

Reef Pilot
01-25-2014, 03:36 AM
Went there in beginning of Dec, about same time as Reef Geek. Was very disappointed with the snorkeling. Lots of turtles, but not much for corals, and seas were rough. Stayed at the Grande Bahia, and corals there just off the beach were mostly dead skeletons and branch rubble. I think all the sediment from the resort and beach area development probably killed them.

Guess, I've been spoiled by Maui, which is where we usually go. Great snorkeling everywhere there.

Reef_Geek
01-25-2014, 04:13 AM
yeah, there wasn't much in terms of reefs for snorkeling. When I was there in Dec, the best diving was in cozumel. Lots of good stuff, especially the deeper dives 80-100ft, but my wife doesn't dive so in March we'll settle for sea turtles... she's got a thing for them (she did a volunteer stint for Pretoma in Costa Rica, see http://www.pretoma.org/).

Here's my video from my favourite dive (Cozumel) from December.

http://youtu.be/Llml0Jo2MjU

Here's my video from snorkeling off Akumal with sea turtles... it's just sea grass beds there mostly, and some reef remnants. It's the sea grass bed that attracts the turtles.

http://youtu.be/4bSNwr7t5s4

Went there in beginning of Dec, about same time as Reef Geek. Was very disappointed with the snorkeling. Lots of turtles, but not much for corals, and seas were rough. Stayed at the Grande Bahia, and corals there just off the beach were mostly dead skeletons and branch rubble. I think all the sediment from the resort and beach area development probably killed them.

Guess, I've been spoiled by Maui, which is where we usually go. Great snorkeling everywhere there.

Reef_Geek
04-16-2014, 03:59 PM
Just came back from staying at Akumal Beach Resort. (resort is only 3 stars... but beach and location... 6 out of 5!)

Great snorkeling right off the beach there. Reefs start 30 feet from front of the resort, sea grass bed just a few hundred yards to the north where sea turtles and sting rays graze (yes, I know rays aren't herbivores). I'm guessing that from the beach to about a km out is the reef flat and the fore reef is just beyond the breakers (best reached by boat).

Here's some photos with just my Canon point-n-shoot in an Ikelite housing.

https://scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/10156048_10152398013142953_240409283675592645_n.jp g

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Co-op hunting:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t1.0-9/984034_10152398014312953_4840631192213816213_n.jpg

With such great snorkeling that I could do with the wife, I only snuck off for one dive with Akumal Dive Center (about a 4 minute walk down the beach to shop) for a cave dive in the "Taj Mahal Cenote"

Here's a video with my GoPro
http://youtu.be/_HeqGUIgs_c

There's bats at 3:16 in the video. Be sure to click on the wheel at the bottom right of the player to set resolution to 1080p for HD.

http://www.aluxdiver.com/cenotes-riviera-maya/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/TAJMA_HA.jpg