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

January, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Brian Patrick, FL, USA
Report Number 898
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Truk, FL Keys, Bahamas, Guam, San Diego
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Requested to stay with the group  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
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 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
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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