Years ago when I started thinking about retirement I never really imagined the adventure it could be. This is a (very rough) video I took in my new temporary front yard: Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Xcalak. The Xcalak Reef National Park was created in 2003 and spans almost 45,000 acres mainly to provide protection to the coastal ecosystem but also to preserve it for Xcalak’s emerging ecotourism industry.
The water on this day was particularly calm and I was able to video many animals including schools of Blue Tangs, Blue Striped Grunts, and even an extremely endangered Caribbean Electric Ray. (Ok, when I did the video I didn’t know what it was and I certainly didn’t know that it was capable of delivering a 37-volt electric shock but sometimes ignorance has its advantages and I managed to get some decent footage.)
I try to get out to the reef at least several times a week. Every day is different. We have seen turtles, huge stingrays, schools of squid and the occasional octopus. The water between shore and the reef itself, 200 yards or so offshore, is shallow, usually between 5 and 10 feet. Except on very rough days, the visibility is amazing. There are also 20 or so official dive sites just outside the reef and many more unofficial ones. We have arranged with XTC Dive Center to start seeing these and I will be sure to take some video and write about some of these. I am told they are truly world class.