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SEMO Scuba
12-14-2010, 21:24
Cozumel Trip Report and Scuba Club Cozumel

Day 1 December 4th
The first day went pretty well. I did not get much sleep last night, but I never sleep well in a hotel. The Ramada near the St Louis airport that we stayed at last night is a dump. The first room I got did not have hot water and smelled like an ash tray. They moved me to a second room and it was much better. Some of the other divers complained that their hot water did not work either. The elevator button for the second floor was broken so I took the stairs with all of my dive gear and suitcase. Better than getting stuck in a crappy elevator.

Our Continental flight St Louis to Houston was a fairly small jet, but we arrived early. The early arrival was good because we had a very short layover. Our connecting flight was about 20 minutes late arriving from Chicago due to weather. The fight in to Coz was smooth and when we landed we were the only plane at the airport so getting through customs was quick.

Scuba Club is a nice place, but it is pretty small compared to Hotel Coz. It is a very quiet place in comparison, mostly occupied by divers. I don't know why, but we did not get into our rooms until about 3:30 in the afternoon. The menu for lunch and dinner is quite limited.

We did one dive just about the time the sun was going down so it finished as a night dive. We changed tanks and did a second dive as a night dive. The shore diving is much better than at Hotel Coz. There is the current pier, the old pier is broken up on the bottom, and several other things for fish attraction. We saw 2 or 3 octopus, 2 lobsters, balloon fish, scorpion fish, and many other things. Two pretty good dives for a start.

I had some kind of steak for dinner and it was excellent.


Day 2 December 5th
One older guy in our group of 22 did a shore dive yesterday and could not get comfortable in the water. He did not go on the boat today and decided this afternoon that he is going to fly back home tomorrow. Weird!

Diving today started at Cedral Pass. The dive master wanted to assess the abilities of the dive group since there are 21 divers, before we go to the deeper dive spots. We saw a really large turtle, the biggest Nurse shark that I have ever seen, a big lobster and lots of other things. We did our second dive at Villablanch Wall and saw a Splendid Toad and a large lion fish.

Back at Scuba Club we had lunch, and I took a short nap. We did a 52 minute shore dive at 4 pm. and I took the camera. I got a few pretty good pictures of Arrow Crabs, lobsters, Balloon fish, and a large Hermit Crab.
I had lasagna for dinner and it was very good.

Day 3 December 6th
Today we dove Columbia Brick & Yucab Wall. The Flamingo Tongue picture was taken at Yucab. The dive group is mostly pretty good divers. We did a night dive at 6 tonight here at Scuba Club and I saw a Cuttlefish for the first time. I thought it was a squid.
Dinner was good tonight. It was spaghetti parmesan.

Day 4 December 7th
The Pool was closed this morning! It was windy and the harbor master shut down all the boats. The pool opened at 10:30 so we just ended up getting a late start. We did 2 dives on Paradise reef. We saw a huge Eagle ray on the first dive. I had an interesting event on the second dive. Did a giant stride off the boat and started to descend. My reg seemed to be breathing a bit wet. I removed it and looked at it and all looked well. Started to descend more and it really started breathing wet. Switched to safe second, inspected primary reg better and found mouthpiece was split. I went back up to the boat and one the dive leaders had a spare, changed it out and I got to finish the dive. Thanks Shawn, it saved the dive. Both dives were good.

Day 5 December 8th
Finally a day without wind. It seems much warmer without it. Eleven in our group went to dive the cenotes today so we only had 9 boat divers today. We took a small boat to Palancar Caves for the morning dive. It was a nice dive and those that had not been there before were awestruck at the large coral formations. Our second dive was at Paradise reef. It was a great dive and I got some nice pictures. We did a 69 minute evening dive that started at dusk and ended as a night dive. We saw the octopus again and 2 Scorpion fish.

Day 6 December 9th
The pool is closed!! It is very windy so the harbor master has closed diving. We rented a jeep and we took an island tour. We stopped at Coconuts and had a few, maybe a few too many, marguerites.

Day 7 December 10th
Layed around the hotel most of the day. Packed to get ready to leave. Had a great steak for dinner.

