Dive #133 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
© Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:


Dive Info:

Dive Start:

Bottom Time:
52 minutes

Maximum Depth:
46 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
1000 psi

Weather Conditions:

Surface Conditions:

Surface Water Temperature:

Bottom Water Temperature:

100 feet
* * * *
March 18,
Linda, Johnny, Bess (divemaster)
A splendid toadfish - a face only a mother could love.
Videograph by Rich Torkington in Cozumel 2003 
Dive Journal: Once we complete our surface interval, it’s already after 4:30pm, so we’re almost doing a twilight dive for our second tank. This time we go to nearby Paradise. The water seems a little colder (my gauge says 77F), and there is practically no current today.

The best of the dive comes when Bess finds a splendid toadfish and coaxes it out of its burrow with her rattle. This is the fish I have wanted to see ever since I started diving in Belize back in 1997! Great stuff – this find really makes my day! She manages to find another one on the same dive, and this one even vigorsouly attacked her rattle.

There are lots of lobsters here, and 2 big stone crabs. At one site we find two juvenile spotted drum, one small one, and one very tiny one. There are also beautiful schools of smallmouth and blue striped grunts. Another school of very small grunts comes by as well, this one white with dark stripes, but very small size, maybe juvenile cottonwicks.

We spend nearly an hour in the water here, languidly exploring the coral islands scattered among the flats – a very nice dive.

When we return to the Hotel Villablanca, we check with the desk about moving to a quieter room for the evening. The manager explains that he’s put us in the streetside room due to the $52 rate we’re paying (the Hotel Lorena rate), and that he can’t move us to a more expensive room. It doesn’t take too long for this whole affair to feel like a genuine bait-and-switch. We know how to deal with this. After a few minutes on the telephone, we find another hotel (the Casa del Mar) with a vacant room, run down there to check it out, and we then check out of the Villablanca. The manager wants to charge us for tonight’s stay since it’s after checkout time. After all we’ve tolerated, this request seems a bit too much. We counter that it was with the desk’s OK that we left to go diving today, and after an extended discussion we finally win this small point.

You can tell that this whole series of events with the Hotels Lorena and Villablanca disappointed us, although I really can’t fault the actions of the Villablanca too much. The true fault lies with the Hotel Lorena, who can’t seem to manage accurate booking of their 22 rooms, nor do they handle their mistakes very well. Choosing to spend our vacation dollars elsewhere feels like the right thing to do.

As a side note, I still would like to stay at the Hotel Lorena (a.k.a. “La Reina”) some time. It does look like a cozy diver-friendly place.

We enjoy a tasty dinner at Ernesto’s Fajitas – my steak and shrimp fajita is especially good, and then settle back into our room at the new hotel. The Casa del Mar turns out to be slightly more expensive per night but gives us a single family suite with split floors, 2 bathrooms, and a small kitchenette. We like it when they bring us a welcome beverage. Best of all, it’s quiet at night, especially great after so little sleep last night.

We spend the evening taking our Rescue Diver final test. Janel claims foul when she learns that Linda and I have sort of taken the test together, but we’re all laughing about it. There are a couple of questions involving specific types of embolisms that are especially tricky.

Mares Avanti Quattro
U S Divers Matrix
80 ft3 Al
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
U S Divers
3 mm wetsuit
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
10 lb
Water Type:
Video Equipment: