Coz. trip June 18-25 2006
Cozumel Trip-June 18th to 25th, 2006
This was a short notice trip that Tom and I went on. We put together last minute airline tickets and Tom found the best deal, and handled the hotel/dive package end. Although I've been to Cozumel several times this was the first time staying at Caribe Blu.
Airfare: We lucked out and found air-only on Funjet from DFW to CZM for $193 apiece about a week before we left.
Accommodations: Hotel Caribe Blu. It's a nice, quiet diver's hotel and I would stay there again. Rooms were large, clean, good A/C, and had T.V. All rooms are ocean view with balcony; they have dive gear storage on-site and all you have to do is pick up your gear and walk the short distance over to the dock. Tom got the hotel/dive package of 7 nights hotel and 5 days of 2 tank diving for $495.
What can I say about the turquoise blue waters in Cozumel that has not already been said? Everyday we dropped down into the wonderful world of the reefs and drifted over the coral heads, walls, and sand flats. Although there is still sand on the reefs from hurricane Wilma and the sea fans, barrel sponges, stag horn coral, and other things were damaged, they are starting to come back. It will be nice to watch the reefs regain their majesty again. There is an abundance of marine life out now; it looks like there are more fish out now than ever. We didn't do any of the deeper recreational dives like Devil's Throat or anything this time; we just had fun at the shallower dives and longer bottom times. We did ask about a Barracuda/San Juan trip but didn't get it, not enough people to go.
6-19-06: Shore dive behind hotel to check weights.
Max. depth 15 fsw.
We saw several reef fish and two barracuda. Also got into a Halocline which was neat.
6-19-06: Tormentos Reef. Didn't take camera.
Max. depth 65 fsw. Bottom time 48 minutes.
Nice drift dive in a rather mild current. All kinds of the usual reef suspects hanging out. A couple from France were shooting video on this dive. Sand from the hurricane still on the reef.
6-19-06: Las Palmas Reef: Didn't take camera.
Max. depth 70 fsw. B.T. 46 minutes.
Dropped down into a little stronger current, but wasn't much, only about 1 or 1 1/2 knots. A couple of people saw a nurse shark.
6-21-06: Santa Rosa Wall. Got settled in and started taking camera.
Max. depth 86 fsw B.T. 48 minutes.
Did the wall, saw many spiny lobster, a small hawksbill turtle, parrotfish, queen angels, an adult barracuda out in the open. We only did one swim-through. Very light current.
6-21-06: Punta Tunich.
Max. depth 65 fsw. B.T. 56 minutes.
Again a very light current. We got some good pics., we saw an octopus hiding in his hole but the shot I got of it was too blurry to make out.
6-22-06: Santa Rosa Wall, again.
Max. depth 78 fsw. B.T. 40 minutes.
Again a very light current. We got body slammed by a group of cattle that a boat had dumped on top of us. We weren't happy. But we did see a lot of fish and did 3 swim-throughs (got away from the buoyancy challenged cattle).
6-22-06: Paradise Reef.
Max. depth 38 fsw. B.T. 50 minutes.
Nice shallow dive with lots of fish and very light current. We saw blue tangs, sea cucumbers, angelfish, parrotfish, and the D.M. found not one but two toad fish that Tom got some pics. of. We could have stayed down quite a bit longer but we were running into no deco. limits.
6-23-06: Palancar Gardens.
Max. depth 85 fsw. B.T. 50 minutes.
On the way out the sea was glass-flat, and we dropped down into almost no current. Again we saw tons of fish; blue chromis, grunts, angelfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, and a crab. At the end of the dive we saw a nurse shark under a ledge, then some type of large fish giving an eagle ray hell in the distance. After blowing up the pic. it looks like it was a barracuda. In the pic. the 'cuda is on top, kinda sideways and the eagle ray is on the bottom, kinda sideways.
6-23-06: Paradise Reef.
Max. depth 51fsw. B.T. 56 minutes.
Current was almost non-existent. One of the first things we saw was a small baby green moray sticking its head out of its hole that Tom found. We also saw an adult green moray later in the dive. There were also crab, lobster, stoplight parrotfish, trunk fish, etc. This was one of the easiest dives of the trip.
I won't even try the exercise in futility of trying to remember what we had at each place. Breakfast was done at the restaurant above the Blue Angel dive shop each day. The first night we went to La Choza for a great meal; I do recall that I had the shrimp in the mustard sauce. Then the next night we hit Prima's where Tom had the Angus steak that was falling off the plate, and also went by La Veranda for a brew one night. Then we started hitting the local eateries. We went to El Moro on Ave. 75, and ate at Parrilla Mission on Ave. 30 twice. I believe that there was one other cocina economica that we ate at but it eludes me right now. Of course we stopped by Casa Dennis on the Plaza a couple of times for some Dos Equis and the chips and salsa. Good food, cheap prices.
One afternoon as we were walking through the neighborhoods we went by "The House" as we used to call it on Ave. 10 but didn't stop in, and they have painted it. It's kinda purple color now instead of green, and the air conditioner in the window that ran all of the time and never worked is gone now. I'll bet the food is still as good as ever. Used to get grouper the size of the plate, beans, rice, dessert, and drink for $2 US. That's hard to beat.
On the last day we rented a jeep and drove around to the windy side of the island. Stopped at the Bob Marley (Paradise Cafe) place and then on to Coconuts for a brew and the view. A drive around the island is a must do.
All in all it turned out to be a great trip; there were no problem with flights, the hotel was a great diver's hotel and the diving was great, not to mention the food! It was one of the best trips I have had there.
As we speak I'm looking at the $195 airfare I've found and Hotel Pepita. :-)
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