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unexplored reef structure of Chinchorro Banks off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula has become accessible to divers this year with the opening of the first of the region’s planned resorts, Maya Ha, south of the Sian Ka’an biosphere along the coast road down to Xcalak, with other resorts either planned or completed but not yet open. With a variety of activities and adventure tour offerings in addition to diving, this region is an excellent choice for serious divers looking for reefs where few divers have finned as well as divers who travel with non- divers.


Aqua World, Westin, February 2000, M. Cichon (mcichon@snip.net) Sicklerville, NJ. Vis: 30 to 50 Feet. Water choppy surge currents. Dive your own profile: no. Given the strong current, I had no intention of straying far from divemaster. Westin Regina service is horrible. I brought their beach towel to room and the maid took it out with daily cleaning. When I requested a new towel, front desk referred me to Police (otherwise I’d have to pay $25 to replace) then concierge made me meet with hotel security to get a towel without paying the $25 replacement cost. Also, prices for a burger $10. We fought with waiter to reduce our burger price to $10 from the regular dinner fate of $16 because we ordered our meal during “dinner hour. ” The dining room is always near empty (probably

due to their exorbitant prices) yet when we did eat there, service was extremely slow, if existent at all. Rooms lacked balcony to dry equip- ment. Hotel is far from main attrac- tions, shopping, dining. Horrible place. As for diving, currents were strong, Aqua World provides a good package of 3 dives (2 tank each of nite, reef, and cavern) for $120. Best dive was cavern Chokmool. Reefs look a lot the same but this is an outstanding, easy, inspiring, fun, you won’t forget this dive outing. After this dive, all I can think about is another cavern dive.

Aqua World, Crown Paradise, June 2000, Kerry Smith (ksmith@corp.darwin.net), Louis- ville, KY. Vis: 50 to 75 Feet. Water: 80 to 85 F, choppy. Dive your own profile. They told us when to get out of the water. I came up with more than half a tank of air. We spoke to the dive operator before we left for the trip. Aqua World confirmed everything I had ever read about regarding dive operators who work out of resorts. They told us there would be no more than 10 divers. Groups no larger than 4 would be accompanied by 2 DM’s. Groups were organized by skill/ comfort level. My wife and I have just less than 100 dives, our son 25. Poor briefing, they did not tell what us to look for. The group before us clearly had three first time divers grouped with experienced. The beginning divers were back up in less than 3 minutes. The crew offered no help or encouragement. Just before going in I had to ask who our DM was. My son took about five minutes equalizing,

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

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