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Dive Review of Living Underwater/Aura Grand in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Living Underwater/Aura Grand, Dec, 2011,

by Elise O Lovell, IL, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 6383.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Red Sea, Coral Sea, Galapagos, Mexico/Caribbean, Nicaragua, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits, end dive at 500 psi, very reasonable/common sense for area and specific dive sights
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Had fresh water container on board, staff very attentive to camera/helpful and careful with equipment

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

Accommodations N/A Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We booked with Living Underwater due to the positive online reviews. Jeremy runs a terrific and very professional operation. He was extremely responsive to emails, handled all of the paperwork with faxes prior to the trip, we spoke by phone the afternoon of arrival to Cozumel, and he offered to pick up our gear from the hotel so it would be ready on the boat the next morning. He was not able to dive with us that week, but he sent an A-list crew. Mario, the dive master, was outstanding. 21 years of experience diving in Cozumel, so as he says, the reefs are "his office", yet he has the enthusiasm and energy of a kid. He expressed the same delight underwater at finding a teeny delicate crab submerged in the sand as he did coming across unusual reef buddies-a big thick green moray hanging out and resting his head on a fat nurseshark in the sand under a coral ledge. We saw several spotted eagle rays, a number of nurse sharks, lots of hawksbill turtles, a couple of baby black tipped reef sharks, and a fair number of large grouper and parrotfish-all a nice change from the typical Caribbean sites. The walls and diversity of corals/sponges in Cozumel always impress, and the swim throughs and formations rising from the depths are just spectacular. Mario was attentive to safety, but trusted that we would pay attention to our computers and only wanted a signal at 1000 psi and to come up at 500. Mario loves these reefs; we saw him replacing broken off coral and dusting accumulated sand off the wall. We hit the highlights of the southern sites, including an awesome loop the loop of Punta Sur, with a descent into a hole that popped out at 121 feet on the wall-more time and interesting ground covered beyond the usual Devil's Throat/Cathedral. They kept our gear for the entire 3 days and it was always ready to go, although we could have set up ourselves, and we did always double check the Nitrox (which was on target everytime). Fresh fruit, mixed cookies, and water/soda during the surface intervals, with a stop at a beach club for a walk in the white sand or a short siesta in a lounge chair. Shout outs to Francisco the captain and Ricardo the first mate-they have all worked with Jeremy for years, and are top notch friendly guys who know how to handle a boat and enjoy the day. Steel tanks were a nice change-add Nitrox and you have a looong dive.
Finally, when my boyfriend and I showed up, we learned that there were no other divers scheduled for our three days. I've had dive operators cancel trips when there isn't a minimum number of divers, but Jeremy instead emphasized what a great dive experience we would have. Mario echoed this, and searched out sites so we could be the only 3 divers in the water. A real treat, an awesome trip, and we'll be diving with Living Underwater the next time we visit Cozumel!
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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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