Squid Eggs Green Sea Turtle and White tipped Shark

Cozumel Trip Report

By Scott Boyd

 It had been six years since I last visited Cozumel, so it Cozumel Toadfishdid not take a whole lot of convincing when a good friend called and said he had finally been certified to dive and asked if we could meet them in Cozumel.  Their dive shop ( New Mexico Scuba Center ) was arranging the trip, with insane flight schedules and excessive costs, but you canít put a price on friendship, so I didnít complain much and was looking forward to seeing the Fitzpatrick clan once again.
 
The flights there were uneventful, and we had our usual green light through customs and eventually made our way to the Hotel Cozumel.  It was low season and the resort was very quiet, but we had great service and good meals for our entire stay.  
 
In the morning, we met our boat and the Deep Exposure dive team at the hotel dock and headed south from some of Cozumelís famous drift diving.  The boat, a 39í Conquest, which is roomy, luxurious and one of the best dive boats I have ever been on.  The crew, run by a character named Ramon, was also very fun, but professional.  They did a marvelous job of taking care of the 14 divers on the boat.  There were two dive masters from New Mexico scuba with moderate experience, myself and Janet with quite a bit of experience and ten newbie's on this trip. 
 Pool babes at the Hotel Cozumel
The diving was never rushed, and we had a nice leisurely surface interval with a great lunch, served every day on an abandoned pier.   Deep Exposure typically had three very experienced dive masters in the water with the group, and I was very impressed with their safety efforts.  At about 30 minutes into each dive, all three dive masters would shoot a Surface Marker and trail it, marking the location of the group of divers to keep any boat traffic off of us.
 
The reefs of Cozumel have taken a bit of beating with the Hurricanes over the past few years, so werenít quite as spectacular as I remembered them from previous trips.  That along with the low skill level of the divers on the boat kept the diving pretty shallow and tame throughout the week.
 
Highlights for me were one dive spent swimming along with a large pod of dolphins, that would follow us and get very, very close to ďcheck us outĒ.  We also had a very nice night dive, spotting lots of lobster, toadfish, eels and stingrays. 
 
The lowlight of the trip was one of the new divers getting seriously bent on our third day of diving.  Iíll cover the details of that unfortunate incident in another article, but was impressed with the fast response of the boat crew and the hyperbaric doctor that met us at the dock.  Ramon (owner) actually spotted the distressed diver as she began to keel over, and caught her before she hit her head on the boat.

We had 4 days of very nice diving, and then boarded the ferry for Playa del Carmen for some Cave Diving on the Yucatan Peninsula.      NEXT .