2015 Xcaret, Mexico excursion.

 This one is an oldie from earlier this year. Once again my wife and I went on our yearly anniversary cruise vacation. This time we decided to redo a trip that was previously canceled. A few years back we were to visit Cozumel, Belize, and Cayman Islands but we could not make Belize as it was canceled and destination was changed to Costa Maya. This year we did our research and made sure that Belize was still on the itinerary and there were no problems there. Last time visit to Cozumel we went to visit the Mayan ruins of Tolum. This time around we decided this trip would be about Zenotes and Caves so we decided to visit Xcaret. It was an awesome experience and we recommend you experience at least once.

Our trip was cut short, some times the docking takes much longer than anticipated and that can make your excursion a bit shorter. So as always be ready for any last minute changes.

Pictures of things I like.

 

We took the Ferry from Cozumel to Playas Del Carmen. The boat ride is only about 30 minutes, but some people not used to boats do and did get sick in this short ride. I recomend that you take your seasickness medicine the night  before and a couple of hours before getting in these kind of boats. Luckily for me I do not suffer from this problem but I know many others do.

Pictures of things I like.

We arrived at Xcaret, our driver gave us a few tips on how to make our experience better since we had such a short time to enjoy the water attractions. We chose the underground river that was natural and partly man made, there are other two that are man made as we were explained.

Pictures of things I like.

Right when we entered the park there was a nice little shopping center were you can get some arts and crafts to take home or simply enjoy a drink of your choice.

Pictures of things I like.

Pass the shopping area we went straight to get our gear and passed by the first entrance of the underwater cave.

      Pictures of things I like. Pictures of things I like.

While inside we were surprised by a beautiful pool and waterfall.Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

On we went to the river and started to appreciate our surroundings right away.Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

     Pictures of things I like.   Pictures of things I like.

There were several small Cenotes, some man made and most were natural.Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Some areas are just awesome to stop and appreciate.

     Pictures of things I like. Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

     Pictures of things I like. Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

In the ins and out of the rivers there are areas a bit dark but with enough light for you not to get disoriented, then you can see some ropes on the sides where you can hold as it gets a bit deep for you to walk.

     Pictures of things I like.  Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

 

Past the darkest and deepest areas you will see the mangrove trees, a nice sign that the trip has ended and clear sign that the ocean is on the other side.

Pictures of things I like.

     Pictures of things I like. Pictures of things I like.

The water are a bit chilli and crystal clear, it’s just an awesome place. I wish we were able to experience the other two rivers, this one left a great impression, we will be back.

Pictures of things I like.

Below are fish therapy tanks, right after turning in our gear you can see these on your right hand side.

Pictures of things I like.

Click on the image below to see a full map of the park.

Pictures of things I like.

Past the Aroma and fish therapy area is the entrance to the beach. It looks awesome.Pictures of things I like.

In case you get lost you’ll know hot to get back to Alaska or anywhere else.Pictures of things I like.

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Pictures of things I like.

I must say, we ate like kings and tasted the best fish and seafood I have had in many, many years.

     Pictures of things I like.  Pictures of things I like.

Past the restaurants there are many other things to see or experience.

Pictures of things I like.

     Pictures of things I like. Pictures of things I like.

Below is a panoramic picture of the dolphin area.

Pictures of things I like.

On the other side of the dolphin area they have a nice beach and lots of tikis to get away from the sun.

Pictures of things I like.

We then found our way to the Coral Reef Aquarium. This place was great, most fish were swimming in what seemed well taken care of system of pools.

Pictures of things I like.

     Pictures of things I like.  Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Below are pics of baby turtles that will be released into the oceans. A sign asking you to not touch them so they will not get used to humans is set on rocks by the pools.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Stingrays swimming.

Pictures of things I like.

They have a snorkel are that I wanted to get into but unfortunately was running out of time. from were I was the water was still crystal clear.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Below are pics of the fish tanks, there is a small yet nice area in the shape of a circle with several fish tanks.

     Pictures of things I like. Pictures of things I like.

     Pictures of things I like. Pictures of things I like.Below is a depiction of a Mexican Mayan ruins, an amphitheater, and a depiction of a Mesoamerican ballgame stadium.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

past the stadium wand it was back to the shopping center where I just had to have one local refreshment before leaving to the boat.

Pictures of things I like.

Pictures of things I like.

Browning Split Ring Pliers – My Opinion

Here is what the manufacturer says:

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Don’t confuse these gold and black pliers with ordinary pliers. Browning’s 7-3/4″ Split Ring Aluminum Pliers are crafted of lightweight, anodized, machined aluminum, and feature stainless steel jaws plus a tungsten carbide replaceable cutter. These outstanding pliers also sport non-slip rubber handles. Also included is a durable, molded black nylon sheath that pivots securely into the desired position on your belt. A coil lanyard secures the sheath to the tool.

