Cozumel, Mexico
June 21-24, 2001

This is the second time in Cozumel this year! I found a good deal on Worry Free Vacations that I couldn't pass up. Mats had been there for Easter and was interested in going again. He's going back to Sweden in August and have a few vacationdays left to use... Of course, diving was not included so I looked around on the web and asked a few people for good dive operators. I had dived with Dive with Martin before and knew they were good, so we went with them. Another reason to go with them was that Mats didn't have all his gear in Dallas and they offer free rental gear with their dive packages. Can't beat that! They have a 2 day, three tank dive package but we couldn't book that as they needed at least 4 people to go out on the third dive so we had to settle for a 2-day, two tank dive package.

We left Thursday afternoon and came down to Cozumel around 7pm after a slight delay at DFW. After checking into Casa Del Mar, we went over to Dive With Martin to check in with them - sign wavers and check when the boat left the following day. We also got weights and tanks for a nightdive at the beach nearby. The dive was great and we found lots of fish and other creatures.
On Friday we were scheduled on the afternoon boat which ment we had plenty of time for a morning shoredive by the pier. Again we had a good dive, but the current was a little bit stronger (understatement of the year!). We drifted of course and I couldn't swim against the current so I was swept under the pier. Fortunately it was calm on the other side! In the afternoon we did two dives - Santa Rosa Wall and Yucab (possibly Chankanaab). In the evening we did another nightdive, this time from the boat at Paradise Reef. I actually prefered the shore nightdive to this one, even if we had a good divemaster (David).
Saturday we had to get up early to catch the 7.30 boat. We had told them at the diveshop that we would be interested in doing three tanks and we were in luck - a group we picked up at Fiesta Americana hotel also wanted to to three tanks.
We started with Palancar Caves with some nice swimthroughs. Unfortunately we didn't see that much fish. Towards the end of the dive after all the swimthroughs and also at the deepest part of the dive (~100ft) our divemaster just took of down the steep slope. We started banging our tanks and after a few more seconds he turned around. He acted like it never happened - weird! Afterwards we found out he had been down to 160ft, even though it only looked like around 130 feet.
The second dive we did at Delilah and the current was real strong but we saw a bunch of barracudas and triggerfish that liked the current. As always Mats was taking a lot of pictures with his new digital camera...
Before the third dive, we went back to the diveshop to pick up some more tanks and we also picked up two new people. It was decided to go to Yucab even though Mats and I had been there before. We liked it the first time so we didn't mind. Actually, I'm not a 100% sure we actually did Yucab the first time around... This time the current was strong and we again saw a lot of barracudas and triggerfish. This time I found a 5ft nurseshark with 2 remoras attached to it. We also saw a big fish that some thought was a Dolphin fish, but Mats and I looked it up in a fish id book and it turned out to be a Crevalle Jack. We also saw an assortment of Queen Angel, Filefish, Trunk fish, Cow fish etc. A good dive!!
We first thought of doing a late afternoon shoredive followed by a night dive off the shore, but we passed on the afternoon dive and only did the nightdive. We got there a little bit earlier then last time and had time to assemble our gear before the sun went down and it got real dark... This was one of the best nightdive I have ever done - as soon as I got underwater I found the first octopus, about 15 feet from the shore. We saw lots of octopi and Yellow stingrays on the dive. We swam to the plane and back. On the way back, I tried my Spare Air at 35 ft - got 24 breaths out of it. I forgot to test it at 100 ft on an earlier dove. Of course we saw lobsters and also a few barracudas. One unusual sight was a Sharptail Eel that wasn't too afraid of us. In all, a great dive to end the trip with.
Sunday morning we got a good breakfast, rented a jeep (with a Dive West sticker on the rear bumper...) and toured the island. We drove south from the hotel and the first stop was Chankanaab park. We walked around in the park visiting the archeological area with a lot of sculptures from different parts of Mexico, the dolphin lagoon where you can swim with the dolphins and a Mayan museum. A little hot and humid to walk around, but well worth going to. Then we continued down to our next stop about 3 miles off the main highway: the sleepy town of El Cedral. The main attraction is the oldest ruin on Cozumel island. It's really, really tiny - about 15 by 10 feet! It didn't take long to see everything... Actually there are some more ruins there, but you need a guide to see them and we couldn't find one (we weren't really looking for one).
Next stop on our tour was of course Bob's Marley Bar or the Paradise Bar as it's also called. A nice and cold Sol really hit the spot! They have some hammocks, a sand volleyball court, and a perfect spot to take that special picture ;-) If you've been there, you know what I mean...
For lunch we stopped at Coconuts on the top of the cliffs. They have a beautiful view from there that shouldn't be missed.
Our last stop of the tour of the island was San Gervasio Mayan Ruins, a lot bigger than the ruin at El Cedral and well worth seeing.
After that we just had to get to the airport for the flight home - a flight that arrived in Dallas, 30 minutes early! A nice way to end the too short vacation...

Click on thumbnail to see the full size picture
UW pictures by Mats

Me at the beach by the International pier.

Mats at the beach by the International pier.

Mats with his new digital camera.

Me at El Cedral, a VERY small ruin in Cozumel.

Mats outside Paradise Cafe, or Bob's Marley bar as it's also called. Great place to have a beer at on the other side of the island.

An Iguana we found in Chankanaab park.

Me at Santa Rosa Wall

Another UW picture of me.

Have you ever seen a barracuda this big????

A Sharptail Eel.

One of the many octopi we saw on the shoredives by the International pier

Yellow Stingray.

Isn't that cute - a Grunt and a Trunk fish hiding together..

Mats on the boat going out to one of the reefs.