While diving at Cantarelle, this little guy poked his head out to see the eagle rays too!
See the staff of Blue Magic Scuba celebrating Christmas 2010.
Dove on Palancar Bricks and Cedral Wall today – must have seen 8 to 10 different turtles, lots of fish, small spotted drum, and a couple of rays.
Greetings, all you divers and Lion Fish Hunters!!!
Well, here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for- the results of the 1st Annual Blue Magic Scuba Lion Fish Tournament. During the tournament period, February 1 through June 15, Blue Magic Scuba captured 132 lion fish. This is actually quite distressing. Each month we captured more than the previous month, signaling a true invasion of this voracious eater and prolific breeder which does not belong in this part of the world. As far as we know, none of our native species finds this creature a ‘tasty meal’ yet. And so, the population continues to grow.
There are four prize categories for the tournament, and the winners are as follows:
The prize for the largest lion fish goes to Barbara Hill of Silver City, New Mexico. Her find was a whopping 274 grams. She will receive a 5-day, 2 tank dive package at Blue Magic Scuba. George Duncan was the runner up with one weighing in at 235 grams.
Because there was a 3-way tie for second prize – the most lion fish caught in one day – we had to do a special drawing for this package. Congratulations to Chris Bowman of Wake Forest, NC! He wins a 3-day dive package with Blue Magic Scuba.
The prize for the most lion fish caught during the tournament period, (Feburary 1 through June 15, 2010) was won by Michael Burke of Houston. Michael spotted, and we captured, 9 lion fish during his 6 days of diving with us. Michael will receive a $500 gift certificate to the local dive shop of his choice to buy ‘cool’ scuba gear!
And the Grand Prize Drawing – 4 nights at the Fiesta Americana and 3 , 2-tank dives goes to: Leslie Creighton of Dallas. This was a totally random drawing. All you had to do was spot one lion fish that the dive masters caught, and you were automatically entered in the drawing for this prize. The more fish you spotted and captured, the more times your names was entered and the more chances you had to win.
I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has come to dive with us since Blue Magic Scuba was founded nearly 2 years ago. And to those of you who took an interest in helping us find and capture the Lion Fish –a HUGE thank you from everyone one in Cozumel who relies on divers like you for their livelihood. Also, I would also like to thank my dive masters – Pumbaa, (the Lion Fish King); Gabriel; and Sandro for continuing to look for, and capture, this menace. As beautiful as they are, these creatures are poisonous, are devastating to the Caribbean reef system, and they aren’t so easy to catch anymore! But, we have great employees and the Three Muskateers did a terrific job (none of them got a bad sting either!).
Even though the tournament has ‘officially ended’ I know that my staff will continue to hunt and capture lion fish. Please understand that our dives are not about just searching for these fish. But while looking for other beautiful, interesting creatures when diving in Cozumel, all of our divers and dive masters are bound to find at least one – large or small – and if at all possible, we will keep it from causing any more destruction. Our Marine Park is doing it’s part to encourage the ‘hunting’ of them; and I believe all of the dive shops in Cozumel should be doing everything they can as well.
Again, Congratulations to our winners – you did a great job! Remember you must claim your dive packages before November 30, 2010. Thank you again to all of our divers and supporters, we appreciate all your loyalty and help. All of us at Blue Magic Scuba hope to see you again soon in our warm, tropical Caribbean paradise!
All Our Best,
The Staff at Blue Magic Scuba
Joyce, Sandro, Pumbaa, Gabriel, Jorge, Alvaro, Francisco and Mercedes
As of May 15, and with less than 30 days left in the tournament as of this posting, Blue Magic Scuba has captured 106 lion fish. Since the last update which included totals through March 28, we have had a few changes ‘on the leader board’. Shawn Ruth, who was ahead with 2 captured back in early March, was surpassed by Michael Burke of Houston with 8 total spotted and captured (over the course of 2 trips). Rich Carver (Wyoming), Derek Flynn (Dallas), and Chris Bowman (Wake Forest, NC) are tied for the lead for the most captured in one day with 3 each. But Derek has another trip planned in early June, so stay tuned! And Barbara Hill of New Mexico has taken the lead from George Duncan for the largest lion fish, snagging one that weighed 274 grams (pictured in the photo holding her big catch). Both Barb’s and George’s giants were found at Maracaibo – actually, the daily record for Blue Magic Scuba is 10 lion fish, 7 of those taken from just that one reef! Obviously Cozumel needs more people to dive Maracaibo. Pumbaa still rules as King, catching 97 of those 106 brought in by our dive masters – he has the technique down pretty well. But, these fish are quite smart – they are learning to recognize the nets, so it’s getting tougher. If any of you divers who are currently eligible for the grand prize drawing (there are many of you who have spotted and captured just one and you’re eligible, you know who you are), want to try and grab one of the other prizes or increase your chances in the drawing, plan your trip now. The tournament ends on June 15. Many thanks to all of you for diving with Blue Magic Scuba and helping us capture these critters! Hope you enjoy the photos.
Heres a link to a video we made yesterday. First one since February – a couple of large nurse sharks. Hope you enjoy it.
But my, oh my, it has been a good one! While all of us here have been complaining about the many Nortes that have closed the port, and the below-normal temperatures in Cozumel this season, all that cool weather and those strong winds have combined to provide us divers with a treat – lots and lots of the gorgeous, graceful Spotted Eagle Rays. Seen here only in the winter months, they are truly amazing.
They love the strong currents, and the cooler water temperatures, both of which have been in abundance this year in Cozumel. They can be seen in ‘squadrons’ of say 8-20, floating along effortlessly AGAINST the current in the mostly northern reefs; however, only experienced divers are usually taken to those locations because of the potentially dangerous currents.
But this year, there have been so many, they have been spotted at nearly every reef – munching on conch, frolicking together, they are quite an awesome, spellbinding sight. The three photos above were taken by Jim Flinchbaugh in early March and the six below were taken by Sandro Quijada, instructor/dive master and General Manager of Blue Magic Scuba. Sandro also took some video footage of an Eagle Ray, his remora and cobia right along side which you can watch on YouTube by clicking on this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGw2zrViFEI
Jim Flinchbaugh sells his fabulous still photos and you can purchase them by emailing him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the show and let us know how you like them!