Diving in Mahahual
November 2010

by Barbara Eller

Hola, my name is Barbara and I live in Mahahual, Mexico; well, for six months of the year I do. Why Mahahual? Because for me it is paradise. I found my passion late in lifescuba diving. I became a scuba diving instructor just before retiring and Mahahual has some of the best diving in the Caribbean. It is the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef in the world, running almost 700 miles from the tip of Mexico to Honduras. The reef is full of colorful coral, sponges and fish.

If you have never been diving, let me take you on a dive so you can "see" what you are missing. There are so many dive sites that it is difficult to say which one is the best. I am going to take you to one of my favoritesBalamku Reef, in front of Balamku Resort. We are in a boat called a panga; there are three divers and our dive master who will lead the dive. We have all our gear on and are sitting on the edge of the boat with our tanks over the water. The dive master counts to three and we all roll backward into the water. We all pop back to the surface and give the captain an "OK" sign. The dive master then gives the signal to begin our descent. The water is warm, about 85 degrees, and the most beautiful shade of blue that is so clear it seems you can see forever.

As we get closer to the reef, we begin to see fish everywhere. As we drop to about 30 feet, we are led across the top of the reef, east towards the edge. As we swim over the reef we see a little damselfish darting around making sure we stay away from "his" area of the reef. Damselfish may be small, about three inches long, but are very determined not to let other fish on their coral. A couple butterfly fish pass in front o