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Thursday, December 03, 2015

THE CENOTES OF THE RIVIERA MAYA 2016

An amazing Book for anyone who is a cave diver or anyone interested in cave diving
on November 14, 2015
It's been a few years since I have dove the Cenotes. The last few years have been mostly in the caves in Central Florida. I received Steve's book this morning and spent several hours bouncing around in it reading the descriptions of many of the places I have seen and I look forward to reading more over the next few days of places I want to see in the Fall of 2016. Steve's descriptions are concise and yet give the true cave diver the ability to see what he has seen. Steve also goes into details about the landowners and flow of many of the systems so that we can better understand the systems and the history behind them. Great book for anyone who is a cave diver and a neat book for the average recreational diver who may be interested in taking the next step.
Bill Adams
 
 

on November 28, 2015
Had the first book which I enjoyed. This one gives a lot of information to learn about the area from someone who loves the area and wants to share. If you are new to the area there is a ton that's shared. If you have already visited it will expand what you already know. Over 600 pages of information.
 
 
The Cenotes of the Riviera Maya 2016 (Paperback)
the most comprehensive guide to the area you will find. Whether you are considering visiting the area or have been there many times....you will find useful and helpful information in this guide. I have over 1500 cave dives in the area and am impressed with all the information packed into this book. You will not be disappointed. If the author's intent is to inform and educate.......job Well Done!
 
on November 17, 2015
Wow, what a terrific book. If you are interested in this part of the world, and the magical underground caves of this area, this is the book for you. Steve has been passionate about these underground caves for as long as I can remember. This is the real deal. Steve exposed me to many of these caves over the past few decades and I will never forget the experience. Steve can remember details of areas, paths to and from, cave systems, you name it.. after one visit. Steve's passion for safety is unbelievable. In my humble opinion, there is nobody else is the Yucatan Peninsula, The Riveria Maya, that could write such an accurate book as this. You will not be disappointed.
 
on November 16, 2015
I have had had the original book for almost a decade, and was glad to hear it was being updated. The book is well written, and includes many new cenotes and updated systems. As a cave diver who frequents many of the cenotes in the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
 
on November 14, 2015
It's been a few years since I have dove the Cenotes. The last few years have been mostly in the caves in Central Florida. I received Steve's book this morning and spent several hours bouncing around in it reading the descriptions of many of the places I have seen and I look forward to reading more over the next few days of places I want to see in the Fall of 2016. Steve's descriptions are concise and yet give the true cave diver the ability to see what he has seen. Steve also goes into details about the landowners and flow of many of the systems so that we can better understand the systems and the history behind them. Great book for anyone who is a cave diver and a neat book for the average recreational diver who may be interested in taking the next step.
Bill Adams
Aqua Adventures of North Carolina
TDI/SDI 11920
PADI 172367
IANTD 3694
review image
 
 
on November 10, 2015
I received my copy of Steve's new book last week. It is a very comprehensive look at the cave systems of the Riviera Maya.
I have been cave diving there for the past 15 years and found this book to be very informative. It is very different from his last guide book. There are not all the beautiful photos the last guide had. However is is a great guide to the caves of the region with information on many caves that were not even discovered when the last book was written. I highly recommend this guide for anyone who plans on traveling to the area or who just wants to learn more about the amazing caves that are there.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


The eBook is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes & Kobo.

www.cenotesofterivieramaya.com

 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


My newest book is now available at my website... www.cenotesoftherivieramaya.com

Also...you can get it as an eBook!




Tuesday, November 03, 2015

MY BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE and OTHER BOOK DISTRIBUTORS.














Friday, September 18, 2015

CENOTE PET CEMETARY

CENOTE PET CEMETARY   
16Q 0457252 UMT 2246664


The land owners are Felipe and Irma Fernandez.    The maximum depth for the Blue Abyss Room is 225 feet/68.6 meters.

Cenote Pet Cemetery got its name from cave explorers Mike Madden and Eric Hutchinson who when finding and surfacing in the cenote for the first time during a cave exploration dive on October 12, 1994.  They were searching for a connection between cave systems Dos Ojos and Nohoch Nachich where they found many animal bones laying in the cenote, thus Mike named it Cenote Pet Cemetary.  In addition, the cenote was first discovered in 1985 after Hurricane Elena as the Mexican Army was accessing the damage by air and came upon it.  The landowners have renamed area the Cenotes Sac Actun. 
     
The most popular dive is to the Blue Abyss from Cenote Pet Cemetary.  This room was first discovered during exploration dives of Christmas week of 1992 by Mike Madden and Bill Main.  They found the top of the room as they had reached their air turnaround on their final day of diving.  Returning on Tuesday, February 2, 1993 using Mako DPV’s from Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich, Mike Madden and Steve Gerrard explored the room to a depth of 225 feet/68.6 meters stopped by breakdown rock.  Several attempts were made during the years since by a variety of cave explorers. It is currently being pushed by Polish cave diver Krzysztof Starnaweski.

