lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel


Bored of crossing to the mainland by ferry, two Cozumel scuba experts dream of doing it the hard way.

Fernando Paulin and Mateo Gutierrez -- better known locally as Mostro Puc and Capitan Mamoto -- plan to make the trip some 33 feet (10m) underwater, in diving gear and with only the assistance of battery-powered scooters.

This is no normal dive. "The Great Blue Crossing", as it is called, has never been attempted before and presents a unique set of challenges.

Team prepares equipment
The team prepares equipment.

Mostro and Mamoto will need to avoid decompression sickness, dehydration and hypothermia, not to mention navigating across a shipping channel while communicating with the support team and frequently changing the scooter and battery to keep propulsion going.

As Mostro calmly says, it will be "a consummate test of both man and machinery".

Depending on currents, they will travel between 10 and 16 miles (16 and 26km) without surfacing. Spare scooters, batteries and other equipment will be on a surface support boat and will be brought to them while they remain underwater.

Mostro on a test run
Mostro on a test run.

They have already received donations and support from local businesses and are now fundraising for more scooters.

Tests have been made with different equipment and Mostro has already successfully made runs of more than 5.5 miles (9km) underwater in Cozumel. They hope to raise the final money they need soon and set a date for the event some time in May 2014.

With unrivalled local knowledge and extensive experience in professional diving and endurance sports, if anyone can rise (or sink) to the challenge, it's Mostro and Mamoto.

For more information or to make a donation visit the Great Blue Crossing website or find them on Facebook.

Visit our Scuba section for more information about Cozumel diving.

Photos by Pitágoras Larque.