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Cozumel as a single diver questions

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by sagesign, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. sagesign

    sagesign Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: indiana
    My wife says I've been good and so I can do a dive trip this winter :D ! Last year I did a Blackbeards Cruise in the Bahamas and had a blast and am contemplating that again, but I've never been to Cozumel and would like to check it out. I would like to stay someplace like Scuba Club that offers shore diving, I would like to get in 3-4 dives a day. So I guess my questions are:

    How hard is it to find dive buddies for shore dives?

    What other resorts offer shore diving?

    What are the typical water temps in late January?

    Chances of shark sightings?

    What's involved with getting to Playa Del Carmen to dive with bull sharks?

  2. sharky60

    sharky60 Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: somewhere between Texas and Mexico
    1. usually not too hard. there is always someone going out almost daily...at least at Blue Angel where we stay.

    2. shore diving is not huge on Cozumel, the reef is the big draw. but I like getting in the shallows and searching for critters. Blue Angel, Scuba Club & Aldora all have good shore dives for sure.

    3. not sure, probably still in the upper 70's I would imagine

    4. we see mostly nurse sharks on a regular basis, and you can find them on most dives, but blacktips and Caribbean reefs are seen on the southern most sites & if you dive with Aldora, you can see them on the "Polar Express" & "Sleeping shark cave" dives up north... Fall and Winter seem to be the best times to see "real sharks"

    5. if the weather is good, some dive ops will cross the channel on a special dive, but I'd check with the dive op to see if they are willing. or you can take the ferry over to PDC and hook up with a dive op over there.
    bbarada likes this.
  3. ccannon707

    ccannon707 Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sonoma County, CA
    While sharks may ring your bell, in winter is when the EAGLE RAYS show up in force.
  4. Midge907

    Midge907 Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
    I went last January and the water temps were 78F via my computer on almost all dives, and depths. If you want to get in 3-4 dives a day, just do it off of a boat as much as possible. Getting to Playa is a somewhat easy, yet pain at the same time as you have to take the ferry across, and the check in, crossing, and getting off is a time consuming task. I wouldn't make the crossing to go dive with the bullsharks myself, however I sure will for diving the Cenotes. You will see at least nurse sharks on a few dives, and maybe even a few black tips, however as stated the eagle rays are there, and they are AWESOME!!! What time of year did you dive off of Blackbeards boat?

  5. sagesign

    sagesign Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: indiana
    Didn't know about the eagle rays, I've never had much luck seeing them, they've always been off in the distance whenever I've had a chance to see one.
    I did the Blackbeard cruise at the end of January. Like I said, I had a great time. I was pleasantly surprised with the sea life and corals at most sites, the crew was great as was the food. I just thought I'd try something different this year.
  6. cicopo

    cicopo Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    I stay at Hotel Cozumel most trips & they are usually at the end of Jan thru mid Feb. Lowest temp I've ever recorded on my computer was 76 F and it was just for a moment while going thru some fresh water gushing into ocean water. Hotel Cozumel is next door to Scuba Club & although I only do a shore dive to verify that my gear is working properly here's what I've seen in the area.

    Picasa Web Albums - Larry - Shore dive at...

    And YES that's Eagle Ray time.

    Picasa Web Albums - Larry - Diving the No...
  7. dmoore19

    dmoore19 Denizen of the PUB ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Frozen He**, Stay Away!
    Hotel Cozumel has a decent shore dive though most diving in Cozumel is boat/drift diving. It really doesn't get much easier than that. I have seen a few reef sharks, plenty of nurse sharks and Eagle rays, we went north to see them. Been there in February with temps in the 78-80 range.
  8. Hintermann

    Hintermann Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, UK
    I have been twice to Cozumel, once as a single diver. That was in February 2012 and a 3mm full suit was more than enough at the time. The water temperature in January might actually be a degree or two warmer.

    Never had a problem finding a buddy, even for night dives. I dived with Deep Blue and we went out in small groups of 6 or 7 divers. I tagged along with a family of 3 but in any case, the DM will buddy you if there is no one else.

    Cozumel is pretty good for shark sightings, usually grey reefs and Nurse sharks. We saw the odd white-tip too.

