Never did I ever think that at one point in my life I will end up scuba diving with crocodiles. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? When I first heard that it’s possible, I thought that I would not be able to do it and I’ll probably poop my pants. But here we are and the pants stayed clean.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, I moved to a different city, from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. My new company organizes a night snorkel or scuba diving trips with crocodiles. Without any cage as you might have seen some people doing. I hate the cage diving. For entertainment, crocs are often put in a small pool, people agitate them by teasing with meat so that tourists could take a selfy of doing something crazy.
Same with great white sharks. They want actually nothing to do with you but people must poke them. I have met people, who actually dove with great white sharks freely. I have a completely new perspective of sharks now. They are often used in media as killers and have an evil image but in reality, they don’t find us delicious at all and there is a higher chance of you being killed by a coconut than a shark. A friend who dove with them told me that they just have bad teeth and thus an ugly smile that makes them look scary.
Anyhow, going to snorkel or to dive freely with crocodiles at night is not as nearly as scary as it sounds. I ended up doing both. The crocs that live here in the cenote Yaxche are nothing like the scary big alligators you have heard of living in the states or Australia, where everything wants to kill you. Here you can find crocs that are much smaller than you and no matter how hard they try they cannot fit you between their teeth. In fact, they are rather lazy and shy. More scared of you than you are of them. You are not jumping into crocodile-infested waters with one in every direction you look, but you need to go and find them.
Both times I felt like doing something illegal. We were the only ones there, in a dark cenote. It’s completely quiet and we needed to whisper to not to scare the crocodiles away. That’s why it felt like we are breaking in somewhere trying to find something that we are not supposed to. Then the search began.
During my first time, I barely saw one. Also, it was due to the fact that we were a group of five and 2 of them were customers who clearly got the front seat to the action. We were snorkeling until our guide saw one just with the eyes out hiding in the mangroves. It got scared and swam right under us to the other side. I was looking in the wrong spot and missed the moment it swam from under us. During the second chance, I was hanging in the back to let the clients go first and they had a really close encounter, but I had to swallow my whining inside:” Move! I wanna see, I wanna see! ” and let them enjoy.
Since the first try was not as successful for me, I decided to join the tour again and do it while scuba diving. This time there was only one guy plus the guide. Once again we started on the surface to find the eyes. I noticed a pair of bright orange eyes from the other side of the cenote and signaled the others. We swam there but found no one. Might have also been someone else coming for a drink. Then we swam back to the other side again and our guide found one. We dove down and were watching him from right under.
There I was just floating underwater and observing a crocodile close. The picture is not good, but GoPro does not do miracles either. At least I have proof. The croc was kind of cute and I did not feel afraid at all. I felt more afraid of the dark bottom of the cenote than the cutie just chilling there. We watched him for a while and then moved on and spotted another one later.
It’s done. I did it. What’s next? Sharks? The great whites? That idea scares the hell out of me. Let’s stick with cute colorful fish and some super cute turtles. Well, you never know…