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Private or Dedicated Guides / Spotters...

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drschibi

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Do any operations offer private guides for couples or small groups? Would anyone have recommendations for good guides with good spotting skills especially for macro? Any suggestions appreciated! I will try to include a compiled list eventually with reviews.
Thank you!
 

gopbroek

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I am not aware of any dive shop in Cozumel that does not have private DM's available. They may or may not be shop employees but every operation that I know of has a list of 'eventuals' that they recommend and trust that they can contract for the dive. Understand though that unless you have chartered the boat the operation may not plan on going to a particular dive site that is suited for macro photography. The other item to be aware of is that under Covid restrictions the boats capacity is limited to a % of the coast guard registered total capacity, depending on the current stoplight color code status. This is all souls onboard not just customers so a private DM can cut into available slots on the dive boat and the operator may charge accordingly.
 

Okcdiver2

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https://www.juliokinscuba.com
Julio is the best I have ever dove with on spotting macro stuff. Alot dove with him when he was with dive paradise and tres pelicanos. He now has a dive shop at hotel barracuda. Have him take you on a shore dive in front of barracuda hotel one day. He can spot the smallest stuff. He has small fast boats Enjoy.
 

cozcharlie

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Cozumel, MX and Houston TX area
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As @gopbroek indicated, pretty much every shop has private guide available subject to Covid space restrictions. Most also have divemasters whose strength is finding small stuff. It is also easier to find small stuff if you don’t have a big group to worry about, so a private guide is a good idea if you have the means.

That said, Fernando at Pelagic Ventures is really good for finding macro stuff. I have friends with 10,000+ professional dives in Cozumel who are very envious of his ability to find small stuff (kind of a running joke at this point about what did Fernando see today ). Certainly not the only good macro guide in Cozumel, but definitely worthy of consideration.
 

Guitarcrazy

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On my recent trip down with Salty Endeavors I dove with Martin and he was amazing at finding macro. He is a former commercial diver so has some good stories about living underwater for 56 days at a time. Unfortunately I had my wide angle lens on the camera so the shots of the small stuff weren't as good as I hoped. I have never seen so many nudibranchs, flamingo tongues, and juvenile drum.
 

Charred

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https://www.juliokinscuba.com
Julio is the best I have ever dove with on spotting macro stuff. Alot dove with him when he was with dive paradise and tres pelicanos. He now has a dive shop at hotel barracuda. Have him take you on a shore dive in front of barracuda hotel one day. He can spot the smallest stuff. He has small fast boats Enjoy.

Just as a me too, I have dove with Julio at 3P and the stuff he finds is amazing. I recall on my last trip he was finding tiny tiny pipefish floating around in the detritus on the bottom. If you are going to dive with him make sure your reading vision is good and maybe bring a magnifying glass!!!
 

gopbroek

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Just as a me too, I have dove with Julio at 3P and the stuff he finds is amazing. I recall on my last trip he was finding tiny tiny pipefish floating around in the detritus on the bottom. If you are going to dive with him make sure your reading vision is good and maybe bring a magnifying glass!!!
He was probably wanting a stretched de-compression stop after hunting Lion Fish at 180'. :D
He really does have good eyes for spotting detail.
 
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drschibi

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Just as a me too, I have dove with Julio at 3P and the stuff he finds is amazing. I recall on my last trip he was finding tiny tiny pipefish floating around in the detritus on the bottom. If you are going to dive with him make sure your reading vision is good and maybe bring a magnifying glass!!!
Thanks. Will email julio.
 

Jayfarmlaw

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Jorgito at Aldora loves macro. He even dives with a magnifying glass to show his divers what they have been missing. Great person, great dive master, and if you are lucky, you just might see El pescado pollo de Cozumel!

Seriously, if it's the tiny stuff you are after, get a magnifying glass and give Aldora a call. There's a whole new world most divers never see.

Good luck!
Jay
 

BoundForElsewhere

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As @gopbroek indicated, pretty much every shop has private guide available subject to Covid space restrictions. Most also have divemasters whose strength is finding small stuff. It is also easier to find small stuff if you don’t have a big group to worry about, so a private guide is a good idea if you have the means.

That said, Fernando at Pelagic Ventures is really good for finding macro stuff. I have friends with 10,000+ professional dives in Cozumel who are very envious of his ability to find small stuff (kind of a running joke at this point about what did Fernando see today ). Certainly not the only good macro guide in Cozumel, but definitely worthy of consideration.

True. I was on a dive recently with Fernando and he pointed out a little black speck in the sand. It wasn't until my friend with the camera got back to his computer that we realized it was a nudi. Not even on Macro in the camera could we see what it was. He had to blow up the image before it became clear. Now that's freaking amazing. Fernando even brings a giant magnifying glass so the rest of us can see what he sees. That, and he's the sweetest guy possible. He took my wife and 5 year old daughter on a private snorkeling trip and they both fell in love with him. Yeah, I'm gonna need to talk to him about that...
 
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