Akumal 1999

We celebrated Deborah's 50th birthday on the Yucatan Peninsula at Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Akumal is down the peninsula from Cancun,
south of the Cozumel ferry at Playa del Carmen, and just north of the famous Tulum ruins.
Detailed map of Akumal.
Sun rising above the clouds on the horizon glints over the surface of the waves. Sunrise from our balcony overlooking Half Moon Bay.
Thin tornado-like funnel cloud reaches down from the clouds toward the sea. One afternoon around happy hour, we watched this
waterspout materialize somewhere off the southern tip of Cozumel,
cross the bay in front of us, and dissipate once it reached land
around the point at Akumal Bay. You might notice a small plane
flying over to check it out.
On Deborah's birthday, we went to La Lunita, a small restaurant down the beach from our condo. We had delicious food ironically accompanied by music from Northern Nigeria. Jim, Deborah, Liz and Dennis pose behind the restaurant bar decorated with crossed palms.
Liz, Dennis and Deborah getting ready to take a dip in the crashing waves at Anna and Jose's Restaurant/Hotel south of Akumal. A 'palapa,' or thatched hut, offers shade on the white sand beach.
Liz and Dennis took a sunset stroll along the beach at Anna and Jose's. Liz and Dennis hand in hand with waves crashing into the beach behind them.
I followed these guys around Half Moon Bay for a while, hoping they would lead me to larger fish. Underwater photo of school of fish swimming around coral.
First, they led me to this "pencilfish." Too bad I didn't get a shot of its purple and pink polka-dotted brethren. Underwater photo of thin stick-like fish heading for a hiding place between coral branches and fan coral.
Sure enough, sooner or later I latched onto this big fella, and followed him until he lost me in the coral shallows. Underwater photo of large blue and green fish swimming along the sandy bottom.
And then, out of the corner of my eye, this huge (or so it seemed) 'cuda loomed out of the reef. I had heard of this beast from Dennis, who'd narrowly escaped a close encounter with this Jaws wannabe. I spun around, snapped a shot, and disappeared before he could include me in his dinner menu. Partially underwater photo of large fish swimming away into the reef.

Yal-Ku Lagoon

When the seas were rough in Half Moon Bay, we snorkeled at Yal-Ku lagoon, a sheltered maze of crystal clear pools surrounded by volcanic rock and the occasional iguana. Snorkelers swimming in the clear waters of the lagoon.
Underwater photo of yellow and white fish with distinctive black tiger stripes. The lagoon is home to scores of colorful fish like these striped guys who followed us everywhere.
Schools of these long-nosed pencil thin silver fish floated just below the surface of the lagoon. After I ran out of film, Deborah and I discovered dozens of their big brothers hovering over a huge school of hundred of thousands of identical fish doing what looked like synchronized underwater Tai Chi, waiting for easy lunch to present itself. Underwater photo of a school of long, thin silver fish swimming among the rocks.


Tulum is a remarkably picturesque Mayan temple built right on the coast.
Panorama photo of the entire Tulum temple area.
Liz and Dennis sitting with the sea behind them. Liz and Dennis commented that the Mayans really knew what they were doing when they built the Tulum temple in this fantastic setting.
Costal view of an idyllic yellow sand beach with palm tree. Looks a lot like paradise.
Deborah between palm trees with the sea behind her. Tulum combines two of Deborah's favorite Mexican activities: beach and archeology.

And onward to the Millenium...

We returned from our trip tanned and rested, ready to party like it's the year 2000 a couple of weeks later.