July 6, 2019 - Sitting here at Banco Chinchorro at the end of the day. This was our first day of croc diving and it went well. Gambit showed up to give our friends one hell of a show. Of course, she was not the first to show up, we had a small croc show up, around 6 feet in length and she was a sweet little hot fire. I had not met her before, I don’t think? We also had a third croc come in, one I know I have seen before. It has a crooked jaw and one bottom tooth that sits square in the middle of its face. He also has a big portion of his tail missing. Whether it was bitten off or cut off I am not sure, but it is gone. Just makes it easy to identify the croc from a distance.
Our guests who joined us had a good time and enjoyed the crocs, not that I didn’t think they wouldn’t. But it is always nice and my favorite part of any trip we do when we know that someone truly appreciates these animals the way I do. We still have two more days of croc diving to go before we head back to mainland. Just happy it was a good day, with a kick ass crossing. Super freaking happy about that. Nothing worse than a shit ass crossing, (last week’s crossing was horrible). Now - all that is left for our day; pour through today’s images ( I think I managed one or two today that I am happy with), eat dinner, super hungry right now, and hit the hammock for a good nights sleep. Till tomorrow.
July 7, 2019 - 8PM. Today was a tough day for crocs, they just did not want to play. We had them come in, but they did not want to hang around, they were super skittish. They would come in, and within minutes, they would leave. Felt crappy for the boys, because that is why they are here, but that is nature, and you get what you get. They are all still fired up because of yesterday’s action. We spent about six hours with them, so that was good. But I still wanted some better action for them. The crew from XTC tried super hard to get them to come in, but they just didn’t want to play. We had thunder and rain storms come in hard for a while, which may have contributed to why the crocs did not want to come in? Not sure?
The highlights for the day was the dive this morning, we went out hunting for lion fish for bait for the crocs, we ended up killing 19 of them, with a few escapes. Garin, one of our guests hunts lion fish in Bermuda where he lives, so we gave him a spear and it was comedy when he had a few of them escape when he shot at them. Mark recorded a video of it and you can hear Mark laughing and giving him hell when it happened. Love that a bond between these guys and this group is building.
We also visited the ranger station to get a look at the crocs and iguanas on the beach. The iguanas are shedding right now and getting their amazing breeding colors in, they look so freaking beautiful. We played with the crocs on the beach, one of the locals brought some bait out for us and called in the crocs. A couple of them came in. They are obviously bringing them out onto the beach, becuase these crocs came right out of the water at us.
I am flat out just a wildlife junky, becuase I was trying to capture images of everything on the island (wildlife); I snapped a couple shots of an anole. They have two species, one comes from mainland Mexico, the other is an endemic species. I captured a picture of the mainland species. My next trip out is this coming August, I will try for the endemic one. One of my favorite things about the island is it’s an amazing place for a hard to find warbler species; Mangrove warblers. Every time I visit the island, my goal is to try and capture better and better images of these cute little birds. On this trip, I captured a picture of a female mangrove warbler and I snapped a shot of the male last week - I was pretty happy with that shot, but fired up I captured a nice picture of the female as well.
Over all a decent day of wildlife, our guests all got some great images of everything we experienced here. I also captured a bunch of video clips, will try to load them onto our youtube channel later. Now we just need some better in water action for our guests, hoping tomorrow (which is our final day), is better.
July 8, 2019 - It is late as shit, tired and bit on the feeling good side. We returned from Chinchorro. It turned into a super amazing trip. Today we had crocs! In fact we had five different crocs visit us. Our final day was the stuff dreams are made of, our guests had an amazing time and they all captured images they are happy with and spent some quality time with very different croc personalities. Our buddy Greg had just bought a new camera before this trip and happy I was able to help him dial it in so that he could snap some images he was happy with.
From the very mellow Gambit, to the super fiery Pinto. We also had a new croc show up, which was a monster croc. Bigger than Gambit and super thick. We dubbed him Godzilla. He was new to divers and it showed. He was wild and crazy and very bitey. We had to be cautious around him. Hoping he becomes one of the regulars we see, becuase he was fun. Sadly I did not capture any video or stills of him, but hoping he returns in August.
I was pretty happy to capture hero shots of the boys with the crocs, they all wanted one. It makes for a great reminder of a really fun trip when you have a nice shot of you and the animals. Especially an animal like a crocodile. They are just an exciting species.
We left the Cabin today (Casa Matraca), and returned to Xcalak. The group loved the trip and that makes me happy. They hated leaving, but didn’t mind returning to civilization for a shower and a beer.
July 9, 2019 - Went out for a morning dive to try and find manatees. On last week’s trip we found them, which was way over due for me. I have been diving here for five years and I’ve never seen one. So it was a massive relief for me to finally capture an image of one. Sadly we didn’t see one this morning. Our group was just thrilled to get wet this morning. Diving is always a great way to start your day.
I am writing this while waiting for Andres, our driver to pick us up and take us to Playa del Carmen for our final night of the trip. I had a lot of fun with this group, the boys got on well and there was a lot of back and forth jabbing at each other. Always makes the trip a lot fun when that happens…
July 10, 2019 - Last night we celebrated the end of the trip together, and laughed into the night. Such a great way to finish off this fun and amazing adventure. Thanks again to our friends who joined us out here and thank you to XTC, our host operator for always kicking ass for us… Until August and to my buddies, safe travels home, miss you guys already and till the next one.