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Dive Review of Dive With Msrtin/Vista Del Mar in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Dive With Msrtin/Vista Del Mar, Jan, 2004,

by Brian Patrick, FL, USA . Report 898.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Truk, FL Keys, Bahamas, Guam, San Diego
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Requested to stay with the group
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 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 [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I ended up doing 16 dives on my trip to Cozumel. I could have done 20 but decided to relax on the last day. There were NO days or dives lost to weather or wind.
Water temps were 79 to 81, viz was always 100+' but a bit milky sometimes (still better than S FL on any given day). I did all but two of my dives with an operation called Dive With Martin (Mar-teen). I would heartily make them my choice the next time I go.
Since I didn't have the option to fly into Cozumel directly, I did some research at cozumel.net and learned Riviera Bus Service connects from the Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen for $7 each way. (on nice Mercedes buses) I then took the UltraMar jet ferry from PDC to Coz, which was $8 each way. Both the bus and the ferry take 70 minutes
combined. I was at my hotel before the sun set. Getting from Cancun to Coz was much easier than I thought it would be. With Spirit Airlines offering cheap fares from Fort Laud. to Cancun, I'll be headed back to Coz (via Cancun) soon.
Dive With Martin had left a msg at my hotel to let me know my dive for the next day would be an afternoon dive. I proceeded to find a morning dive with another operator called Black Shark and also called DWM and let them know I would do two trips with them the following day. They had no problem with this. Black Shark turned out to be a mistake...
I arrived at the shop 30 minutes earlier than suggested so I could get breakfast at the market next door but found the entire crew pulling away from the shop in their truck w/ all their tanks and gear. They had me jump in and away we went to the harbor, were I ended up standing around for the next hour waiting for the rest of the divers. Once they arrived, we headed out to Santa Rosa Wall and had a nice dive where we saw a big hawksbill and a couple big eagle rays. By the end of the dive, I had a bit of a headache but proceeded
to the next dive, Paso Del Cedral, a favorite from prior visits. By the end of this dive, my headache was quite a bit worse. We headed back in and they dropped me off at my hotel. With a pounding head, I went off for some lunch thinking it might make me feel better. (I had a breakfast planned but missed it since they left early) I felt like
crap and ate at Pizza Hut simply because it was close to my hotel. I went back to the room to nap and puked a short time later. I started feeling better almost immediately but on the next dive the following day, I noticed my spg dropping a significant amount on every breathe which only got worse as the tank pressure dropped but I felt fine
otherwise, doing all four dives. I thought perhaps the valve partially closed or clogged but the next tank was a repeat. The inlet filter on my first stage was mostly blocked and when I unscrewed to DIN portion of my reg, it was wet inside. I can only assume the tanks from Black Shark had water (and bad nitrox) in them. I borrowed a first stage (SP MK20) from another diver that had brought a spare and switched all my hoses to it. I dove the MK20 for the rest of my trip without issue. The remainder of the trip was uneventful in this regard.
All the dives were shallower than 100' except Devil's Throat, which max'd at 138' on the exit. I dove the following sites in addition to the three already mentioned:
San Francisco Wall, Columbia Deep (wall), Los Palmas, Columbia Shallow, Palnancar Caves, Palancar Gardens, Delila, San Juan Wall (north of town), and Chankanaub Reef. Obviously I did some of them more than once. If I had to say which dive really stood out, it would be San Juan Wall, where I encountered at least a dozen big eagle rays over the course of the dive. With the current blowing two knots, we finished at the start of Barracuda Reef. On other dives, I also saw the Splendido Toadfish (endemic only to Cozumel), many turtles (close fly-bys abound), some huge lobsters big enough to "ride", schooling squid on a night dive, a few spotted morays, a reef shark, and seahorses on a few dives. And of course loads of healthy reef. The most "surprising" dive was on Columbia Shallow, a 25' dive where I saw almost everything I've mentioned on a single 75min dive. Dive With Martin's operation is top-notch, well organized, has good divemasters, comfortable and fast boats, and nitrox when I wanted nitrox. They even threw in a free night dive on the third day since the boat had room.
I stayed Vista Del Mar Hotel. Very nice but not very convienient to DWM. My hotel package included 7 nights, 5 2-tank day dives, a night dive, and a video of one of the dives. The only thing that went "wrong" was the divemaster dropped the video camera and housing on day #4 so they were unable to give me the personalized video that was included in the package I booked. They did give me a very nice video of "stock footage". I'd still dive with them again the next time I go there.
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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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