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Scuba Diving on Isla Mujeres

By: Isla Mujeres News

ANY SCUBA DIVING requires some spirit of adventure, but wreck diving in particular holds a special romance for adventure seeking divers. Fascinated perhaps by images of lost pirate treasures and sunken Spanish galleons, these divers are lured to sites around the world looking for an out of the ordinary divng experience. While most of the wreck dives nowadays involve twentieth century vessels, they still provide a window into the extraordinary beauty and iintrique of the sea.

�ISLA MUJERES is the unknown dive destination in the Mexican Caribbean and the Ultrafreeze wreck is one of the best dives in Mexico,� claims Mike Clough, a diver specialized in wreck diving and a frequent visitor to the Cancun/Cozumel area. �The sunken Ultrafreeze cargo ship, the Chairel ferry and the Hondure�a fishing boat lie close together about eight miles northeast of Isla. Within 25 minutes from the dock, you have the very accessible wrecks with some of the richest sea life to be found anywhere.� In addition there are two popular wreck dives, Ca�oneros I and II just south of the island.

Ultrafreeze was a 110 meter long cargo ship that was disabled in 1979 when it caught fire on the Isla Mujeres dock and had to be towed to the open sea and sunk. Because it was cleaned of all contaminants before sinking, the two spacious holds provide open areas where divers can move freely with no chance of being trapped. Experienced divemasters can make sure that the ascent and descent are smooth and safe by using anchor ropes between the dive boat and the wreck. At a depth of 95 feet, the wreck is accessible to all but beginning divers.

Aside from the haunting appeal of the wreck itself, however, is the equally fascinating phenomenon of the distinctive marine life that forms in abundance around the sunken foreign body. Iron and metals in general attract unusual amounts of small fish which in turn attract larger fish and so the chain goes on with larger migrating fish attracted to the area for feeding. In the wreck area between the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan coast, migrating dolphins and even whales ( Falsa Orca between 8 and 9 meters) have been observed in the months of February, March, July and August.

DIVERS AGREE THAT ULTRAFREEZE is back to the way it was 20 years ago thanks in part to the cleansing effect of the otherwise destructive hurricanes of 2006, Emily and Wilma. Very strong storms can be beneficial by causing new sea life to regroup and regenerate thus renewing marine habitats. In addition, numerous dive sites close by provide more fun such as Little Blue Hole at 150ft (with 50 feet inside the cave). So take note: the time was never better to try the excitement of wreck diving on Isla Mujeres, after which you might need to unwind on the island�s beautiful beaches.

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