Kathryn Huchton – Whole Earth Ambassador 2018Posted by Whole Earth | 08.24.2018
Kathryn Huchton – Whole Earth Ambassador 2018
Hi, my name is Kathryn and ever since I was young, I’ve had a strong affinity for water. When I was 8 or 9, my parents introduced me to the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and the joys found under the water's surface in the Caribbean. Almost every year, from the late 70s, my parents and family visited Cozumel. On these trips I learned first to snorkel and then to scuba dive, eventually becoming certified in 2004.
Each time I go on a dive, it’s a new adventure and experience. You never know what kind of sea creatures you’ll see. This year I was able to share the experience with one of my best friends and fellow Whole Earthling, Sarah. Despite the certification dives that she did in Texas and Florida, she hadn’t been on a diving trip, so this was going to be a fun new adventure for us.
For dive trips there are a lot of things to consider since you are packing like you normally do for a fun vacation, but you also have to think about diving and snorkeling gear. Do you want to bring your own, which can take up a whole bag by itself or to rent the gear from the dive shop you that organized your trip? We ended up bringing all of our own gear, to help us save some money on rental costs and shared the other checked bag for our clothes and shoes.
Both of us also love to take pictures and videos during trips to share with friends and family, so naturally we had to pack the GoPro Hero 5s given to us to test, since they’re compact, waterproof to 33 feet, have video stabilization, and have great low light capabilities. Since this was a diving trip and we would be going to depths down to a little over 100 feet deep, we picked up the dive housing, or GoPro Super Suit Dive Housing as it is called, from Whole Earth. Sarah also picked up The Handler, which is a handle for the GoPro, and if the camera is dropped into water, floats the camera up to the surface so it can be recovered. Once we grabbed those items, we were set and ready to go diving.
During our week-long trip, we dove at six different sites over the course of three days; Chun Chacab, Paso del Cedral Wall, Palancar Caves, Yucab, Paso del Cedral Reef, and Tormentos Reef. I always love seeing all the different marine life, but for Sarah this was a completely new experience. She saw her first Green Sea Turtles, Nurse Sharks, and experienced drift diving for the first time.
Over the course of our dives, we saw so many types of fish, from feisty little Damsel Fish to a massive Grouper hanging out between two coral outcroppings. There were tiny Yellowline Arrow Crabs hiding amongst the corals and several Lobsters peeping out from their homes. We saw Nurse Sharks and Yellow Stingrays swimming around the reef, a Southern Stingray situated in a nice flat grassy area of the reef, and Green Sea Turtles either gliding overhead or snacking on some algae right in front of us.
When we weren’t scuba diving, we drove over to the east side of the island, also called the windward side, to explore the beaches that are less frequented by visitors to the island. Then we traveled over to the SkyReef beach club to snorkel and have some snacks. On another day, that had no diving scheduled, we went to the south tip of the island to explore a place new to both of us, Punta Sur Eco Park. At Punta Sur we snorkeled, explored the Mayan ruins, visited the cenote, got a treetop view of the park from an observation tower, and got to climb all the way to the top of the lighthouse.
This trip was an amazing experience in so many different ways, and we can’t wait for our next adventure.