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Dive Review of Scuba Club Cozumel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Scuba Club Cozumel: "Easy trip, fun diving", Jun, 2016,

by Jeanne Reeder, MO, US (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 19 Helpful votes). Report 9340.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Cozumel – Scuba Club Cozumel, with Rainbow Dive Adventures
easy travel, fun diving

The Splendid Toadfish, endemic to Cozumel, is the treasure found in diving this island. Last spring I learned that keeping an ear cocked to hear their foghorn sound was a big help, and was rewarded with twenty. I dived an extra day this trip to return to the same site, Punta Dalila, with my dive master extraordinaire, Arial, but the sands had shifted, thus they sought new homes. The currents were strong as Ariel and I hugged the area along the sand, peering into crevices and listening. It was like being in a windstorm. After we found our first three, I kept up the count: twenty-four, including a two-inch juvenile! I was thrilled to report this to the other group who had sailed overhead in the current, and had seen none. At several other locations we saw two or three of these small eight inch bluish/grey and magenta striped bottom dwellers with chin barbels, peering out from their recessed homes.

Scuba Club Cozumel (SCC) played host to Rainbow Dive Adventures - Barnacle Busters, an LGBT dive club from the Los Angeles Area. They have been coming here for many years, and are received like the kings and queens they are. Their exceptionally well organized and charming RA Buck is their fearless leader on trips world-wide. An actor, he knows how to make an entrance and get us all to smile and laugh on-cue. He is rather like a mother-hen as he asks each day how we are doing and carefully views our diving – praising those with remarkable buoyancy (which most of his divers have), and critiquing as needed when one kicks up the sand or keeps others away from photographing some worthy critter.

As a dive instructor, Buck has taught most of the group. Some have dived with him for thirty-five years. His groups mostly comprise gays, with fewer lesbians. This group was no exception, with ten gay men, five lesbians, a heterosexual couple who has dived with him for nearly four decades, and me, a rainbow-friend. Some are married, like Buck and his prepossessing husband, others were partners or friends. This my third trip, in eight years, with Rainbow Divers, and I am ready to go again.

The group was fluid and this one was the kindest and most comfortable I have ever dived with – gay or straight. The restaurant at SCC has indoor seating with AC or several tables al fresco in the shade. The divers just filled in at empty spaces. This provided great opportunities for getting acquainted with everyone, and a diverse group they were: psychotherapists, psychologists, artist, retired teachers, antique dealer, and several in the entertainment industry. Ages ranged from thirties to young-active over-sixties. A non-diving partner who had come along enjoyed snorkeling at the resort.

Scuba Club Cozumel is a well-established, all-inclusive (meals included, but not alcohol or iced tea), waterfront resort. A reduced package rate is available for those wanting to dine out in the evenings at the many excellent local restaurants away from the town center. The food was well prepared and tasty and wait staff attentive: full buffet for breakfast, a local specialty for lunch (such as Chiles Rellenos), or order from menu for a sandwich and delicious fries. Dinner was served with soup or salad, entre (fish, meat, or vegetarian) and dessert; my favorite was Pescado a la Veracruzana (fish baked in tomato, olive, and pepper sauce). Several varieties of fresh fruit were available breakfast and lunch. I ate two memorable meals out – Las Flamitas for their outstanding queso relleno (made only one day a week for lunch) and La Perlita for their fresh lionfish cerviche and kebobs…delicious both of them!

Our Rainbow Dive group was assigned to the largest of SCC’s leased fleet, forty-eight foot Reef Star, which can accommodate up to twenty divers. As tradition demands with this group, their Rainbow Flag was hoisted to fly with pride for the week. A well-kept vessel, she touts a covered area where the tanks are set up and a sundeck above. A good-sized clean marine head is an asset. There were only a couple of four-inch steps leading to the dive-platform. This is one of the most diver-friendly vessels I have been on in Cozumel, from its design to the exceptionally helpful crew members. They rapidly changed tanks after the first dive, were ready to assist in donning the BC, and kept a watchful eye as I made my way in fins to the platform for entry. I took my BC off for the exit, and they suggested just leaving my integrated weights inside. The usual one hour transit time to dive site went quickly for a small group of us doing yoga and stretching on the sun deck.

The eighteen divers were divided into two groups with their own dive master. Mine was Ariel and I was delighted as he has an eagle-eye in spotting the unusual, but more importantly, he signaled and patiently waited until our group had seen or photographed. His dive briefings were brief but to the point, and done without a map. He asked us to dive our computers and not go into deco, don’t kick up sand or touch corals, and keep an eye out for our dive buddy. Visibility was 100’ plus, so keeping track of my buddy and the group was no problem. Waters were smooth or with a light chop, and current I could not swim into was only found twice. Water and juice was provided, and the divers took turns bringing snacks.

On most dives, huge hawksbill turtles, two-foot plus Caribbean spiny lobsters, parrotfish of many species, filefish, angelfish, nurse sharks, and drumfish are the bread-and-butter of Cozumel: I expected to see them and was not disappointed. Paseo del Cedral was our first dive site – three Hawksbill munching away, two large green morays, groupers, parrot fish, and scorpion fish set the stage very well for the dive week. Paradise Reef hosted juvenile spotted drum, ¼” and 5”, and one adult at 8”. A group of twelve Caribbean reef squid entertained me for a while, until I looked down and saw a slender filefish well camouflaged in the branches of a gorgonian. A juvenile blue angelfish and an adult (greyish) were spotted at Yucaab, as well as a juvenile, intermediate and adult French angelfish.

Other than the dependable tropical fish and the endemic splendid toadfish, I never fail to be mesmerized by the winding canyons and giant pinnacles at Columbia Bricks and the multiple swim-throughs and passageways at Palancar Caves. This fantastic terrain sets Cozumel apart from any other place in the Caribbean. Of course the plethora of colorful sponges and large barrel sponges add to the scene like splashes of paint.

My package trip was $1189 for double occupancy at Scuba Club Cozumel, including transfers in Cozumel, 5 days of 2 boat dives, unlimited shore diving, and all meals. SCC frequently runs specials which are less. My extra two dives on day 6 was $70; computer rental when my battery died, $9 per day. Flight from St. Louis through Miami to Cozumel $599, six hours. No need to exchange dollars into pesos. Cab prices went up, for example from SCC to restaurant on 25th street was $8 usd. A good alternative for off the waterfront on the back streets is to use the colectivo vans, part of the taxi union, for a set price of $3 usd; terminal is Chedraui Plaza (large market).

www.scubaclubcozumel.com, [cozumelinsider.com link], www.barnaclebusters.org
Websites Scuba Club Cozumel   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Andamans, Sudan, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Alor Indonesia, Philippines, Palau, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Raja Ampat, Turkey, Saba, St. Kitts, BVI, Bonaire, Cayman Brac, Cozumel, Turks and Caicos, Statia, Nevis
Closest Airport Getting There easy flights: St. Louis-Houston-Cozumel

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 100-150 Ft/ 30-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive our Computers, keep an eye on our dive buddy, no-deco diving, don't kick up sand or coral
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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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