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First time to Cozumel -- how much is too much?

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by BigDaddyGlad, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. BigDaddyGlad

    BigDaddyGlad Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    First post here on this great community... I got certified OWD in June and recently back from a cruise to ABC islands where I dove in Aruba and Bonaire and got bit bad by the fever. I'm already planning a trip with my buddy to Cozumel at the end of February. We're staying at the Iberostar.

    Since we're staying at the Iberostar, I figure we might as well use the on-site shop, Dressel. Communication has been pretty good so far, I'm now at the point where I need to figure out how much diving is too much.

    The ops I dove with in Aruba and Bonaire ran their 2-tank dives a bit differently than Dressel does. It looks like Dressel sends out 2 boats in the am, and 2 boats in the pm, and you do your two tanks at the assigned location for that session. So, you could theoretically do 4 dives per day, or 20 dives over a 7-day stay (leaving 24 hours flight clearance on the back end). That seems like a lot, to me, physically. I'm a soft 50-year-old office worker who's embarking on something entirely new here!

    I was thinking it would be 1 morning dive, a break for lunch, and then an afternoon dive. I could get in a good 10 dives, maybe throw in a night dive there to see what that's all about, for 11 total. That seems like a good number, but then I feel like I'm missing out on opportunity to get more wet time. Any thoughts on how you might build your schedule over 7 days?

    I also have a bit of apprehension over the fact that most of the sites Dressel goes to seem to go deeper than the 18m for which I'm certified. There was another thread here about a DM taking someone deeper even when they said they didn't want to go there. Any thoughts on that?
  2. ChrisM

    ChrisM Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    Typically, a two tank morning dive boat is going to go out, do a dive, do the surface interval on shore, do the second dive. Maybe Dressel returns to Iberostar for the SI since they're south, don't know [ALSO, things are in flux and no one knows what southern sites will be open come February]. Your conditions are generally going to be better in the morning than in the afternoon. Generally.

    It's very personal, I did one Coz trip where we did two morning dives and two afternoon dives. These days, at 52, I'm a bit more "let's do a couple morning dives, have lunch and a nap, then an afternoon dive off Blue Angel, unless we hit happy hour first" and be done with it. But then again I've been doing this since '92. Been there, done that, 5 or 6 dives a day. Not that hardcore anymore.

    As to depth, on most sites you can control your own depth, and stay above the DM if they go deeper than you feel comfortable doing (of course you're then somewhat separated, and they may go through a swim thru while you wait above, trying to figure out where they come out). Best to discuss it specifically with the Operator
  3. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
    Beatdown to space it out that way. Plus ops want to get you on and off. You'd typically do 2 morning and/or 2 afternoon.IMO 4 dives a day is best done when on a liveaboard where you arent schlepping gear all over the place

    Stick with 2 AM dives, back by lunch with some fish/shrimp and a few Sols.

    Then if you want more, get on the night dive. Take a hood for the night dive.
    FreeFlyFreak likes this.
  4. kmarks

    kmarks Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    I did my very first ocean dives in Cozumel many years ago. Since then, I've done a little over half my total dives there, but I've never done more than 3 in a day there - 2-tank morning dive and a night dive. I like to take the afternoons off to enjoy the food and culture. And maybe a nap, too.

    The way that most of the ops run is to take one trip out with two tanks for each diver. You do a dive, spend an hour on the surface, either floating or tied up at a dock, then do the second dive before going back home. Some ops will run two trips a day - morning and afternoon - and a night trip, which is just a single dive. It's not unheard of and not unreasonable to do both the morning trip and the afternoon trip and still throw in the night dive, but you need to take a break after about 3-4 days if you are going to do that. If you aren't diving on nitrox, you're going to be very nitrogen loaded very quickly (do you own a personal dive computer?). It's pretty standard practice to just take a full day off of diving mid week if you are doing that kind of schedule. Just take an entire day off, go into town, eat some amazing food, visit the museum or chocolate factory, swim with manatees at Chankanaab, there are so many possibilities.

    Your training is to 18m, but in Cozumel, you'll probably break that, and that's probably going to be ok. The 18m rule is more of a guideline than anything. But, if you are uncomfortable with that, make it clear to the divemaster/guide. Make it clear now, while you are making plans with Dressel, and arrange a private divemaster/guide for you and your buddy if you need to. My wife, for medical reasons, has a hard bottom at 75 feet that she will not go below. She brings her own divemaster now, but on our first two trips, the ops we dove with were both very accommodating and picked sites where she could be comfortable and safe, and others in the group would still enjoy the dives. You don't have to go that deep in Cozumel, but you will go deeper than that.
    eleniel likes this.
  5. NDL_Diver

    NDL_Diver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wichita
    Yes, Dressel goes back to Iberostar after every dive. I would suggest doing the 2nd morning dive and the afternoon dive. Gives you a chance to sleep in and have a nice breakfast.

    You are in vacation after all!
    Lorenzoid and CajunDiva like this.
  6. northerndivermike

    northerndivermike Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: ontario
    I believe Dressel goes out and back each tank. So four trips each day plus a night dive.
    You don't need to do 2 dives back to back but I believe that could change the pricing slightly.
    I was considering diving with them this November for a few days and then staying in centro but will be changing my plan due to the new reef closures
  7. Captain Bravo

    Captain Bravo Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Canada
    Second dive of a two tank dive is usually shallower. Personally, I dive about 10-12 dives per week, mostly two tank afternoon dives with one night dive.

    My girlfriend and I like to take our sweet time in the morning.
  8. Captain Bravo

    Captain Bravo Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Canada
    Also, Nitrox is free of charge if you are certified
  9. Snoweman

    Snoweman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    I did 12 dives during my last five day visit. I would recommend getting nitrox certified before you go if you're going to do a lot of dives.
    MrBigfins likes this.
  10. Rob9876

    Rob9876 Barracuda

    Every person is different, but as much as I enjoy diving it starts to seem like work to me after about 3 dives a day. And its nice to do some other things on vacation also. There are a lot of other things to enjoy in Cozumel, including occasionally sleeping late or even doing nothing. So, we like that our dive op lets us choose 2-tank morning or afternoon dives, or even 2-tank twilight dives (with one dive before sunset and 1 night dive after). We mix it up a bit, but 5 days of 2-tank dives plus a couple of night dives is about the most I would book -- and I'd probably be more inclined to have 5 days of 2-tank dives with one or more of those 2-tank dives being twilight dives (we definitely like getting 1 or 2 night dives).

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