During recent years.

Drive to the entrance road to Cenote Dos Ojos (The Ejido Jacinto Pat) located ½ kilometer south of the Xel Ha Highway 307 Bridge.  Drive west on the Ejido Pet Cemetery sascab road. Follow the road past Cenote Dos Ojos and continue for three more kilometers. When the road turns left follow it south ad continue.  Along the way you will see several huge concrete block signs with Sac Actun painted on them. Continue on road until the very end. You will find a large parking area marked by a cave diver sign and several long wooden tables for setting up your equipment. Park your vehicle.
             
Behind this area is a short sandy path leading to a large cenote that is naturally impossible to enter. The land owner has constructed a quality set of wooden stairs leading down to the water. There is an area with benches to place tanks.

It is highly recommended to do this dive to the Blue Abyss Room with a stage bottle. Why? For most folks, when you reach the Blue Abyss you will be close if not at THIRDS with your air or gas supply. The stage bottle insures that you have plenty of air or gas to enjoy the Blue Abyss Room, particularly if you plan to swim deep into the bottom of the room.  Enter the water and perform the pre-dive rituals. Face the cave opposite from the wooden steps and deck and swim underwater into the cave. You are looking for a yellow braided nylon guideline. This line is set up as an irregular circular path that winds around a huge cavern and snorkeling area. There is a huge air space with two wooden decks and a ladder leading to the surface through a small shaft. Electrical lights have been installed for snorkeling groups.

You will probably find two parallel yellow braided nylon lines. Choose one and swim clockwise or counter clockwise (left or right). Either way you will be swimming and following the yellow line for about 7 or 8 minutes. You are looking for two large quality directional arrows. There is a stalagmite nearby where the yellow line is anchored.  From this point you will tie off a reel or spool and swim into a huge cave passage. The permanent line is about 25 feet/7.6 meters away tied to a stalagmite.  Follow this string for 200 feet/60.1 meters and your find two directional line arrows pointing back to the Cenote Pet Cemetary. There will be a slate tied to the permanent line pointing towardsCenote I-Hop, which is 400 feet/122 meters. There will be another string one foot away. This line leads into the Dark Side of the Moon area. To your left, 40 feet/12.2 meters away is another string. This is the line to the Blue Abyss. Tie off a reel or spool and connect into this guideline.  Swim approximately 300 feet/91 meters and you will encounter the King Pong restriction. It zig zags through a forest of columns. Yes, you can swim through this minor restriction with your stage bottle. There is NO silt! Continue swimming and eventually you will drop off your stage bottle when appropriate for your team. When you reach a 90 degree turn of the permanent guideline to the left there should be two large quality directional arrows. You are now at the jump for the final 300 feet to the Blue Abyss. It is a 15 foot/4.6 meters distance, down to the right. Tie in the connection with a spool or reel. This passage is highly decorated. Halfway to the Blue Abyss you encounter one more minor restriction. It is crack that slopes downward. Be gentle. You should reach the Blue Abyss in 45 minutes or less.
                                 
For side mount divers, a popular route is follow the cavern line clockwise (left side) for about 4 – 5 minutes and there should be a quality large arrow pointing back at 6 feet/1.8 meters depth .  To your left you are looking for a white string tie to rock 20 feet/6.1 meters away.  Follow this line for 300 feet/91.4 meters and you will encounter the No Mount restriction.  Detach one tank (one bottom clip) and carefully push the bottle ahead easily through the restriction.  Follow this string for approximately 22 – 25 minutes and the line will end.  Jump 8 feet/2.4 meters across with a gap reel or spool and turn left and swim 40 feet/12.2 meters to the 90 degree turn of the permanent guideline and jump right to the Blue Abyss line.

The dive site fee is 500 pesos.

The bathrooms are the BEST in the Riviera Maya.














Thursday, September 10, 2015

CENOTE GARDEN of EDEN

As of this week of September 7th, 2015, new professional decks have been constructed and completed at CENOTE GARDEN of EDEN considered the main entrance to SISTEMA PONDEROSA, located two kilometers south of Puerto Aventuras, Q. Roo, Mexico. This site has become a madhouse with scuba, snorkeling and swimming activities during the past few years. $$$$$$$$$$$$$

Photos by Michel Vazquez 



Monday, August 31, 2015



My book will be published this month, September, 2016.  It is 640 pages containing 12 chapters of tremendous information.  Page Publishing of New York City is the publisher and it will distributed as an eBook and a hard copy.  It will distributed through all the major book companies such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. and through 50 different countries.

