I helped Jeraldo with an intro dive for three Americans. One of them was a gum-chewing, slightly obnoxious teenage girl who didn’t seem to pay much attention during the briefings. What was cool though, was seeing the change in her after she’d finished her first dive.

She’d suddenly gone from an obnoxious teenager with attitude to an amazed and grateful first time diver.  It was great.

Took my bike for another lap of the island and bonked because I didn’t have enough fluids.




Had to pass a physical abilities test today which reminded me of how bad a swimmer I am. The four hundred metre swim was a rude shock to my arms. Then an eight hundred metre swim with mask, snorkel and fins. Then treading water for fifteen minutes, the last two minutes with my hands above the water. We suited up and hopped in the water where I had to demonstrate a bunch of BCD skills, including swapping all my diving gear with Jeraldo while the both of us are taking it in turns to breathe with the one regulator (BCD stands for Buoyancy Control Device and is the vest that is worn to maintain buoyancy under and on top of the water).

As we drove back to town, Jeraldo told me that I’ve almost finished the course. I’d better get started on some serious thinking about doing a short Cuba trip.Not much new on at the Cinema so I watched Constantine with Keanu again.



I got my first tip today! First time in my life. I was meant to dedicate the day to studying but called Alberto around lunch time and he invited me down to the beach to help with some intro divers. There were three cute young American girls and one guy, all from New York and all of them in their early twenties. We began with a shore dive to teach them their skills and then took them on a small tour of the nearby reef. One of the girls couldn’t control her buoyancy and kept floating towards the surface so I held on to her hand for the rest of the dive.

We did two more dives on more colourful reefs and were rewarded with another longer sighting of an eagle ray. It swam very slowly in front of us for two minutes and then floated out of sight over the edge of the reef. When I was packing up the gear, one of the girls asked me how long I’d been here. I told her. “Two weeks and you’ve already bought a bike!?” she exclaimed, looking at Stef leaning against Alberto’s clapped-out Chevy. I explained I’d kind of ridden from San Francisco and they all thought that was cool. Then they tried to hand me a handful of money. I was totally surprised and kindly refused it, telling them I didn’t need it. “We want you to have it” they explained.

I thank them and they wandered off to wait for their taxi back to town. Soon Alberto comes over and tells me he has a received a tip from them, he’s got a fifty peso bill in his hand. “What we normally do”, he says, “is put all the tips together and split it, so I owe you twenty five pesos”. I laugh and kid him, ”They obviously liked me a lot more than you” and show him my handful of three hundred pesos. So we split the money and I notice that the Americans are watching us and I wonder if maybe they had meant for me to have all of the three hundred. But I didn’t mind. I was stoked. It wasn’t about the money at all. It was the fact that for the first time in my life I’ve performed a service that someone appreciated and been given immediate credit for it. Sounds bad to say that the money made it feel more appreciated than just a simple thank you, but it’s an unpaid job so it did help in paying for some of my diving.

I’ve realised that part of my responsibility as a dive master is to convince any good looking girl in a bikini that the water is warm enough to dive without a wetsuit.



On a good dive here in Cozumel I am always reminded of the worlds that Dr Seuss created in the books I read as a child.


The roof of my Cozumel apartment

The roof of my Cozumel apartment



Met my CPR and first aid refresher course instructor today. Unfortunately he isn’t able to start until next week which means I have to hang around for almost another two weeks. There goes any ideas about Cuba. It may be just as well, it will be Easter this weekend and will probably be almost impossible to find accommodation unless I’d booked it in advance.

Oh well… The ideas of future trips are already playing themselves out in my head. I did have the crazy idea of riding from London back home to Perth, Australia but that might be a little mad. I think I may fly straight to Cuba from London and then continue the ride South from there. Next time I might pack a little lighter, but I doubt it, I rarely learn from my mistakes. It’ll be exciting to have these ideas bubbling about in my head for the next few years while I’m working in London.

I studied some more today, I’m more than ready for the exam. I rode South of town about fifteen miles to see the ruins at El Cedral.

The ruins were absolutely unimpressive but I enjoyed riding around the very quiet little village that surrounded the ruins. That was my exercise for the day. I’m wondering whether I can get to ten thousand miles at this rate. I have three hundred and sixty miles left in approximately twelve days.

Alberto came over later in the evening and I talked to him about going over to the mainland to see the Tulum ruinas and to do some diving in the freshwater cenotes. The cenotes are a network of underground rivers that were once used, when they were only half full, as a means of transportation by the Mayans. Cenote diving is different to cave diving as there will be visible sunlight at least every sixty metres. This means that divers do not have to be specially certified to experience them. Alberto told me about all the places to camp near Tulum, how to sneak into the ruins for free like the locals and gave me a contact for the cenote diving. Alberto tells me he’s very tired of the whole diving thing and wants to get his paragliding instructor license as soon as he can.



Helped Alberto with an introductory dive today with two Americans from Los Angeles and a cute Japanese girl in a pink string bikini named Sumiko.  At one point during the dive Sumiko started floating to the surface so I was sent to retrieve her and she held tightly to my hand for the rest of the dive.  Damn, this is a good job. We were lucky enough to see three moray eels slivering about on the ocean floor.  This was exciting as normally you only ever see them poking their heads out from holes between rocks.  For some reason, the moray eel reminded me of how hungry I was as yesterday while riding around on my bike I had spotted the only sushi restaurant in town.

I decided what the heck, and gave Sumiko the international underwater hand signals for “Do you want to go eat sushi with me later on?” A horrified expression crossed her face.  Maybe I’d actually signalled eating sushi with a knife and fork rather than chopsticks, or maybe she just doesn’t like eel. Or maybe it was because the eel had now slithered directly below us.  I just hope it’s not like the deadly sea snakes in the Philippines that have to go up for air.  In any case I took her horrified expression as a rejection of my invitation.  She didn’t let go of my hand for the entire dive so I didn’t feel too bad.



Almost three weeks ago I booked my flight home to Australia with a travel agent on the internet. This morning I rang the airline direct to ask them for gluten-free meals, only to discover that my flight had been cancelled two and a half weeks ago. I emailed the travel agent only to be given a one line apology and suggesting I rebook the flight. Meanwhile the price of the flight had risen seven hundred dollars.

I found a local travel agent down town and managed to book similar flights for just a hundred dollars more than my original booking. I will arrive in Perth forty-eight hours after getting to the Cozumel airport.

Had my dive master exam and managed to pass. Woohoo!



The big news on the island at the moment is the death of one of Yucatan’s richest men. He was killed yesterday by the engine propeller of his own massive boat after coming up from a dive.

He owned Xcaret, a Disney-like natural paradise park on the mainland. He apparently pushed his wife away to safety before being tragically cut to pieces.

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