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Here is what I think:   The pliers are ok and comparable to my old P-Line pliers that did last me 3 years. BP didn’t have them anymore so I bought this Browning Plier because they looked good and were on sale for $39.99  for father’s day weekend. The regular price is $49.99 at the time I purchased it, well on to what I think.

The good:  It looks good, it cuts braid good, opens small 80# split rings and large 300# split rings without a problem and with ease.

The bad: It does not close completely, if you try to close it completely you may damage the replaceable cutter blades.  The sheath may be good for some but too small for me. The lanyard maybe good for some but too short for me so I bought a much longer lanyard that allows me to let some one else borrow it with out dropping it in the water.

Would I buy the regular pliers? NO I would not, I would just get the cheaper P-line aluminum pliers on other sites. I bought this one because of the split ring opening capability. It looked like a good size. By the way I don’t use the sheath either. The pivoting part is made of plastic and if it snags somewhere it make brake just like must cell phone holders do from time to time so I went to the Depot and got me an electrician’s tool pouch. I fit everything I need in there. Also I do not know how the replaceable stainless steel jaws on the Browning will do against rust in comparison to the coated carbon steel on the P-lines. Once again, only time will tell.

Post Edit: July 4th, went fishing at a local pier and to watch the fireworks. While cutting a piece of braid one of the cutter blades came loose and  just jumped in the air, it fell in the water. I am very disappointed this happened.

Browning Split Ring PliersBrowning Pliers made in China

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Browning Split Ring Pliers OpenedBrowning Split Ring Pliers- Split ring end

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Browning Split Ring Pliers- Completely closedBrowning Split Ring Pliers- Braid cutter closes completely

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Browning Pliers sheathBrowning Pliers Pivoting sheath

Shout Jigger Bag III and Jig Bag- My Opinion

I first bought the Shout Jig Bag System III in white (Medium and Long) and a Shout Separate Jig Bag II. It’s been over a year (2012?) now and the items have been with me in over 20 fishing trips, some being 3 day long trips. I had overloaded the bag and now have reduced the amount of jigs I carry. In the pictures you will actually see a reduced amount of jigs in comparison to what I used to carry. The only issue I’ve had is a small whole in one the flaps that holds the jigs in, you can see it on a picture below. So far I have no complaints and the small tear has not gotten any bigger. I may just patch it. The bags is efficient and well made.

Shout System Jig Bag III  Shout System Jig Bag III

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Shout System Jig Bag III - Loaded  Shout System Jig Bag III

The items above do pass, since the first whole tore a year after I bought it. It is worth spending the money. (edit 5/4/14) It’s 2014 now and the bag still looks as I first reported.

The Shout Jigger Bag is a hard item to get, it flies off the shelf very fast and for a reason. So far I like the bag. At first impressions the bag looked and felt flimsy. But after loading it and carrying it to three different jigging trips and a mixed Shout Jigger Bag IIItrip I can say flimsy it might not be.  Only time will tell, so far the bag has fallen off a boat’s bench two times already and held up and still looks like it did when I first bought it. I am digging this bag. It fits the Jig System Bag with Separate Jig Bagand Planno Box and I used one of the separators to hold 4 large leader spools, one small leader spool, an extra reel spool, and a small box of hako hooks.  On top of all that I placed my jigging gloves and my tackle tool belt (an electrician tool holder and belt) in which I carry my split ring pliers, scissors, UV flash light, fish Dehooker, and fish deflating device.

Shout Jigger Bag III   Shout Jigger Bag III

So far, so good and I am liking it. Makes it so easy to get to my jigs and leader.

Post edit 6/27/13: I forgot to mention that I did not like that the bag contents are only protected by splash if the zipper is zipped. There is no material covering the edges when the zipper is unzziped, so is kind of a pain to be zipping and unzipping the bag every time you need something. Post Edit 6/30/13- While fishing on a small craft I kept the bag’s back against the wind with the zippers open and just the Velcro closing the bag, there was absolutely no water intrusion inside the bag. With a big wave the bag fell again and it did not open, even using just the Velcro. Live and learn everyday.

Post edit 5/4/14: Solved the splash problem by pressing the plastic behind the zippers to shape it vertically. Now there is no splash problem. Seems that when I place my Shout Jig Bag System III over the  Shout Jigger Bag it made the splash guard cave in. I no longer do that and my Shout Jigger bag no longer has an issue with water getting inside.

All in all, after about two years of using it still looks about the same. This is an awesome system for people that love jigging, and no this is not an add. I did not get paid to say this. I really like the product.