The blue… the vast, infinite blue, that’s what first strikes me as we drop down towards the reef. We’re just offshore from Cozumel, an island off the Caribbean coast of Mexico that is the staging ground from some of the most spectacular diving in the Caribbean. I’ve done most of my diving so far in the temperate waters of California. The these blue tropical waters stun me with their vibrant color.
Cozumel is famous for the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest barrier reef system, which stretches from the tip of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico down to Honduras. But it’s the infinite blue that first captivates me. Immersed in the deep blue, the effect is supremely calming, as if the endless, tranquil blue is reflected in my mind.
Soon other wonders captivate my attention, as the current zips us along the reef. The corals and fish delight my eyes with their shimmering colors. The variety and intricacy of the corals are magnificent, accented by the brightly colored fish darting about, like animated rainbows dancing in the blue.
The physical structure of the reef itself is remarkable. Fractal patterns of growth create elaborate formations that soar up from the ocean floor and abruptly plunge away. Complex caverns, overhangs, and spires emerge from the blue, creating labyrinthine channels and caverns large enough to swim through.
The sheer abundance of life on the reef makes my soul resonate with joy. The variegated colors of the coral, the diverse fish in all manner of size, shape and color, it’s a celebration of life, of the magic and wonder of the natural world. Shoals of tiny juvenile fish flit across the surface of the reef while schools of adults hover in the gaps. Splendidly colored angelfish and triggerfish regally float past.