Day 8 December 11th
We got to the airport early so we were the first to check in. Our flight was a few minutes late arriving which will cause us problems when we get to Houston. Our Houston layover was only an hour which is barley enough time for most of us to get our luggage, go through customs, check our bags, get through security, and get to the next flight. Three of our group of 21 did not make it had to take a later flight. We landed back at St Louis on time. IT WAS COOOLLLD. Back to reality.

Scuba Club boat crew
Rolando – captain
Ismael – deckhand
Manuel – deckhand
Geisor – dive master
Nestor – dive master
Boats: Reef Cat, Dive Cat, & Coral Diver
The boat crew gave us great service. They set up our gear for each dive and broke the gear down after. The dive masters were great. I dove mostly with Geisor. He is great at spotting the critters.

Scuba Club is a pretty nice and quiet place. The facility is clean and seems to be in good repair. My room on the third floor was clean and had a window sized A/C unit. The beds are firm. There was a small refrigerator, an alarm clock, two chairs, a closet with shelves, a large bathroom, and balcony overlooking the ocean. Fresh towels were supplied daily. The hot water was hard to adjust in the shower, and would go from warm to cold, to very hot as you showered. There was no TV. The wireless internet works well and was fast. There are an adequate number of power plugs. The rooms do not have a safe but security boxes are at the office.
The hotel and restaurant staff were friendly and helpful. The food menu is a bit limited, but everything that I had to eat was good.

The air temps at Coz were in the low 70's most days with the warmest about 75. It was windy several days so it was sometimes chilly/cold in wet gear after a dive. Water temps ranged from 71 to 81. I wore a 3mm full suit all week and only felt cold on the surface after a dive.

It was good week! Could it have been better? Yes. But it was great to be there.

Diver Kat
12-14-2010, 22:41
Nice report!! Those nortes are causing all kinds of havoc this year!! Seems the port is closed every other day. We were lucky on our trip and squeaked by without a norte closing the port, although it was close one day!

Aquatrax
12-15-2010, 03:52
Great report SEMO, sounds like a great trip, how about posting the pics?

dougr52
12-15-2010, 05:24
thanks semo on the nice report on scc..
i have been thinking about staying at scc on my next trip, but after reading your report i think i will continue to stay at hotel coz !!

TRACI
12-15-2010, 07:39
Great trip report, sounds like a little too chilly or me!

jans
12-15-2010, 09:47
Thanks for the report. I'm glad you had a good time. It sounds like the only real disappointment was the weather. I hope things settle down by the first week in January, I'm already in countdown mode.

dawnvip
12-15-2010, 10:52
Thanks for the report Semo!

bfmorgan
12-15-2010, 11:11
Nice report!! Those nortes are causing all kinds of havoc this year!! Seems the port is closed every other day. We were lucky on our trip and squeaked by without a norte closing the port, although it was close one day!
How do you track when the port is open or closed? Do you have a website that you use?
Newbie still trying to learn all of the tricks of the trade. Thanks.

Defman
12-15-2010, 18:46
I had some kind of steak for dinner and it was excellent.

Ummm, yeah... about that "steak"......

Chilly
12-15-2010, 18:56
Another great Coz report SEMO - Muchas gracias!

SEMO Scuba
12-15-2010, 20:19
I'll try and post a few of my pics. I'm pretty new to underwater snapshots so be nice!8453845484558456845784588459

SEMO Scuba
12-15-2010, 20:34
thanks semo on the nice report on scc..
i have been thinking about staying at scc on my next trip, but after reading your report i think i will continue to stay at hotel coz !!

dougr52,
I have stayed at Hotel Cozumel 3 times and enjoyed my stay there every time. I liked Scuba Club very well also. They are quite different. This was my first stay there.

Scuba Club is a much smaller facility. That can be both good or bad depending on what you like. I liked the quiet atmosphere of Scuba Club.

Hotel Coz wins hands down for bars. Scuba Club does not have a bar only.

Hotel Cozumel has a much larger choice of menu items from their buffets. I liked the food at Hotel Coz, but I thought the food at Scuba Club was of higher quality. Hotel Coz has food available all day until 10 p.m. Scuba Club has specific hours that the restaurant is open. Both have pluses and minuses in the food area.

Hotel Coz has more different things to do.

Both places are nice but they are very different. I will be happy to stay at either on my next trip in March. It will depend more on the others that will be traveling with me which we choose, if either.

