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Dive Review of Club Cantamar in
Mexico (Western)/La Paz, Baja California del Su

October, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Dan Clements, WA, US
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 6283
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Puget Sound, BC, California, Galapagos, Guadalupe, Hawaii, French
Polynesia, Marquesas, Florida Keys, Bahamas, Oman, Dubai, Caribbean.
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
None.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Comments
Lots of room on boat. Rinse tanks too small for DSLR rigs, but rinsed in
pool after dive. Worked fine.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
4 stars  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
Beginners
1 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
This is a difficult review, as our condo was nice, the food provided our
group (Scott Geitler out of LA), was adequate, and the underwater
photography (whale sharks & other critters) was outstanding.

That said, we experienced major safety issues on boats and with air. To be
specific:

1.) There were no 02 analyzers on any boats, so divers used ones that
myself and others brought down.

2.) There were no safety briefings on board regarding where life
preservers, O2, and first aid kit were located.

3.) The port engine on one boat (Uno Mas) kept cutting out, and finally
died. Water from rinse buckets was used to replace evaporated radiator
water. The next day we went out on Uno Mas, experienced similar problems,
compounded by a small electrical fire. When I went to find a fire
extinguisher in the cabin, I could not find one. Fire was extinguished with
water.

4.) One day several divers started coughing during their dives. When they
surfaced, their air appeared bad. The next day we checked air prior to
departing, and there was a nauseatingly strong organic smell and taste. It
appeared compressor oil had leaked past the filters into all tanks. Since
we had 30 divers, this was a major logistical issue, with dives cancelled
and folks hacking for several hours.

My group of Seattle area divers are extremely experienced and have traveled
extensively around the globe. We had a fun time, and had excellent
photos/videos. This could have been tragic (or fatal) with less experienced
divers. Had the engine fire been more severe, it could have been fatal for
divers on Uno Mas.

Cannot recommend Cantamar for diving.

Dan Clements


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Subscriber's Comments

By MICHAEL ZAGACHIN in MA, US at May 02, 2014 06:55 EST  
Dan,
Thanks for this very important information.
It is nevertheless a bit surprising that Scott Geitler selected this
operation to begin with. I am a not big fan of organised group travel to
begin with and this just confirms it.
By Dan Clements in WA, US at May 20, 2014 19:13 EST  
Hi Michael:

Couple of things. First, I would not be too harsh on Scott for initially
selecting Club Canatmar. He and others had dived with them previously, and
everything checked out. However, after our experience, and the owner's
response, my belief is that it should be avoided at all cost.

Second, I have done a lot of trips with groups and by ourselves. Both have
their pluses and minuses. We have made a lot of good friends over the
years, and learned quite a bit. I think the key is to make sure the group
is well experienced and well traveled. Scott's group was great, and I would
go any where with our Seattle photo group. Top notch divers and
photographers.

Cheers,

Dan
By MICHAEL ZAGACHIN in MA, US at May 21, 2014 06:48 EST  
Hi Dan,
Of course things happen and good operations do go bad (everything slides
downhill in my observation).
This is why I am with Undercurrent for so many years (and learned how to
read reports too) :-))
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Other dive reports on Club Cantamar

All Mexico (Western) Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Mexico (Western)
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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