The wildlife here is impressive, partially because of the sheer volume of the fish, and partially because of the easy access. Make sure to bring some fish food (tortillas!) and plan on being mobbed by grunts, bermuda chub, sergeant majors, and occasionally angelfish. Keep an eye out for large rainbow parrotfish nibbling on plants and coral in the open areas. Pay particular attention near the boat remains as the largest sand tilefish in Cozumel has his nest just north of the wreck. Also make sure to look for the scraping bite marks of the parrotfish and the purple eggs of sergeant majors on the plane.
A school ready for handouts
There are several dive shops in the immediate vicinity of Airplane Flats that would be more than happy to provide you with anything you need. They have tanks, BCDs, regulators, and even snorkel gear but be warned that most close around 5 o'clock. If there is any current it's best to enter at the up-current site which most of the time is La Ceiba to save yourself the swim. If the current is running the other way simply start the dive at Sol Caribe. Stay well away from international pier which is south of La Ceiba, an off-limits area, and very dangerous due to large boats which frequent the area. The anchor is very shallow and located in the swim area seaward of La Ceiba's concrete beach / boat ramp. The plane lies in about forty feet of water in the northen corner of the swim area, but be warned it freqently shifts location. Both the anchor and the plane are usually marked by white buoys making them easier to find. The edges on the plane are very sharp and show no reluctance in slicing careless divers. The wooden wreck is between the Sol Caribe and Dive Cozumel / Diver's Inn complex in about 30 feet of water. Some warnings; there are a large amount of large-spined sea urchins which are not good to step on and territorial damselfish which are quite willing to snap at invading divers. Finally, there is extremely heavy boat traffic in the area. I would not recommend snorkling outside the swim area and be very careful ascending; stop about ten feet from the surface while looking and listening for boat traffic.
|Some of the fish around the dive sites are huge. In addition, most are not too shy and will let divers aproach within a few feet. Here a curious angelfish checks out a brave diver.|
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This page created and maintained by Jonathan Bryant.
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