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terfmop
10-26-2008, 22:15
Well, I was certified in May '07 and made my way around the various midwest dive sites. This past summer, I finally made it down to some salt-water and made my first salt-water dive in Port St. Joe, FL.....the viz was absolutely attrocious (5-10') and I was wanting to get back in my cold, murky quarries. A couple days later, I drove over to Panama City and had a great time with Dive Locker as I explored some of the bridge spans in 25'-30' vis. This fall, I am headed to the much warmer waters of Cozumel. This will be my first time down to Cozumel and I expect my best diving to date.

My dive shop booked through Bay Adventures and we'll all be staying at Hotel Cozumel, but I'm not sure which dive operator we're going with. After our 2-tank dives in the morning, I'd like to do some shore diving. I've read a few of the posts on Cozumel saying there isn't much in the way of coral reefs for shore dives, but there is still some marine life. Would the shore dives make for good night dives?

I'm scheduled to take a Nitrox course before I leave and hopefully use it to take in many looong slow drift dives.

Anyone have any advice for a 1st-timer to Cozumel?

gthomas
10-27-2008, 10:14
You heard right about shore diving, not much to see. You need to rent a boat to get to the reefs. There might be a few reefs that would be close but you would have to know exactly were they are. The few shores dives I've done they're wasn't anything to see. They're are several dive op's that are reasonably priced and well worth the money. The dive Masters have dove their reefs for years and can show you things you might miss on your own.
Have fun I'm tring not to be jealous.

mwhities
10-27-2008, 10:28
I just got back from Cozumel and we too stayed at Hotel Cozumel and Resort. We dove with Dive Paradise as they have a store associated with HC&R. Walk through the tunnel under the road an you are at their shop.

We did some shore dives right off the pier (where the boats pick you up) and it's not to bad. Don't expect to see a lot of pretty coral or reefs. The marine life there though it quite abundant. Small rays, sea urchins, sea cucumber and several fish/animals. There is a big stone looking wheel and there's a LARGE lobster under it. Someone also mentioned seeing a small octi.

At 6.00 per tank/weights, it's an excellent shore dive and would be a great night dive. Just be aware that there is current there and if you don't pay attention, you can get pulled out/down from the pier.

Michael

maggs_the
10-27-2008, 10:51
congrats!! and you will have a great time!

here's a few things to keep in mind from a THREE-TIME visitor to Hotel Cozumel via Bay Adventures (we LOVE Al)

unless you specified a different dive shop, you will probably dive with Dive Paradise which has a shop directly across the street from Hotel Cozumel.

you are going down there during their very low season so some of the things mentioned on their website probably won't be going on... it may be a little quiet actually.

they will have buffet breakfast inside and you can have the cook make you up an omlet (i suggest throwing in a bit of their pico de gallo but be careful before diving because it is a little spicey!!).

the restuarant across the street next to the dive shop will likely still be closed for the low season, but usually you can get off the boat, throw your gear in the rinse tanks and sit down in the open-air resturant for lunch. but no problem, just throw your gear in the rinse and walk across the street where they will have lunch outside by the pool. get them to make you a chicken fajitas and a couple of quesadillas to go with your pineapple juice and life couldnt be better.

there is a grocery store within walking distance if you get there and find out you forgot toiletries or sunscreen or whatever. oh, and buy your tequilla and vanilla at the grocery store!! much cheaper than in town where they know you're a tourist :)

Dive Paradise has several boats and you may or may not be on the same boat each day. if you want to tip the crew and dive masters, you may want to carry cash each day. they may split it all up in the end anyway, i dont know...but we always try to tip each day in case we dont have the same group the next day.

the staff at Hotel Cozumel are some of the sweetest people i've met. we were just there in early October but my guy was there in April this year and we both were there in April 05 and May 06. we have found no reason to go elsewhere.

if you do want to go in town for a meal or two, i can recommend Pancho's Back Yard and Prima's (italian) but I couldnt tell you how to get there!

the water is warm and viz is usually GREAT. the intoductory shore dive can be "boring" to some, but we happened to find flounder, small moray eels, small scorpionfish, fireworms, small puffer and of course, the underwater Mayan Temple they put out there for photo ops!

the only problem i have with the whole place is that i find it very difficult to think about non-Caribbean water as an option :D

have fun! you will get hooked.

chinacat46
10-27-2008, 11:31
It's up to you but I think you would be wasting your money diving nitrox. Most of the operators limit your dive time and if you are only doing 2-3 dives a day you will most likely not approach your NDL diving just air. I think they charge $10 a bottle and it really won't gain you anything but make your wallet lighter.

terfmop
10-27-2008, 17:56
It's up to you but I think you would be wasting your money diving nitrox. Most of the operators limit your dive time and if you are only doing 2-3 dives a day you will most likely not approach your NDL diving just air. I think they charge $10 a bottle and it really won't gain you anything but make your wallet lighter.


