During the same trip, dive into a cenote, swim with whale sharks, discover the seabed of the Caribbean ... Impossible? Not at all, this is the mission we are proposing in June in Playa del Carmen, with Phocea Mexico, THE French diving center in Mexico.
THREE ADVENTURES IN ONE
The wealth of Mexico allows you to afford in a few days three adventures instead of one, and this is probably one of the reasons why Martine and Didier have chosen seven years ago to leave their life in Paris - she was an insurance agent, he was sales and marketing director of a big Japanese company - to live here their passion for diving. A small ad offers a center for sale, they darken: since then, they fell in love with Mexico and transformed the small center to offer their divers more and more activities.
Martine and Didier (center) surrounded by part of Phocea Mexico staff
TWO DAYS WITH WHALE SHARKS
The June mission will coincide with the beginning of the big whale shark gatherings: they gather sometimes hundreds off the coast of Mexico, and so regularly that Didier and Martine do not hesitate to guarantee the meeting at 100% !
You will have two days aboard a boat reserved for members of the mission, to swim, in PMT, to meet the giants. And attend the observations made by the crew.
Phocea Mexico is indeed Center Whaleshark Project, project of counting and marking of these animals on which we still know very little, and participates at the same time with the financing of the association and with the observations on the ground. "The goal, explain Martine and Didier, is to try to list the whale sharks on the season, to trace their migration; every day a record of the animals present, counted and for some numbered, is transmitted to the authorities in order to make an overall follow-up. "
DIVING IN THE MYSTERIOUS CENSORS
This mission will also take you to discover the cenotes, exceptional limestone formations that open in the Mexican jungle. A dive is planned in Angelita, which has the particularity of sheltering a sulfur cloud at about thirty meters deep, which gives the site a unique lunar atmosphere. A second dive will allow you to discover a more classic cenote, more representative of the underground networks that traverse the plain of Yucatan, between stalactites and stalagmites, bathed in crystal clear water with incredible visibility: the divers seem to float in the void!
THE HOT WATERS OF THE CARIBBEAN
Playa del Carmen, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, is close to the island of Cozumel. Even for those who do not know the area, this close proximity gives an idea of the dive sites on which you will agitate your fins. All that the Caribbean Sea has of animal and vegetable species will be at the rendezvous, in a water whose temperature gives to dream, particularly at this moment: around 28 degrees in the month of June!
ACCOMMODATION AT PLAZA HOTEL
The participants of this mission will be accommodated at the Plaza Hotel, just in front of the dive center: 30 rooms only, recently renovated and decorated, equipped with all modern comforts and air-conditioned, two minutes walk from the beach to enjoy turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea after dives. The cuisine is both international and local, with all the specialties of the peninsula.
A TOURIST ZONE WITH A FEW CABLES ...
It is essentially reduced to 5e Avenue (Quinta Avenida) and to the pier for Cozumel. It is a very commercial and tourist pedestrian zone where one can find multiple bars, clubs, restaurants and shops. This area is also close to the municipal beach of Playa del Carmen.
TRAINING, TEK, AND THEME TRAVEL
And for those who can not participate in this mission, the center Phocea Mexicois an address to remember, for the diversity of possible experiences. "Today, explain Martine and Didier, we are the only center in Mexico that offers 100% of possible training, from baptism to instructor but also training Tek and Trimix, to discover the fault located between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel . And excuse of the little, it is Pascal Bernabé in person, the recordman who reached the 330 meters, who took charge of the training of the instructors! They are now able to take care of your Full Cave training (speleo) Tek Deep and Trimix dives.
The center also offers year-round theme trips in addition to our usual spots: such as whale sharks on this mission, but also bulldog sharks in winter, a spot with eagle rays that gather around a wreck in winter, from mid-January to end-February a PMT outing with the sailfish ... ". And next summer, an apnea training with Guillaume Néry is planned. Passionate, curious, they continue to expand the range of possibilities.
COMMITTED TO THE ENVIRONMENT
The center is also a partner of Sea Shepherd. “Apart from an intervention by the association in each briefing, explain Martine and Didier, we donate 2 US $ per diver we take, this represented more than 9 euros in 000 and we should pass the 2011 mark in 10000. At each instructor session we organize beach cleanings in order to make them also aware of their future profession and so that they can in turn convey this concern ”. Phocea Mexico is also the Ambassador Center of the Longitude 181 Charter. Finally, negotiations are underway with the fishing cooperative so that the bulldog sharks are no longer fished, in exchange for a daily sum that would be paid to this association according to the number of divers. To understand that a live shark is worth more than a dead shark.
Let's get together from 8 to 16 June 2012
Meet at Paris CDG airport for your AEROMEXICO flight to Cancun, via Mexico. Arrival in Cancun in the evening: a Phocea Mexico representative will take us to Playa del Carmen where we will stay for 8 nights, breakfast included at the Plaza hotel in a “junior suite” room.
Two days planned in Punta Sam for "100% whale shark"
During our stay, we will do 6 dives (2 in half-day trips to the sites of Playa, 2 in cenotes and 2 in Cozumel with ferry transfers), with the Phocea Mexico dive center, located at the Plaza hotel . Martine and Didier and their team will make us discover the sites of Playa, with very varied flora and fauna. We will discover diving in the Cenote. We will do 2 dives in Cozumel, an island that has become legendary thanks to Commander Cousteau.
Price from 1965 € / person.
Text: Isabelle Croizeau
Photos: Phocea Mexico