Davetowz
12-15-2010, 20:51
Awesome. I have to travel to warm water through others right now. Thank-you!

dougr52
12-16-2010, 04:46
dougr52,
I have stayed at Hotel Cozumel 3 times and enjoyed my stay there every time. I liked Scuba Club very well also. They are quite different. This was my first stay there.

Scuba Club is a much smaller facility. That can be both good or bad depending on what you like. I liked the quiet atmosphere of Scuba Club.

Hotel Coz wins hands down for bars. Scuba Club does not have a bar only.

Hotel Cozumel has a much larger choice of menu items from their buffets. I liked the food at Hotel Coz, but I thought the food at Scuba Club was of higher quality. Hotel Coz has food available all day until 10 p.m. Scuba Club has specific hours that the restaurant is open. Both have pluses and minuses in the food area.

Hotel Coz has more different things to do.

Both places are nice but they are very different. I will be happy to stay at either on my next trip in March. It will depend more on the others that will be traveling with me which we choose, if either.

semo
thanks i have a clear understanding of scc now..
i walked across to scc while staying hotel coz..
also at the end of a week there would have to be a large difference in cost with only 3 meals included at scc compared to ALL meals. all snacks, all drinks, & tips at hotel coz !!!

jans
12-17-2010, 13:47
semo, how would you rate the dive op's at these two resorts? I dont drink too much when diving and it's hard to eat more than 3 meals a day. Also, I like to spend the evenings in town, not at the hotel bar so I think this might be the deciding factor for me. Are the boats over-crowded at Hotel Coz?

Rileybri
12-17-2010, 14:03
SEMO that was not a steak.......... lol

Did the guy who flew out early get a full 24hrs. of SI before flying??

I lived in Baja for the better part of 2 years back in collage working as a sea kayaking guide and the Norties SUCKED! Kind of like a wind monsoon in that every day this time of year you had to be off the water by 3 or you would get blown clear up to the top of the Sea of Cortez.

bfmorgan
12-17-2010, 14:17
I'll try and post a few of my pics. I'm pretty new to underwater snapshots so be nice!8453845484558456845784588459
I think those are very nice pics! You are a newbie photographer when you can take a lot of pictures and have nothing of interest in the frame.http://forum.scubatoys.com/images/misc/pencil.png:smiley2:

jans
12-17-2010, 15:56
I think those are very nice pics! You are a newbie photographer when you can take a lot of pictures and have nothing of interest in the frame.http://forum.scubatoys.com/images/misc/pencil.png:smiley2:

or lots of fish butts.

SEMO Scuba
12-17-2010, 20:48
semo, how would you rate the dive op's at these two resorts? I dont drink too much when diving and it's hard to eat more than 3 meals a day. Also, I like to spend the evenings in town, not at the hotel bar so I think this might be the deciding factor for me. Are the boats over-crowded at Hotel Coz?

Dive Paradise at Hotel Cozumel is a very large operation. They have 6 pack boats and big boats. They usually don't have more than 8 divers per dive master. If you are on their bigger boats they usually have 12 to 16 divers and two dive masters. Some of their boats are pretty slow. The only time I have been unsatisfied with them was 2 days in June. There were 6 divers that would be 30 minutes late to the morning boat so we would be limited to the closer dive spots.

Scuba-Cozumel Dive Center from Scuba Club was fine too. They have 2 large catamarans and 5 smaller boats. We had a group of 20 divers so most days we were on a catamaran. All of our divers were pretty experienced so having a large number of divers on a boat was fine. They all kept their gear stowed well and did not dive in a pile. I prefer smaller groups but in this case the number did not matter. The dive masters were great and the boat crew were helpful.

I would be satisfied diving with either operation again. Also there are many good small dive operators that will pick you up at the dock at Hotel Coz so you have a lot of choices.

SEMO Scuba
12-17-2010, 20:52
SEMO that was not a steak.......... lol

Did the guy who flew out early get a full 24hrs. of SI before flying??

It looked like steak, it was too big to be cat or dog, but it could have been horse meat! Either way it was good.

I don't know what time the guy flew home but his shore dive was not very long and less than 20 feet deep. He was probably good to fly in a very few short hours. I don't understand why he didn't stay and do other things besides dive.