I am on a three month long adventure right now. Mexico, Canada, Fiji, Tonga and California. It is going to be a wild roller coaster ride. Totally looking forward to the run. I officially kicked it off in Mexico; I arrived on June 17 to take our group of adventure divers to Xcalak Mexico for our annual crocodile expedition off Banco Chinchorro, MX. Of course, we got there and received the news all divers hate to hear. Storms blowing in and the port is closed. So we all silently kicked and screamed, and begged the weather gods for a break. The forecast for our week was not looking good. We had a storm front that had stalled and was causing hell over the caribbean. It was not looking good for our week of crocodile diving.
When we woke the following morning however, the weather was beautiful. The port was still closed, but the sea was flat, the sun was shining, and there was only a slight breeze. We tried to get the port master to open up the port but they stubbornly refused. So we all sat there, looking out into a perfect ocean, not quite understanding why we were not allowed to go to Banco Chinchorro. They finally allowed us to go out and do some local diving, but the crossing to Banco (which is two hours by boat) was still forbidden. But thankfully that changed.
Somehow in the middle of the second night, the storm that was threatening to end our week of croc diving was gone. The prayers to the weather gods seemed to have worked. The port master also cleared us to motor over to Banco Chinchorro for our crocodile trip.
The crossing was amazingly smooth, and we got over to Banco Chinchorro in record time. As we were unloading the boat at our fishing cabin, the first crocodile swam in and it was game on. Over the next two days we had 12 different crocodiles come and visit us. Of course the star of Banco Chinchorro is Gambit. He is a 9 foot crocodile and a solid player. He knows the game and is so well behaved. Such an amazing animal. It took a while but he finally graced us with his presence.
We had two good days of weather and crocodiles all day long. Banco Chinchorro was on fire. However the weather gods decided that enough was enough and on the evening of our final night, the winds and the rain hit us. It blew hard all night and when we woke up in the morning, it was still blowing. We decided that it would be best to pack up and head home. We knew the ride back was going to be rough, the wind was picking up and the swells were building. So instead of spending one more day with the crocs, we said goodbye to Banco Chinchorro for another season. Despite only having two days with the crocs it was an amazing trip. The crocodiles performed like rock stars for us. It was an amazing show.
I also took advantage of my time at Banco and we visited the ranger station on the island. I was able to photograph three new species of birds to add to our birding photo portfolio as well.
My time in Mexico continues on…Next blog, my days spent at Xcalak, photographing wildlife and my hunt for the loggerhead sea turtle.