2015 February

In February 2015 I enjoyed five dives with Phantom Divers of Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. I am now a big fan of Phantom Divers, so friendly, so warm. I hope that I can return to dive with them again.

Undoubtedly the three outstanding dives were the three Bull shark dives. As they were conducted at 25 metres I expected the light to be poor. While there was a significant loss of colour, particularly red, orange and yellow, the bright Mexican sun easily penetrated down to the highly reflective seabed and bounced back up illuminating the shark feed in a bright blue light. At least ten large Bull Sharks circled our dive group on each dive but they were very calm and clearly did not pose any sort of a threat to us. Nevertheless Carlos “Charlie” Estrabeau, our charismatic shark feeder and Ramon Magana, our Minder, were careful to ensure all safety rules were strictly adhered to and kept our dive group at a safe distance from the feed. The sharks always approached Charlie from directly in front of him and then generally passed him on his right-hand side. I was permitted to be immediately behind Charlie and so was able to get some close-up shots of the sharks while Ramon videoed the action - you might like to check out Ramon’s video which is on this website’s About/Videos page. Charlie is such an entertaining and flamboyant showman, even after the feed while ascending to one of our two boats Elena and Tafana, Charlie could not resist demonstrating one diving skill or another. For example I’ve never seen anyone else balance a discarded beer bottle on his nose during a Safety Stop! I found the shark feeds highly exhilarating and very very addictive.

We also dived Tappon and Turtle reefs - if I had been anywhere else I would probably regarded these dives as the highlights of the trip but Phantom Divers’ Bull shark dives are so outstanding they were always going to be my highlight.