Reef Adventures

Turtle turtle turtle! It was the snorkeling dive master’s job to point out any interesting sea life to our crowd of floating tourists, and on this day, his voice was getting some exercise. Ten minutes earlier from the dock, the captain pointed out our three snorkeling destinations; they were only about a mile offshore in calm conditions. The sun was out, the current was nonexistent, and the ocean water was hovering in the mid 80s as we plunged overboard into the clear turquoise water- a perfect day to relax and observe this peaceful underwater world in the shallow depths off Cancun. In deeper water, there are more than 500 submerged statues forming the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), the largest underwater museum in the world.
At the first dive site, we got a taste of MUSA, spying a half dozen concrete sculptures in shallower water apart from the main group. The art installation is fascinating, and designed to take tourist pressure off nearby natural reefs. The sculptures have corals and algae growing on them, providing space for sea creatures to thrive. In the warm waters nearby, we saw brain coral, a multitude of tropical fish, eels, starfish, and a baby ray. We soon moved onto an open, shallow area of seagrass, a site that was proven to be a perfect sea turtle habitat when we saw about a half dozen animals swimming about, lazily enjoying the splendid waters of their habitat.  A shipwreck was next, a shrimping boat that went down during Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. It laid on its side, the top of the rusting hulk’s superstructure resting above the waves. It was an impressive site, eerily standing out amidst the white sand and crystal clear sea around it. With the multitude of marine life we observed, the ease of the snorkeling itself, and the sheer relaxation offered by lazily floating amongst the fish, this trip definitely earned an A+ for its effort to wow factor quotient.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. In his spare time he enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking, hanging out with his family and dog, and of course, traveling! His favorite RTX spots to visit are Orange Beach, Alabama, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, but he's visiting new places all the time. .


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