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Mayan Riviera, Mexico – Family Fun and Freediving

January 1st 2011 we left snowy Toronto for a week on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. We stayed at the Akumal Beach Resort, South of Playa Del Carmen and spent most of the time at this waterfront resort located on Akumal Bay. ( Akumal = Place of the Turtles) Lots of opportunities to snorkel/freedive on the reef. Also just a short walk to the North is Half Moon Bay a great place for an afternoon snorkel. Both reefs are a little worse for hurricane wear but Akumal attracts a lot of tourists for the beach and reef tours. We were able to enhoy as a family the snorkelling and at the same time I got to practise some breath hold photography putting my digital point and shoot camera in a small camera drybag from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) here in Toronto.

We made two off resort trips the first was to the ruins at Coba and Tuluum, both were awesome.

Mid day we stopped at two Cenotes (underground caverns) for a refreshing swim and a little free diviving.

Our second trip was to the “Hidden Worlds” nature/adventure park just a short cab ride South of the resort. This featured jungle/cenotes tours, including the “sky cycle”, very novel and interesting. Also a number of unique zip lines through the canopy, and also two that splashed you down in the cenotes. The tour finished off with a guided snorkel into the depths of their cenotes which connects up with others in the extensive underground river system of the area.

We all had a great time, there is tons of good snorkelling, ruins and beach to keep any family busy for a week. The diving/snorkelling opportunities abound in this area and I needed to be careful to keep in mind that this was a family vacation and not a frediving adventure.

Rob

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Results Day 2/3 · Underwater Rugby

Game 3 – The game we Won!
New Jersey 4 / Unicauca 2

Unicauca is the city in Columbia where they are from. If felt good to win a game. This is the first game I played Guard. Gord played midfield and scored one of the 4 goals.

Game 4
Orcas B 5 / New Jersey 1

Orcas are from Medellin Columbia. This is the main centre for water sports in Columbia. Orcas A won the Ä division.

Gord and I have purchased DVDs of our final game and of the A and B division final.

The picture below was taken during the Division A final. We found out after that people were watching it live online. If I would have know I would have sent out a link.

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Underwater Rugby · Day 1 Results

Yesterday we had two games. (note we are playing on the New Jersey Team)

Game 1
Castores 3 / New Jersey 0

The Castores (Spanish for the Beavers) are the home team.

Game 2
Leones 6 / New Jersey 2

The Leones (Spanish for Lions) were a fast team.

Outside Simon Bolivar Pool

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Simon Bolivar Pool

The first practices at the pool have been eye opening. We have been shown a basic techniques that I think will raise our play to the next level. We are making notes to hopefully pass this on to our club members back home.

The pool facility is beautiful with the Mountains in the background. The water is 28 deg. C and crystal clear. The air temperature and breeze is a real problem for people when they get out of the pool. Some team members are using space blankets to keep warm when the sub out. The change rooms are very small for such a large facility. Yes, being at an altitude of 2640 m does effect the recovery breathing.

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Touring Bogata

Before leaving on this trip we spent time looking into what we should see while in Bogota. With our team mate Rolexi (he grew up in Bogota) guiding us we visited The Candelaria. A famous part of the city with a great history. Highlights of the Candelaria that we say were.

Many small coblestone streets

The birth place of Bogota

The Botero Art Gallery

The Mint Museum

Mexican Cultural Centre

Parliament Buildings

presidential Palace

Several Churches in different architectual styles including the famous Catedral Primada seen in the image below.

Shopping plaza

Traffic is wild and chaotic and downright scary. We opted for Taxis and walking to get around. Only one out of 6 taxis so far had seat belts available in the rear seats. One cab that seemed like he was on a suicide mission and then tried to rip us off. So 11 out of 12 drivers have been good. The pollution from cars is especially strong during rush hour. We can feel the burn in our throats.

Armed with the knowledge from the trip with Rolexi, Gord and I visited the Gold museum (a must see for $2).

Below is a picture of Gord and I at the Mexican Culture Centre with the mountains in the backgroud.

Inside Catedral Primada

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Bogota Columbia – Underwater Rugby

We have arrived in Bogota!

Three of us from Ontario have made the trip to Bogota to compete at the Columbian National Underwater Rugby Competition. The tournament is being held at Simon Bolivar Swimming Pool Complex. We have joined a North American composite team made up of 5 Canadians and 7 US players.

This is a short video I found explaining Underwater Rugby
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fen7bv4Sys]

If you are interested in additional information:

Bogota Underwater Rugby Club Home Page:
www.castoresrugbysub.com

Local News Report on Underwater Rugby:
www.colombianews.tv/news/101210-bogota-underwater-rugby

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Vancouver Freedive Fest 2010

We have arrived in Bogota!

Three of us from Ontario have made the trip to Bogota to compete at the Columbian National Underwater Rugby Competition. The tournament is being held at Simon Bolivar Swimming Pool Complex. We have joined a North American composite team made up of 5 Canadians and 7 US players.

This is a short video I found explaining Underwater Rugby
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?=5fen7bv4Sys]

If you are interested in additional information:

Bogota Club Home Page:
http://www.castoresrugbysub.com/

Local News:
http://www.colombianews.tv/news/101210-bogota-underwater-rugby

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Tobermory 2010 Part II

Tobermory part II. The second offical Tobermory trip of the year and the last Tobermory trip for 2010 for the FreediveToronto Group. The weather just didn’t want to co-operate causing serveral people to decide it wasn’t going to be for them. Three of us decided that we didn’t want to waste an oportunity to get out of the city and have a little fun. The waves were too big for a long trek along the coast but it certainly made for some interesting video.

I hope that the weather is better for next year.

If you like the music it is from a band called “Prince Perry and the Gladtones” (PrincePerry.com). Perry is a long time friend of the Freedive Comunity and he agreeded to let me use the music in this video.

Enjoy!

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1ZhZ7KtnUo]