Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bull Sharks in the Riviera Maya....coming soon with a new attitude

Bull shark season is fast approaching and we have been spending the last few months thinking about the pros and cons of this diving activity. We will be honest, this is a tough call for our business and our divers. Bull sharks are interesting and dangerous, but they are a key piece to the waters of the Mexican Caribbean and we have finally decided that these tours will continue through the Abyss Dive Center BUT they are going to take a bit of a different spin.

The decision to continue the Bull Shark dives was based on a commitment to make these dives educational, non feeding and observational. There are many arguments as to why people should not engage in this dive and there are many arguments why we should engage in these dives. Our decision comes down to education.

There is a reason why we all are divers, and learning about the underwater world is one very high if not top on the list. The diving philosophy at the Abyss has always been to make people divers, long term, engaged and happy divers. This has been shown in our care for classes, on going education and our desire to not just sell a course, as the diving industry has been accused of, but to teach divers to be good divers. If someone is struggling with their buoyancy, their new computer or the logisitics of a drift dive, we feel it is our responsibility to educate and build opportunities for our divers where they can test their skills and learn.
Bull Sharks, whale sharks, caverns, sting rays, seahorses and of course the turtles, are all creatures or diving locations in the area that we have educated our divers about. The Bull Sharks deserve the same respect and our divers deserve the same opportunity.

In the first part of our investigations on the Bull Sharks, I have to say we have all learned some super interesting things. Here are some bullet points about the Bull Sharks. In the upcoming weeks we will be outlining the guidelines for our Bull Sharks trips so that divers can decide if they want to participate in this excursion or not want to participate.

Bull Shark Facts

1. They can swim up to 11 km per hour…that is super fast for a sea creature..
2. They can live in any type of water, fresh or salt, super salty to very fresh
3. They give birth to their babies in fresh water. The parents travel thousands of miles to do this. This makes sense as to why they live in this area as we have fresh water and salt water.
The cenotes eventually lead out to the ocean . In certain areas along the coast, there are river mouths of fresh water, similar to Florida. It is here that the Bull Sharks give birth to their young…though we have not discovered exactly where that may be…the point is, this is a great area for the bull sharks to access fresh water.
4. They are the third most dangerous shark alive. This is fact and truth. The other fact and truth is that there have been no shark attacks on the area.
5. They migrate away from salt water for up to three months out of the year to give birth..this maybe why they disappear for a few months in the summer…look for cooler and fresher water, and then return to the area where we dive with them.

We are continuing to find more facts about the Bull Sharks so that our predive video is comprehensive and educational. If we are going to engage in this activity, it is important that we learn more, understand more and teach others what we know…..and for that reason we are excited about the new upcoming season!
Ask away if you have any questions, but this investigation is getting pretty interesting. It would be great for the Photo contest being help Dec 5 to the 12th to have some excellent pictures of these incredible sharks…would be worth the trip and the week of diving, don’t you think?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Great new scuba diving event in Playa Del Carmen

Great news everyone! We are preparing a very exciting new event, The Canon Riviera Maya Underwater Photo Contest. This event will be held from December 5th to the 12th and includes diving on the reefs, in caves and in the caverns in the Riviera Maya, a perfect scenario for this contest and it is sure to be a great success.

We have a lot of events planned for this week. First we have diving on the reefs in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Puerto Morelos. These are part of the Mesoamerican reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. Participants also get the opportunity to dive in the cenotes; fresh water caverns unique to the Yucatan Peninsula. The purpose of the photo contest is to capture in photos, the beauty and uniqueness of the dive sites that the Riviera Maya has to offer.

As a dive center belonging to the Riviera Maya Dive Alliance, we are committed to protecting and conserving our diving environments. That’s why we encourage our divers to never stress or endanger marine animals for the sake of a photo; we want to convey a real world message in marine conservation. The Photo contest will teach people how to take great pictures without disturbing the reef or cavern environment.

During the event week, we will have a photo workshop, by Protec Dive Center, where their qualified instructors will point out important points for taking great underwater photos and enhance our underwater photo skills.

We are proud to announce Canon as the official sponsor for this event with their experts hosting an evening for all of our participants. They will review the lastest in underwater photography, cameras and housing. If you have questions, these are the people to ask.

Abyss Dive Center is in charge of a very fun and entertaining evening with a movie and a scuba quiz; Tank-ha Dive Center has a very special event planned for your entertainment. These activities will be detailed in later blogs.

To top off the week and to finalize the winners, the closing night will be held Hotel Tropical Casa Blanca, with our very famous BBQ chef Ubaldo, The man in charge of the wonderful food that will make everyone happy. During this final evening photo contest participants will watch a slideshow with all the participants photos, we will present the winners of each category and prizes and surprises will be awarded to all the participants, but there will be only one big winner which will get… a great prize sponsored by Canon. Watch out for a great grand prize…!!!

The photo contest is the first event held by Abyss Dive Center and Training Facility, Protec Advanced Training Facility and Tank-ha Dive Center, the Riviera Maya Divers Alliance. They are committed to encouraging good diving practices and promote quality diving in the Riviera Maya.

This photo contest is the perfect opportunity to discover all the amazing things the Riviera Maya underwater world has to offer. If you have any questions or want to book your spot, email us at and ask for our special package prices!