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Dive Review of Blue XT~Sea Diving/Occidental Grand Cozumel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Blue XT~Sea Diving/Occidental Grand Cozumel, Sep, 2004,

by Gary Timm, CO, USA . Report 1385.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Roatan, Bonaire, Togabo, San Salvador, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 70 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Advise dive guide at 700psi. Minimum 3 minute safety stop.
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 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 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 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Blue XT~Sea Diving is a relatively new, small dive operator that focuses on service and a quality diving experience. They certainly exceeded all of my expectations, and were mostly responsible for the best dive experience I've had to date. Cozumel's famed diving also helped.

Owner Christi Courtney has done a terrific job. Her boat "Shamu" is a small, "fast" boat offering sun protection and dry storage. Oxygen is aboard. Communications are through the standard marine radio with a cell phone backup for emergencies. The cell phone works well out at dive sites. The boat carries the captain, a dive guide and a maximum of six divers. Service is exceptional. If you choose, you can leave all your equipment aboard except for wetsuits. It will be rinsed, setup and ready to go the next day. The crew exchanges the used tank for a fresh one between dives. Towels are provided and the fresh water rinse is a nice touch. Rain Ponchos are available if needed. Snacks between dives consisting of bottled water, juices, small sandwiches, nuts, crackers, cubed cheese and cookies are a real treat. The boat always was promptly on time for my designated pickup time.

Christi's staff is top notch. Pedro and Jamie are terrific dive guides. They wanted us to have a good time and made sure we did by constantly finding and pointing out things of interest. They are second to none at finding small critters! We certainly would have missed things had it not been for their keen observation skills and intimate knowledge of the dive sites. If you are an experienced diver, they leave you alone except for an occasional look to be sure you are OK. If you need a little help, they offer quick assistance and gladly provide tips on technique if asked. Hector, the captain, is a real entertainer. He can occupy you with his magic tricks for as long as you are interested. How does he do those things??

Surface intervals are done at a nice sandy beach facility with chairs, palapas (sp?), food and drink concessions, both an open air and enclosed eating area and restrooms. Nice touch!

Dive sites are picked by the divers on board. If you aren't familiar with Cozumel's sites, tell the crew what you're interested in and they'll likely be able to find it. Dive profiles for a two tank day are typical. The first dive is the deepest at anywhere between 75 to 120 feet depending on the site. Second dives usually are in the 50-60 foot maximum range. My bottom times always exceeded 60 minutes except for two really deep dives. You are allowed to dive your computer's NDL or to 700psi. Divers using air faster than others are sent up while others are allowed to continue the dive. Tank fills consistently were 3000+ psi except for two that were in the 2800-2900 range.

My trip was about a week after hurricane Ivan passed through the area. Although Cozumel didn't sustain a direct hit, they did experience some strong winds for about two days. Consequently visibility was a little low (about 70 feet) early in my trip and continued to improve daily. By trip's end, it was in the 120 foot range. Water was warm at 82-83 F. Currents were mild to none. Weather was mostly sunny with no wind and calm seas. Perfect!

This was my first experience with Blue XT~Sea, and certainly won't be my last. For me, they have set the standard by which I will judge all future dive operators. You can't go wrong with Christi and Blue XT~Sea! Check them out at www.bluextseadiving.com.
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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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