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Dive Review of Aldora/Aldora Villa in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

May, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Stan Blankenship, KS, USA (1 report)
Report Number 4057
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
Maui, Kona
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
0   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Lost my SeaLife Reefmaster Mini camera on Palancar Caves.

The case came loose from the BC - Has a wrist strap with several small red
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
1 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
2 stars    
For regular visitors to the Villa - sorry to report that Kay and Greg have
returned to the states. They left the morning of April 30 just a couple of
hours before we arrived. Memo said they had a going away party the previous
night which was filled with tears and laughter.

The new managers are Greg and Melissa, a young (30's) couple from St.
Louis. Both divers and very nice. 

My wife and I dove 3 days, all by private charter. Edgar was our DM, Gato
the boat captain. (Note to Glenn Gill - Memo addressed the situation you
wrote about, we had no problems)

Day 1 - Strong currents with dives to Palancar Gardens and Paradise
Shallows. Particles in the water limited visibility to 80 ft. 

Back on shore, a mooring buoy 20 yds off the Aldora Villa dock was nearly
submerged with currents heading North. Two hours later, the same buoy was
nearly submerged by currents heading South. Welcome to Cozumel.

Day 2 - Palancar Caves and Chankanaab Reef. Less current, 100 ft

Day 3 - Dalila and Tormentos. Even less current and 120 ft visibility. 

Did learn from Memo the reason why Aldora uses the 120 cu ft steel tanks
for men (100 cu ft for women). When his American partner Dave first started
coming to Cozumel and diving with Memo, they would use the larger tanks to
extend bottom time. When the two of them decided to open a dive shop, it
would be to dive the way Dave preferred.

Aldora's goal, in addition to diving safe, is to maximize bottom time. The
DM's have extra long air hoses on their alternate regulators.  If a diver
runs low, the DM will share his air. If you want to know how a Beagle feels
while on a leash when the rabbit jumps up, borrow the DM's alt air. 

Unless there is an emergency situation, we are not interested in getting
led by our teeth. When we use up our air, we head up-which brings up
another point.

We dove with Aldora in January, David was our DM. Computers were required
but no matter what they said, every dive required a 5 min SS at 15 ft.
Edgar did 3 min SS's at 15". Memo said there was no dive shop policy,
it is up to the DM to determine what is best.

One of the goals for the Day 3 dives was to determine the lead required for
diving with our gear and 80 cu ft aluminum tanks. They came filled with 32%
Nitrox. The dives were less stressful and we were less tired at the end of
the second dive. 

Planning three live-aboards later this year and hope to again return to
Cozumel to dive with Aldora. Also planning Nitrox certification ASAP but
will never again intentionally strap on another 100 cu ft steel tank.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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