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expense, I was disappointed with the Presidente Hotel. Initially they assigned me to a poorly located room with poorly operating shower. I complained and had to pay a charge to move to another room. Though, as a single you pay a supplement, your accommodations are not the best. Most of the hotel employees are fine. There is a reluctance of the hotel to provide a copy of your charges when using their restaurant or facilities. I had to insist on a copy each time and wait until they provided a copy. I think Presidente is too expensive for what they provide. At the airport in Cancun, I changed $20 U.S. for 10.5 pesos to $1. Qt.. the hotel, I changed $100 U.S. into 9.6 pesos to $1. The clerk explained that the hotels on Cozumel have an association that prescribes the exchange rate so that all are in accordance with one rate.

Aqua Safari, June 2000, Frank Stile, Canyon Lake, TX. Weather was sunny and the water was variable currents. Visibility 30-120 feet. The boat was diesel powered but sloooow, (usually last on the reefs), equipped for 16 divers and usually full; drinks and they furnished snacks. The park reef $10 charge was not include in the $295 charge for 15 dives. The ad- vanced dive at Punta Sur cost an extra $10. Though our group of seven were skilled computer equipped divers, they instructed us to surface with 700 psi or follow the divemaster to the safety stop. They planned all dives for depth, time and to follow the divemaster and his assistant. With one exception, I always surfaced with over 1000 PSI,

usually being the first in and last out. On dive 3, the plan was to dive Palancar Reef, (for the second time that day), 40' for 40 minutes. The new divemaster announced that a student would be making a first open water dive which made a shallow dive necessary. The dive began near the L-head cruise ship terminal with the current flowing southbound. About 25 minutes into the dive, the current reversed and the water clouded. At 40 minutes into the dive, a loud clanging was heard. It was the divemaster’s assistant signaling “up.” I noticed a huge black object that turned out to be Carnival’s “Impulse.” Five divers surfaced within 50 feet of the ship. Another diver went under the pier and ship and was picked up by another dive boat that also lost their divers under either the ship or pier. The next morning, when our group com- plained to the dive shop owner, we learned that the divemaster was blaming our group for not obeying signals. (This was a dangerous situation where the divemaster lost control. Mexican police consider divers nearby a terrorist threat; and another adjacent ship had just sailed a short time before.) A compromise was reached when they assigned us Miguel, the dive shops “best dive- master.” The remainder of the 12 dives were made with Miguel and the same assistant. They reaffirmed our capabilities as safe and able divers. Both tried pointed out interesting things and took us to our choice of sites but the dives contin- ued with the extreme restrictions.

Copyright 2000, DSDL, Inc. publishers of Undercurrent, www.undercurrent.org

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