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

Aldora/Aldora Villa, May, 2008,

by Stan Blankenship, KS, USA ( 1 report). Report 4057.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 0-25 dives
Where else diving Maui, Kona
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy,dry Seas choppy,currents
Water Temp 0 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Lost my SeaLife Reefmaster Mini camera on Palancar Caves.

The case came loose from the BC - Has a wrist strap with several small red floats.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments 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 Visibility.

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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