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a more conservative tour. They allowed us to break away from the group, go a little deeper, and hang out over the wall as long as we kept visual contact. With the vis being down around 75; some of the spectacular formations were less dramatic than usual but we had turtle sightings on two of our four deep dives. Our profiles were in the 95 to 116' range with bottom times close to 50 minutes. Martin’s employees didn’t seem to be in a rush to get the day over with. We regularly had 50-60 min surface intervals and they allowed us to run just over an hour on our second dives. Dive Palancar: They’ve snagged the lion’s share of the divers there at the Allegro, they’re picking up a goodly number of folks from the Iberostar and they’ve got a thriving snorkel tour business going. Some of the personal service and desire to please seem to have gone out the window with their success. They’re just too busy and they’re getting bored. On my arrival day I went down at about 12:30 hopefully to sign up for both the 1:00 and 3:30 afternoon trips. They were booked solid. No problem. We agreed that my buddy and I would do a welcome tank shore dive and sign on for both trips the next morning. The sullen manager passed their reserva- tion book across the desk while holding on to the uppermost corner and we signed up. Later that day when my family made it down to fill out the paperwork and sign up for the morning dives they were told that they signed up neither Johnny nor me for the next day. To make a long story short — the mgr. had held his hand

over the date on the upper corner of his date book and led us to believe that we were signing up for Sunday when we were really signing up for Monday. The Sun morning dives had already been packed full. That’s when I called up Dive with Martin and asked him if I could start diving with his operation a day early. No problem. So I dove four tanks a day for the first four days. Two in the morning with Martin and two in the afternoon with Dive Palancar. They’ve got pretty good facilities: a substantial concrete dock with room for six boats to tie up at one time, a reasonably stocked dive store, gear lockers that consist of big plastic milk crates that are locked in place on concrete racks, three rinse tanks and a dockside shower handle the cleaning of people and gear. They’ve got a large number of rental regs, BC’s, and suits available as befits an operation that does most of it’s business with new cert referrals, newbies, and resort courses. But they also offer more advanced courses, have got Nitrox (at $5 per tank), and are offering training in the Atlantis rebreather. Dive Palancar has got a small fleet of four 38 to 45 foot long converted fishing boats. During our stay they left the dock with anywhere from 10 to 22 divers aboard. Boats returned to the dock during the surface interval to change out tanks and divers. Staying down south you can truly do four dives a day and still have time to eat all your meals and party some at night. I logged eleven boat dives with these guys and their DM’s were really a pretty competent lot. They gave decent dive briefings, were genuinely

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