    Places like Blue Angel, Aqua Safari, Deep Blue etc are all good, established operatives, conveniently placed. Whatever you do, do not use the big, expensive "all inclusive" resorts at the south-western part of the island. They are rip-offs and the onus is not on diving.
  9. DjDiverDan

    DjDiverDan Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sunnyvale, TX USA
    I have gone to Cozumel as a single diver many times. Often, the plan was cheap lodging downtown, and spend my money on diving and eating, although I was only rarely going for more than two dives a day. I found that with very long bottom times (Aldora has HP Steel 120 tanks), averaging over an hour - even 90 minutes - per dive, that was enough for me, usually with a night dive thrown in during the week.

    A couple of things to think about in planning a trip to Cozumel. First, the shore diving is not that great; the good reefs are all offshore and boat diving is the attraction. Most operators offer 2-tank morning dive trips. There ARE operations that offer afternoon 1-tank trips - Aldora just started offering afternoon dives from its Villa, north of downtown, and Dive Paradise, the house op at Hotel Cozumel, also will do afternoon trips. Most Ops will offer night dives IF there are enough people interested; it can be a chore trying to organize 5 or 6 folks all willing to do a night dive on the same night (although it's probably easier if you are staying at a dedicated dive resort, like Scuba Club Cozumel, Blue Angel, or the Aldora Villas).

    One BIG attraction of Cozumel, at least for me, is the wide variety of very good to excellent restaurants, with a variety of cuisines and in every price range. That is why I willingly never do All Inclusives in Cozumel. The only time I did was at Hotel Cozumel for a Scuba Board Invasion; I liked the Hotel, and it was a good location, an easy 15 minute walk to town for lunches and dinners, but the food was, in my opinion (and I set the bar high, I am a foodie) TERRIBLE. Breakfast was OK, although the coffee was little more than dirty dishwater, but Lunches and Dinners were tasteless, bland, and occasionally inedible. I would gladly stay at Hotel Cozumel again, but I would NOT opt for the AI plan. The only exception might be if you are a heavy drinker and were planning on drinking your money's worth at the bar, while still going out for meals, but diving 4 times a day would significantly cut into your drinking time, I would assume, and I can't speak for you, but I don't enjoy diving on a hangover.

    There are a LOT of good Dive Ops on Cozumel, from the high end valet service ops like Aldora, Blue XTC, Liquid Blue, Tres Pelicanos, etc., to the more bargain friendly, but still very good ops like Dive with Martin. My personal preference is Aldora, I like the Steel tanks (more air AND better buoyancy characteristics), long bottom times, long SI at a beach club, excellent DMs, and they take care of all your equipment (except wet suits; not important to me, a sore point with others), but I have also dove many times with Dive with Martin, and don't have any complaints (well, except for one time; I arranged for AL 100 tanks, and when I got my tank for the second dive, the valve had been left slightly open on the boat, so I only had 2100 psi before I even went in - so much for more air in a bigger tank). Figure out just what you want in a Dive Op, and you can find one that will meet your needs. I've never used them before, but I understand that Liquid Blue offers both a 2-tank AM dive and a 2-tank Twilight dive, so that might fit your desire for 4 dives a day. I have no idea if that's an everyday thing or only when there are enough takers.
    lamarpaulski and mstevens like this.
  10. Mossman

    Mossman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SoCal
    Rip-offs? While the southern AIs aren't for everyone to be sure, I've always gotten my money's worth at them and have actually found them to be a good deal and the convenience can't be beat (though the OP may be better served in winter by staying further north to have the chance to dive with the eagle rays).

    Not sure what you mean by diving being an onus, I've rarely considered it to be one. If you meant "emphasis", what could be better than having a dock available for pick up by a multitude of dive ops and in close proximity to the island's major dive sites? Others take advantage of the onsite dive shops, many of which offer 4 dives a day at reasonable prices and do their SIs back at the resort. That said, the OP won't find decent shore diving at the southern AIs AFAIK. On the other hand, if the freeflowing liquor of a Blackbeard's was a draw, the freeflowing liquor at an AI may be enticing as well.
    Ontwreckdiver likes this.

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