The Cost of Doing Business
The Cost of Doing Business

Ah! The beauty of the land and the glory and magic of the sea. You can wax poetic when you live in the splendor of nature on the Yucatan Peninsula. Each and every town like Akumal has its particular assets that attract tourists seeking aquatic adventure in droves. We divers are at the heart of the activity, leading groups of people to the most scenic spots. We identify undersea life, take photos, and share the wealth that the area has to offer. We are lucky to be able to do it year round. We are born and break to snorkel. That doesn’t mean that everything is always perfect, but close to it.

Some divers who are inconsiderate violate some basic rules of life. This means not rinsing your sandy gear in anyone’s kitchen sink. I know a fellow who invites himself over for a post-dive beer, not just for the companionship, but because of the amazing pull down kitchen faucet that I have. His fins and snorkel parts fit right below. Let’s put it this way. He is no longer welcome. The sink becomes clogged with sand and needs a plumber to snake the pipe. No one needs this kind of aggravation. After diving, we want to get together for sure, but it is to listen to music, play cards or a video game, speak with friends on our cell phones, or watch TV. We don’t want to wash someone clean their stuff in our sinks. There is such a thing as common respect. It is like rules of the road for bikers. It is an unspoken code so to speak among us that applies to all. A diver who defies the code is immediately ostracized.

The diver who was rude enough to fill another fellow’s sink with sand had to pay for the repair costs. This was the least he could do and he accepted his responsibility. In fact, now he is one of the strongest advocates of proper post-diving manners. He counsels people to use garden hoses or sinks largest enough to accommodate gear. You do want to clean your snorkeling equipment regularly and keep it in shape as much as possible, but you must do so at the right place and the right time. I know someone who contracted toe fungus from dirty fins, so this tells you the consequences of neglect. Diving is not all fun and games. There is a protocol for the sport.

I don’t want to give divers a bad name, particularly those in the Akumal area. If it is a kind of shore paradise, we must act as if we resided in the promised land. Our best behavior is commanded at all times. We have other rules like no drunken and disorderly demeanor in front of the tourists. We are to answer questions to help guide people to their desired destinations as required. We represent a unique and exciting sport that we want to share amiably with others. This means acting the part.