We’re moving. No, not us personally, and not to Cozumel (not that I would be terribly opposed, but not currently happening). Our office is moving, so that meant moving a TON of server equipment. This meant the office needed to close for five days.
Once we realized that we were fully vaccinated and travel was a thing again, we considered our options. One possibility was just bailing for a month and “WFI” (work from island) in Bonaire. After our first pilot program of “WFC” (work from camper), we decided against it. Working from anywhere is a nice concept, but it’s still a full work day. In the camper, it’s not a huge deal. Camping is cheap, working just kind of replaces the time I’d spend reading in the camper, you can still go on a lunch hike or swim, and you can look at something pretty when you glance away from your laptop vs just wall. Bonaire ain’t cheap. We typically dive all day every day, so work would feel like a BURDEN. We decided we’d feel cheated unless we owned a condo and were just paying for the flight and diving.
So, it had to be a real vacation. Right now, neither of us feel like we could leave work for a week without checking in/working a bit each day. There’s not enough redundancy (yet – working on it). This office closure was our window! We weighed a lot of different options, and Cozumel hit all the boxes (no cooking, reasonably affordable, easy access to shore diving, not a super long travel day) so on June 10th, we hopped an early flight to the same resort we stayed at 3 years ago.
It was kind of a trip (heh) to be back. Last time I was here, I was all sorts of fit, getting ready to PR a 70.3 in brutally hot and humid conditions. Now, three years later I am the most unfit I’ve been in a decade, unsure my cranky back would even let me dive. On the ride from the airport, we drove past the run course and I shuddered. No thanks. Not right now.
We had aspirations for an afternoon dive the first day, but we were REALLY tired so we went with the enchilada, cerveca, and siesta plan instead. The second day, we set up our gear and jumped in the water and with a *little* more help from Joel than normal we were diving!!! I definitely was missing some speed and power to chase things down and kick at weird angles to steady myself in the current for photography, but I was blowing bubbles and saying hello to fish friends and life was great.
We dove 7 times in 4 days, opting against night dives when seas were rough and we skipped the 5th day entirely. Each dive, we stuck to the same very shallow area (25 feet max) around the shore. Lest this sound totally boring, I assure you it was not. We danced with lobsters and hermit crabs and eels and shrimp and all the fishy friends we expected (except squid – the cephalopods were notably absent). I haven’t edited the photos yet but these two fish about to fight… or maybe another f word… was a once-in-a-lifetime shot. Looking forward to cleaning it up!
The rest of the trip was rather relaxing and uneventful for the most part. We ate lots of interesting and mostly mediocre all-inclusive resort food (of which I took way too many pictures). We (mostly) responsibly indulged on the unlimited pool bar drinks. I read 6 books in 7 days. I swam in the pool a few times. We took a few walks when it wasn’t super rainy (which was most of the time). I spent one day mostly reading in bed. It was lovely and relaxing and everything we needed.
After so much time in the space station away from everything, vacationing was weird. So. many. humans. All the flights were full or almost full. The resort wasn’t packed, but it certainly wasn’t empty. My mother was concerned that Mexico didn’t have the proliferation of vaccines that the US did, but the minute we got there, we noticed they were actually taking this ish seriously (unlike a lot of the US). Masks in public were MANDATORY, with a penalty of a fine or possibly jail time. All the residents of Cozumel, and I mean EVERYONE wore a mask. Almost none of the Americans at the resort did (we did at all times when we weren’t diving or sitting at a table).
Because our immune systems suck after staying at home for 15 months and sanitizing everything, even being masked like 90% of the time in public, we both caught a stomach bug that hit us two days after our return. I’ll spare you the details. It was pretty rough yesterday, but I think I’m over the worst of it today and just feel a little tired. I’ll need to snag a Covid test because it’s recommended after travel anyways (we took one Monday afternoon before traveling and it was obviously negative), but I’m really sure it’s not that.
Even with the unwanted souvenir, Cozumel was a lovely break in this weird new reality, and the ocean was exactly what my soul needed. However, tomorrow the intermission ends and it’s back to reality. Time to embrace the heat (uck) and start training all three sports for the 70.3 in September. Let’s do this.