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Dive Review of Pascual's Scuba Center in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Pascual's Scuba Center, Nov, 2004,

by Dean Knudson, MN, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports). Report 1668.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I was tempted to keep everything I know about this man secret, since I now want him available every time I return to Cozumel, and if the word gets out heíll be booked solid. I havenít had this much fun diving in Cozumel since Flashís dive shop closed down years ago. Pascual Tun ( is a gem, possibly the best, or one of the two best divemasters of the twenty or so I have used in Cozumel. We discovered him by accident on the first night of a quickly arranged trip to Cozumel that was brought on by the last minute cancellation of a Bahamas live-aboard. Pasqual came highly recommended by Gene Kelly, at Kellyís restaurant, and has his small shop in the same garden terrace area as Kellyís, about four blocks off of the main square in town. He arranged a daily pick up at a pier near our bed and breakfast, and was always prompt. His boat, ďthe fat grouperĒis a bit old and shop-worn, but has a sun awning, is sturdy, has a reliable set of engines , is perfectly serviceable, and holds eight comfortably. We never dove with more than six. The dive briefings were customized to the attention level and needs of the group, and he blended several of the dives using two dive sites, adjusting to the number of divers in the area. He was as good as any Iíve seen finding large and small sea life, including toadfish, and it was spooky watching him stalk free swimming fish. His small stature never interfered with the dive operation, he can haul tanks and toss gear without difficulty. Possibly because of his small frame, or possibly because of his 25,000 plus dive experience, he uses an astonishingly small quantity of air on each dive. We noticed he never swapped his own tank between dives, since he often surfaced with 3/4 of his air left after a 100 foot 60 minute dive. If you ask to dive your own profile, that is exactly what heíll let you do, and you must watch your computer carefully. Several times during out stay three of us came close to receiving deco warnings from our computers near the end of 60 minute dives. Be sure you are completely competent to dive your own profile if you request that option. Pasqual never pressured the group to surface, we could dive as long as we wished, and he would come up with the last diver, a refreshing change from the schedule driven fleets on the island. Surface intervals were spent at convenient nearby beaches, and we were never pressured to do mediocre second dives simply because they were on the return route and convenient for a dive shop. The downside of his operation is that heís a one man show, and if he were to develop problems, he has no back up other than referrals to other small operations in the area. He maintains good relationships with many of them, as a support base.
Kellyís bar ([ link]), about a block away from the church near the main town square, has evolved into the local U.S. ex-pat hangout, and serves surprisingly good food in a pleasant outdoor courtyard and covered bar. If you need a long term apartment or home rental, a car rental, a dive master, current restaurant suggestions, or just the current gossip on the island, heís the guy to get unvarnished advice from. His website is the only non-email internet link to Pascual, he will pass on messages to Pascual, who has an office in the same courtyard.
Our group has picked up some general Cozumel tips. If you can roll all your bags 200 feet without difficulty, then donít use the large airport van taxis just outside the door of the airport when you arrive. Roll your bags to the main road entrance of the airport, which takes about 90 seconds. Standard smaller taxis, which are cheaper and much quicker, will pass by at two minute intervals, and will quickly stop to pick you up. The larger vans run a defined hotel route, and it can take you an hour to get to your hotel, if you are the last stop. The smaller taxis charge less, and will get you to your hotel in five minutes. The larger taxis run about seven dollars per person, the smaller taxis about five dollars to ten dollars for an entire group.
We stayed at Summerplace Inn ([ link]), and once again Joe, Marta and Henny did a wonderful job. We rented the three bedroom upper condo for $125 per night, which, divided five ways, was very cheap indeed. Summerplace is about three blocks from the shore, near the supermarket. We called Joe directly to negotiate the rate at the last minute. The rates are higher in the busy season. Henny and Joe typically discourage late night loud noises, and donít tolerate loud parties, but there are plenty of nearby bars to satisfy that need. Henny also provides free bikes and a shopping cart. Her pool is nice, and the complex is walled and private. There is a rinse tank, but no gear storage lockers. She is attempting to sell the place, so future quality is an open issue.
If you never studied Spanish, itís worth your time to obtain the ďLanguage 30" Spanish course on CD, and to memorize the first 30 minutes of it while commuting. Itís also worthwhile to buy a small electronic translator (Berlitz makes a good one) to take care of the rest of your communication needs outside of the main square. The locals will smile broadly, and will go out of their way to help you, if they hear even broken Spanish. Itís considered very respectful when tourists try out the local language. There are several websites (e.g. that offer free English to Spanish translations which you can cut and paste to a word processing program. If you have specific travel needs (directions to a private bed and breakfast, for example), this can be handy.
Another handy travel tool is the Skype website, and a Skype account ([ link]). For about ten dollars, you can purchase a computer headset at Target or K-Mart. This headset plugs into the microphone (pink) and headphone (green) mini-jacks of any computer, including laptops. With a Skype account you can then purchase telephone time in blocks of $20, paid by VISA, and this allows you to call any telephone in the world for about two cents a minute. Itís handy for calling small operators or lodges directly in advance, to negotiate prices. Not all small outfits maintain web sites, but all have telephones.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Austrailia, Bonaire, Bahamas, Midwest United States
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 79-83°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80-150 Ft/ 24-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None. Strongly advised to use a computer.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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]
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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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