Oh, I didn't realize there was a limit on the dive time. I just assumed, they followed your bubbles on the drift dive and picked you up when you surfaced.

awb
10-27-2008, 18:40
Depends on what opp. you are using. My last trip are DM went into deco on 3rd dive, we where on nitrox not the DM.

georoc01
10-28-2008, 16:12
I'm headed down for my 6th trip to Cozy on Thursday. Did 2 trips to Hotel Cozumel.

Shore diving is ok. Certainly look around the pier, I have seen crabs and other critters around that area. I'd prefer the shore dive down by Casa Del Mar, where they park the submarine. There are a few spots around there where they feed the fish for snorkelers, so plenty of fish.

I also agree on the Nitrox. If you are only doing 2-3 boat dives a day, I doubt you will need it, as opposed to a liveaboard or bonaire where you are doing many more dives and the advantages become larger.

terfmop
10-30-2008, 18:32
Depends on what opp. you are using. My last trip are DM went into deco on 3rd dive, we where on nitrox not the DM.


it'll be with Dive Paradise

chace_nicole
10-30-2008, 22:12
Not really in regards to diving, but if you take a day off from diving...it is really fun to rent a jeep or convertible VW bug and tour the other side of the island. You will find great beach bars like Coconuts, Mezcalitos & Freedom in Paradise. Beautiful beaches, just beware the currents are really strong there for even swimming. If you have a non-diver with you, the snorkling is good at Playa Corona (along the way). I have been going to Coz for years & its my favorite thing next to diving.

chinacat46
10-31-2008, 05:57
Depends on what opp. you are using. My last trip are DM went into deco on 3rd dive, we where on nitrox not the DM.


it'll be with Dive Paradise

Dive Paradise will definitely limit your dive times. Skip the nitrox on this trip but still take the course.

terfmop
11-01-2008, 20:57
About one week away now! Can't wait. Completed the NITROX course today, so at least I can use NITROX if needed.

teerlkay
11-19-2008, 13:01
I'd like to do some shore diving. I've read a few of the posts on Cozumel saying there isn't much in the way of coral reefs for shore dives, but there is still some marine life. Would the shore dives make for good night dives?

...

Anyone have any advice for a 1st-timer to Cozumel?

VillaBlanca Shallows makes a great shore dive - day or night

rayaa3
12-11-2008, 16:20
How was your week? I'm booked for Hotel Coz and resort in February for a nice 4 day weekend (wish it was longer). This will be my 2nd trip - but my first to that hotel.

thanks,

Ray

firstdive2005
01-01-2009, 15:20
Did you find out who your diving with yet? Quite a few OP's let you dive your gas. Being new to The Coz dive experience the shore dives with be so much fun because the vis is mind blowing. I agree the shore dives at night are so much fun also. Just swim against your current and drift back at your turn, make sure you remember to have a marker for returning to shore. When I started out I planted a beacon at depth and headed out. It was to easy to find on return and I hit the beach on the mark. Not typical but worked for me. Maybe we can do a night dive together. I leave on the 13th. have a great time if not. There is a good thread on restaraunts on SB. I personally recommend Albinos. Such a cool MEXICAN restaurant. Great food, easy on the pocketbook and neat site to eat at. O ya about the nitrox thing; I am diver that seems to benefit from less fatigue when I use it. Not to mention all the other benefits of less nitrogen loading. I wonder how many flames are going to highjack your thread now. =) kev

mcintoro
01-01-2009, 19:42
me and my daughter are heading to Cozumel in Feb (week of 22nd) and staying at hotel Cozumel but we are diving with papa hogs. Anyone have any experience with them???? We are looking forward to our first warm water diving!!!

firstdive2005
01-01-2009, 23:53
me and my daughter are heading to Cozumel in Feb (week of 22nd) and staying at hotel Cozumel but we are diving with papa hogs. Anyone have any experience with them???? We are looking forward to our first warm water diving!!!

Your going to really enjoy their hospitality and how well they run their show. I think youll be catching Carnival. I took my daughter last year and all I had to do was follow her and her friend around with my 'I'm the dad glare'.:anim_stick:

rayaa3
01-19-2009, 19:03
Mcintoro - sounds like I'll miss you by a week, wife and I are going to be there Feb13-16 (Valentines weekend) and are diving with the same op. I'm losing my mind waiting for it now!

Hope you guys have a blast. I have a 9 year old daughter, I'm hoping to get her into it in a couple of years (want her to be at least 12, if for no other reason than physical fitness level, and finding a bc that fits!)

Hope you enjoy your trip...I know you'll enjoy your diving.