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Dive Review of LIVING UNDERWATER & Pelagic Ventures/Occidental Grand in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

LIVING UNDERWATER & Pelagic Ventures/Occidental Grand, Apr, 2008,

by Ted Shieh M.D., IL, USA ( 2 reports). Report 4046.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Thailand, Micronesia, Fiji, NE Australia, Hawaii, California, Great Lakes USA, Florida, Caribbean (throughout), Bahamas, Turks and Caicos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 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 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 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 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Living Underwater, Pelagic Ventures, Occidental Grand, April 2008
Ted Shieh, MD, (tedatshedd@yahoo.com), Chicago, IL

Our group of 3 booked a few days with Jeremy of Living Underwater before Jeremy went on vacation. Being our second time with Jeremy, our expectations were more than met; and this time, a new fast slim fully-shaded boat that doesn't roll. We were picked up at our resort's pier, as usual. Steel tanks with long bottom times. Max 8 divers on the boat. Since a few of the other divers were air hogs, dive sites chosen were shallower than those Jeremy would normally pick in the past. Jeremy was more than able to find those rare macro subjects, such as pipe fishes on almost every dive, pipe blenny, etc. Dives were slow and easy, unless currents were strong. Nitrox was offered. Camera rinse tank available. Boat crew were unbeatable with their service. Warm towels and fleece dive jackets for hypothermic prone divers like myself came automatically. Plenty of fresh tropical fruit, snacks, and beverages handed to us for hydration and refueling, and long surface intervals at a beach club to energize. Gear was cared for between days of diving, so we only schlepped gear on the first and last days. Overall a first rate operation worth the extra cost.

We then booked a 2 tank dive with Pelagic Ventures. At $65, plus $10 per nitrox tank, it's a good deal for a bargain hunter. The boat was small and a bit old; the 2x85 hp motors spewed out a bit too much diesel fumes for my tolerance. The boat arrived quite late that day for unclear reasons. The standard aluminum tanks meant standard bottom times, Troy(owner) is very friendly, and Alex(DM) was absolutely superb. Alex, who apparently knows a few secret sites, took us to a stunningly beautiful, deep dive site (without a name) worth getting narc'd for. Alex seemed to know exactly what the critters' addresses on the reef! No camera rinse tank, no O2 meter for checking nitrox tanks. No towels or other frills. Surface interval was either trolling for game fish, or hang out at a pier. One diver in our group left a weight belt on Jeremy's boat, and Troy took the initiative to retrieve it for us and Alex brought it to our resort the following day. Kudos for that.

Occidental Grand, being far south of town, is close to a number of great dive sites, which is great for short boat rides. The setting is remote and tastefully done-with lots wildlife roaming the resort; service staff are friendly; beach and pool well-maintained; food above average for an all-inclusive; rooms very nice. Cab rides to town is $20.
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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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