A lot of amazing experiences from this scuba diving canadian instructor that sharing with us magic moments under de sea
You might think, what does a french canadian foreigner doing here, writing in a mexican magazine? and with reason. We are, mostly, known for our latin good temper, our cold weather and our passion for ice hockey. Well, I am different and I want to share part of it with you. This does not mean I have bad temper and, I certainly like hockey, but for the cold ¡nope! I just can’t suffer it.
I have been an automated systems teacher in the Montreal region for 29 years, now and I expect to do it for a few more years. I don’t live on a big income but I made choices that allowed me to live my passions ¡Travelling and diving!
This passion for travelling and scuba diving started right here in Mexico in 1995. I first landed at Cancun Airport to explore this new destination just opening up for canadian travellers. Playa Del Carmen and, a small tourist community next by, called Playacar. The bus could not even reach our hotel (the fisherman’s village) as the road was not yet widely open for traffic.
I still remember it vividly, 27 years ago, going for a snorkeling trip at Yal-Ku Laguna and having my first encounter -almost a discussion- ¡with a gorgeous green sea turtle! (I forgot time and space) I just knew then,I wanted this feeling to stay forever. I thought, I belong there, in the sea.
A few days later, our small group went for a snorkeling trip in a sink hole (cenote) called Dos Ojos, south of Playa Del Carmen. I remember taking my first underwater picture with a cheap single use underwater camera bought at Walmart. Holding my breath underwater, I came within 20-meter of a team of scuba divers slowly floating towards me in crystal clear water and exploring with their lights on, the splendid cavern decorations. When I came out of the water I told my girlfriend: “one day I will scuba dive exactly like this”. Ten years later, I dove the exact same cenote with my dive buddy.
Having already had near death experiences while in the water (rafting in Canada and swimming in the sea in D.R.), this was not going to be easy for me. With time, I got over my fear and today I am a Padi Master Scuba Diver Instructor and underwater photograph. Diving became my religion and the sea, ¡my sanctuary!
I have now more than 1500 recreational dives from many wonderful places in the world: Egypt north and south, Bali, Sulawesi, Borneo, Sipadan, Great barrier reef Australia, Bonaire, D.R., Cuba, Hawaii, Bimini islands, Nassau, Barbados, Roatan Honduras, Florida. And of course ¡beautiful Mexico!
If not for a 27 months medical pause and the unwanted SARS COV 2, I would probably be up to 2000-2200 dives and added new destinations like Thailand, Philippines, Portugal, and Canary islands. Travelling possibilities have opened up for us canadians last october. The choices are not yet wide open but my favorite ones are back, I was back in Quintana Roo Mexico in november 2021 and I enjoyed Chicken Ha cenote and the beautiful turtles of Playa Del Carmen.
If Egypt is definitely the number one in the world for archeology and diving, ¡Mexico is a worthy second! With Mayans, Aztecs and Spanish history combined with the unique diving experiences of Cozumel island, the cavern systems and cenotes of Yucatan and the pelagic life of the Cortez sea. For food, art, music and beautiful women, Mexico is surely far and above Egypt.
I have certified hundreds of divers all over the world, while adding another 1200 and plus training dives with them. From basic open water diver courses, to wreck diving, to drift diving and many other diving specialties. I also trained over 20 scuba instructors. This gives me the advantage of having diving friends almost everywhere in the world. From Cabo San Lucas Mexico to Dahab Egypt.
In the past few years, I stopped being an active instructor and I started enjoying longer adventures for myself, anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. I also started to share my passion on social media and writing articles in a french scuba magazine: Bonaire, scuba diving experiences and Borneo. Recently, Star News mexican magazine offer came to me, like a breath of warm air from the south (writing this while freezing my in below zero temperature LOL).
I have so many scuba adventures to tell. Some of them in 5 stars plus comfort resorts on wonderful dive boats and some others in low budget facilities with funny looking pangas, where to start. Some quite amazing stories and others that I don’t know if I should or want to share publically.
For the the first one, how about wonderful Cabo Pulmo in Baja California, north of San Jose Cabo airport and south of La Paz. Special and different from the now well known, developed and commercial Riviera Maya (Cancun-Tulum corridor). The sea of Cortez is for me a recent great discovery and I am already planning a return. ¡Hope you enjoy!
Gilles Décarie, Senor Bubblemaker.
PADI Master scuba diving instructor
Québec, Canada, J5m1J9
+1 514-927-6918 (iphone or Whatsapp)