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(mostly 80-100 ft.) Water: 78 degrees. Dive restrictions: depth limit for first dive was 80 ft. (exception: Punta Sur @ 120 ft.). Food at Casa del Mar was “fair.” Dive operation ignored our requests to dive with specific dive- masters. The boats were good and fast. We had a good experience with all divemasters but one. Each divemaster was limited to no more than six divers. Cold water was provided between dives. They did a good job of matching divers with similar experience levels.

Del Mar Aquatics, Casa Del Mar, July 2000, Greg K. Webster, San Diego, CA. Water 80+, Visibility 100+. Operator tried to accommodate computer divers but more often they restricted everyone to table dives of 80' and 30 minutes. Disappointing. Operator was understaffed and boats were very full. Often 15 to 20 divers in each boat. Lots of beginners and no attempt to separate advanced divers from others by groups. After first day we requested specialty dives (addi- tional $15 per diver, usually smaller groups of 4 people) Operator canceled 3 out of five requests due to inadequate staff. Staff was excellent, Captain Juan, mate Carlos, Dive Masters Joaquin, Rubin, and Ricardo at- tempted to accommodate advanced divers but were obviously directed to do certain dives close to home that would get them back on the docks quickly. Barely got 1 hour surface intervals due to hurry to get back. Boat ran out of gas on one dive. New Navy wreck excellent with large holes in numerous section to allow ingress and egress at virtually any deck level

of the ship. Maximum depth 80' and top decks at snorkeling depth. Coral has deteriorated significantly due to diving pressure since my last visit 3 years ago. Huge numbers of divers kicking up sand and this operator failed to eject one diver who was all over the coral. They did take his knife away after seeing him use it on fish and coral, but they should have denied him further diving as he was unsafe. Wish I had known before I left home that other operators had smaller boats and were licensed to go to more advanced dive sites not listed on recreational charts (such as Barracuda Reef on the north end of the island) No complaints about the rooms at Casa Del Mar or La Ceiba, but avoid the “all- inclusive” rates as there are better places to eat. Easy access and direct flights from Houston via charters (check out $99 round trip specials).

Del Mar Aquatics, Casa Del Mar, August 2000, Jim Rosenthal, Longmeadow, MA. Vis: 75-125 ft. Water: 81-83 degrees. My wife and I first dived Cozumel. Returned with our teenage sons, one just newly certified. We were struck by the growth

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    3 times the population, and now

hosting 2,000 divers a day. We were pleased to find the reefs in generally good shape, and the fish very approach- able — for example numerous angel fish swim right by you on most dives. Cozumel may not have all the strange creatures you see in the South Pacific, but it is still excellent diving close to home and at a very reasonable price. Also, lots of night life in town makes teenagers and non-divers happy.

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

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