Thursday, August 20, 2015



                            My Primer

                                   Michael Meduno

     Cave diving in Mexico has come a long way since the 1980s when explorers like Sheck Exley, Ned Deloach, Karen Pribble, and later, Mike Madden and Parker Turner first put the Yucatán on the map. Today, three decades later, the so-named Riviera Maya, which runs along the eastern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula in Quintana Roo bordered by the Caribbean coastline has arguably become the mecca of the cave diving world with over one thousand cenotes from over 330 distinct underwater cave systems containing more than 30,611,517 ft (9,330,390 m) as of June, 2015 of surveyed line.

     To put these numbers into perspective, that’s nearly 5,798 mi or 9,331 km of known passageway, and exploration continues to this day. In fact, Riviera Maya contains nine of the ten longest underwater caves in the world, and explorers expect to extend the two largest systems Sistema Ox Bel Ha (843,654 ft [257,146 m]) and Sistema Sac Actun (810,714 ft [247, 106 m]) as of May, 2015 to over one million feet each underwater within the next few years.

     More amazing, explorers are still making major finds, such as the 2007 discovery of Hoyo Negro or black hole, a 200 ft (61 m) wide, 187 ft (57.6 m) deep chamber located at Cenote Ich Balam (the Jaguar Eye), which may be the most important Paleo-Indian site discovered in the last few decades. And dry cavers are now journeying to the peninsula to undertake karst explorations of their own, deeper into the Mayan jungle.

     This mind-boggling pace of discovery is one of the reasons that sixty-two-year old educator, explorer, guide, author, and underground photographer Steve Gerrard decided to update and expand his original Cenotes of Riviera Maya guidebook (February 2000), which sold more than eight thousand copies. This new e-book edition Cenotes of the Riviera Maya 2016 leads the adventurous reader further into the field and details some of the amazing discoveries that have occurred over the last decade and a half. I can think of no better guide.

     Cave certified in 1975, Gerrard has been diving the cenotes of Riviera Maya since 1986. Following a dive at Carwash with Mike Madden and Parker Turner, the quiet-spoken explorer made his first exploration dive at Nahoch Nah Chich with Madden and Juan Jose Tucat, where the team laid nearly 2 km of line in Nahoch Nah Chich, setting the record at the time for longest surveyed line in a single cave dive. He continued to make pilgrimages to what was then regarded as cave diving’s frontier until 1992 when he packed up his gear and moved to Puerto Aventuras.

     Since that time, Gerrard, who has logged in excess of eight thousand cave dives, and trained more than three thousand cave and cavern students has dedicated his career to exploring, teaching and guiding divers through the Yucatan underground. In addition to Cenotes of the Riviera Maya, the veteran caver is the author of Cavern Diving Safe and Fun (2007) and coauthor of Cave Diving-Safe and Smart (2008) published by the Professional Scuba Association International (PSAI). His cave photography has been featured in more than fifty publications.

     In Cenotes of Riviera Maya 2016, Gerrard describes and highlights over 120 cave systems nearly three times the number of systems in the original guidebook and almost ten times the number of cenotes. He has also added rich overlay of information about the Yucatan’s unique underwater discussion of the anthropologic finds and their significance by Jeronimo Aviles and Eugenio Acevez.       Sadly, the growth of surveyed passageway in Riviera Maya has accompanied an unprecedented explosion of population and its associated development along the Yucatan Peninsula. Sewage, nitrate runoff, and destruction of habitat have become major problems impacting numerous cave systems, which empty into the Caribbean Sea, and the coral reefs, many of which are dying.

     Gerrard’s book serves both to document the condition of the Riviera Maya’s cenotes today as well as drive home a strong conservation message to protect this unique and fragile environment for future generations of cave and cavern divers before it is too late. They have a saying among the Yucatan underground, “You don’t know if you don’t go.” My advice to divers is to get yourself down there, but be sure to read this e-book first!

Monday, January 19, 2015

CENOTE NOHOCH NAH CHICH, Q. ROO, MEXICO


      On Saturday, January 17, 2015 I had a great photo session at CENOTE NOHOCH NAH CHICH with MICHEL VAZQUEZ of Puerto Aventuras and JESUS GUSMAN of KOOX Diving in Tulum. The photo session started horribly as one of slave strobes would not fire and as I predicted as my models were ragged at the beginning. However, as we progressed they got better and better. It was the first time for both guys. After 30 shots, I stopped the dive on Ron's Line and somehow (miraculously) I got Jesus's slave strobe working...YAHOO! From there it just improved as we went along my route. Out of 280 shots, over 200 were keepers. CENOTE NOHOCH NAH CHICH has always been my favorite place for underwater cave photography.
An underwater cave photographer's paradise!
Photos by Steve Gerrard.