Before we came to Cabo San Lucas, I knew I wanted to go scuba diving. While Cabo isn’t known for diving, there are several dive shops in the area. When I searched doing my research, MANTA SCUBA came up. I looked at their pricing and their dive sites, and wasn’t that impressed. I took those dive spots into consideration and went looking at other shops around the rock. (My buddy Phil Flowers calls it “the rock”. Now I can’t help but call it that!) After looking at a few more sites, I found Sunshine Dive & Charter. They seemed like a smaller operation, and their dive sites were the same as MANTA SCUBA. I decided to give them a chance.
A few days before we took off, I called Sunshine Dive & Charter to ask about pricing. I could do 4 dives over 2 days plus a night dive for $135. I decided that would be too much, and went with 3 dives. That would include 3 tanks over the course of 1 day, doing 2 tanks in the morning and 1 in the evening. The night dive would have been sweet… I do want to try a night dive, but the water in Cabo is so cold. I’m talking 65 degrees. I carry a 3mm wetsuit, and the dive shop recommended I wear a 5mm and possibly a hood. I took a 5mm wetsuit and headed to the boat.
Sheryl went along with me. She wanted to take pictures, and had a good time riding along in Aruba. About halfway through the trip, I felt bad. Sheryl was getting seasick. We got to the first dive spot, and went in. I told all of the dive masters that I needed extra time to equalize my ears while going down. Apparently I don’t know what I am doing because it takes me a LONG time to equalize. Anyway, I got all my gear on and did a giant stride into the water and started going down. Until I hit the water, I had no idea how cold it was. It felt like I jumped into a bathtub full of ice water. It could have been worse. I did my checkout dives in much colder water. We wore 7mm wetsuits that day!
We start going down and I realized the visibility was horrible. I’m talking 7-10 foot tops. I couldn’t see anything. I eventually, near the bottom, saw some fish… but it was nothing to write home about. When I get to the bottom, I tried to start swimming and just kept floating up. The dive master grabbed me and tried to give me some more weight, but we realized my weight belt had fallen off. We headed to the top in search of the belt. He later found it around 65 feet. It had fallen off when I jumped in.
By the time we got to the second dive spot, I was ready to puke. Sheryl wasn’t feeling very good either. The took us out to Land’s End to see the arch, which was cool. One of the dive masters said that an average of 6 people die at Land’s End every year trying to get onto the beach. Apparently the undertow is pretty intense and will pull people under for at least 2 minutes. I’ll just stay on the boat and take pictures.
The first dive spot was Neptune’s Finger. There is actually a large rock coming out of the water that is supposed to be his actual finger. It looks like a middle finger, depending on how you look at it. As we passed that, we went back to pick up another dive master who was doing some rescue diver training. To get the rescue diving certification, you must first be an advanced scuba diver. I am definitely not that, and the rescue stuff seems tough. It’s only three days of training, but there is a lot of stuff that goes into it. For the time being, I’ll just stick with seeing fish.
The second dive spot was Pelican Bay. This is a really popular area because you can walk here from the marina, and there is some really good snorkeling around the beach. There were tons of boats and kayaks here when we arrived. My dive master said it was an easy entry and since I was having difficulty equalizing my ears, it would be one we could take our time on. The other divers were using Nitrox, so they could stay down a lot longer.
When we went in and the water was really choppy. There were a ton of boats and it was tough to just float on the surface without drinking a ton of water. I finally started to go down, got to the front of the boat, and couldn’t go down any further. My ears, mainly my right one, we’re really bothering me. I was about 12 foot down and shot to the surface. We ended up staying on the surface checking out some fish, then tried to go down again. This time we made it down and I saw a bunch of fish including starfish, angelfish, and a stingray. The stingray was pretty cool.
One thing Sunshine Dive & Charter offers is a free CD with pictures taken on the dives. They take images of you diving, fish, and the folks on the boat. That was a nice touch because in the Bahamas the CD was expensive and only included pictures of the sharks. I didn’t need a CD for that one. That is something I will never forget. Anyway, I didn’t bring my laptop so I won’t be able to see the images until I get home. I hope he g0t some good ones, even though visibility was down.
Oh, and the thermocline was neat. The water on the surface was about 65 degrees. Going down the water actually got warm. Then it would get cold and warm again. It was weird. The visibility never changed, but it was a nice surprise while descending.
Considering how much trouble I had with my ears, the dive wasn’t all that bad. We got to see the arch at Land’s End, a sea lion on the rocks, and some pretty gnarly waves. I was sort of embarrassed with the time it took me to get down, but the dive master was very nice and seemed to understand. I just hope that the more I dive the easier it gets. Regardless of the diving, I can say I have dove in 4 countries including the United States, Aruba, the Bahamas, and Mexico. That’s pretty cool considering I’ve only been certified since 2010. Where should I dive next? Warm water, that’s for sure!