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

Club Cantamar, Oct, 2011,

by Dan Clements, WA, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports). Report 6283.

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
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
UW Photo 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
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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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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