Return to Cozmel…40 Years Later

It’s always a good day when you can get in a

two tank dive before lunch.

The last time I was in Cozmel it was twenty two years ago and I was on my honeymoon. It was a Mexican Resort in it’s prime. Megatels, boasting five swimming pools and four restaurants were going up at the rate of two or three a year. It was all good, everything was clean and new and everybody was enjoying a measure of prosperity.

We Don’t Need No Stinking C card !

I was a man on a mission, and justifiably left my bride in the hotel with a raging case of Monezuma’s Revenge to dive on a freshly sunken airliner 200 yards off the beach. Even though I hadn’t logged a dive in more than a decade there was no trouble renting a dive rig from an independent business man, sitting in the shade of a palapa hut on the beach. I remember some moron had painted the name “Enola Gay” under the pilot’s window by scrubbing the marine scum that was beginning to cover the fuselage with a green patina. The entire area had been declared a marine sanctuary and this desecration was just low class graffiti.

In 1969, I was 13, we had just landed a man on the moon and Lloyd Bridges was on TV every afternoon after school. The entire tourist industry of the island consisted of: 3 dive shops and 2 one story hotels. We would spend the morning spear fishing and cook our catch for lunch. No worries about rising sea temps or damaging the coral. I was immortal and so was everything else.

Oh but how times have changed…The reef is 90 percent dead and there is a MacDonalds where Aqua Safari used to be. I wonder what it will be like when I’m 73?

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Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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