Thursday, December 4, 2014

Vacation Part VI: Costa Maya

Day 6: Costa Maya

Finally... it is day 6 and I am just now getting a picture of the whole ship!!!  When we are out to sea, the ship doesn't feel as big but when it is sitting at the dock, it is massive:)  

The pier at Costa Maya is set up perfectly for Carnival Sunshine handstand pics!!!  In this particular picture I am showing off my awesome pink fins attached to my new Osprey pack!!!

And check out the awesome water slides!!!

Destination of the Day
Costa Maya, Mexico

The weather is still not great but thankfully our shore excursions were not cancelled.  We were definitely happy to be on land after our extra day at sea!!!

Even though the sun is not out, the sky is still cool!!!

Activity of the Day
Scuba Diving

Today will be my first ocean dive ever... salt water, boat entries, currents and drifts... oh my:)  I was both excited and nervous!  I wish the weather was a little nicer but at least if it decides to rain we will be doing an activity where we are already wet.  

After filling out some paperwork with our guide, Loli, we all boarded this little straw roof vehicle in the picture above and drove about 15 minutes out to the dive site.  Costa Maya, really called Mahahual, is located at the very bottom and very narrow part of Mexico.  There is only one main highway, if you can even call it a highway, and they don't have hot water!  

The reason I mention hot water is because it happened to be a cold day and most of it was spent shivering so the thought of not being able to warm up in a hot shower left an impression.  The weather is probably rarely this cold... it looks like I'm smiling but really my teeth are chattering in this picture!  

The warmest part of the day was actually being in the water and thankfully it didn't take long getting in.  All of our gear was set up for us so all we really needed to do was get out to the actual dive site, put on our gear (mask, snorkel, fins, weight belts, and BCDs) and do our buddy checks! Since this was our first open water dive from a boat, Loli demonstrated the backflip entry, and then we were good to go.  The backflip entry wasn't as scary as it looks and it felt nice being in the water!  

Once in the water, I quickly tested some of my skills like clearing my mask before we started the dive.  P.S. Salt water burns your eyes... something I did not experience on my test dives since they were done in fresh water... Ouch!  I tightened my mask for the second dive and life was much better:)

Here are a few of the pictures that I captured with my GoPro Hero 3+... unfortunately because of the weather the visibility wasn't great.  I was hoping for vibrant Caribbean colors but no such luck.  There were also some pretty intense surges so I didn't dare get too close to the bottom for handstand pictures... getting catapulted into the coral reef wasn't on my agenda.  It was neat however to feel and see the group move in unison... like riding waves in a wave pool.  

Most of my first dive was spent practicing my skills and focusing on breathing... ok so I was way nervous but my second dive was much better.  I think my favorite part of the whole experience was not the things that we got to see but was the fact that we could stay under water for so long and swim so easily!  For my next dive, I think I want to dive with dolphins... most of the fish that I swam near on this dive, swam as fast as they could in the opposite direction.  I want more of an interaction with the sea life!!!

Giving the "OK" sign with my buddy close by

A Blue "Dory" Fish


Thanks to John Kiser and my PADI training, my first open water dive experience was a success!!!  And thanks to Loli and everyone at Dreamtime for taking such good care of us on this rainy, windy and cold day!!!

Food of the Day
Thanksgiving Dinner on a Ship

Happy Thanksgiving... and it's not a real Thanksgiving without turkey so thank you to Carnival for having a turkey dinner option!!!  It wasn't quite my moms but then again, I haven't met anyone that makes it as good as my mom:)  I missed her stuffing the most... I like a savory stuffing and tonight's turkey dinner had a sweet stuffing.  I did however thoroughly enjoy the sweet potato!!!

Pumpkin Soup

Turkey entree with Cranberry Stuffing and Sweet Potato


Lava Cake

Lime Sherbert

Favorite Fun of the Day
Room Service

Since our vacation is almost over, we decided to order room service since there was no extra charge and what better to get than CHEESECAKE and COOKIES!!!  The menu was limited but it was still fun to know that we could order food at any point and it would be brought to our room at no extra cost:)

More Fun
Towel Animals, Chocolates and "Funtimes"

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