Photographer Michele Westmorland and writer Deborah Kirk are currently on assignment for Sport Diver in the Yucatan. Their project is to explore a deep system of cenotes and flooded caves that few divers have ever visited – and to see what ancient mysteries await them at depth.
Day two started with a civilized, traditional Maya breakfast in the lush and fragrant gardens of Hacienda Itzincab. But this would be the last we would see of civilization – as we know it, anyway – before nightfall.
Our first stop was a far-off-the-tourist track archaeological site called Mayapan. Accompanied by a formidably knowledgeable guide, Alfonso Morales, we climbed the gorgeous ruins of the last known city of the post-classic Maya period and pondered the mysteries of how this extraordinary civilization fell into decline.
In the afternoon, we drove for an hour over a deeply rutted dirt road to reach our dive site. In the midst of a dense, dry, low forest, the sinkhole we were about to enter is virtually unknown to divers. We descended by rope to reach the water’s surface, and plunged to a depth of 110 feet – a subaquatic lunar landscape if there ever was one – and emerged exhilarated. Think all cenotes are alike? Well, think again.
Curious about their discoveries? Check back for more updates from the field — and a full report in a future issue of Sport Diver.