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Questions for virgin OW diver and Coz

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dundles

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I have spent a good amount of time sifting through the many outstanding postings on Cozumel. Soup to nuts. I haven't been able to come across the specific info I am looking for. I will give a quick sketch of the situation, and then a list of questions. We are trying to finish planning a trip my wife wants to do for my 60th. I was cert'd back in the '70's as a kid. Was nuts for it. Had a bit of a break for a while thru school and flight training. Then re did cert with a friend in the early 90's. Had another break after losing my leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident. As a late bloomer, got married the first time at 53 :oops:, to a great Irish lass. She just finished her cert and I want to put together a trip that will set the hook.. My first dives after getting signed off in the '70s were in Coz. So, my questions are......
1. Best recommendations for any minimum current dives for us to start with. I'd like to get her a half dozen or so to start with to get her confidence up.
2. For Feb, is 5mm the ticket for those that tend to run cold? Do shops rent suits?
3. Suggested "don't miss" dives for a newbie. Any "do miss"?
4. Anything you can think of I may not be considering?

I have the great list of ops to go through, and figure I would contact a couple that look like they fit the bill and get their take as well. Appreciate any input and have already gleaned a lot from this forum.
Cheers
Scott
 

MMM

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Hi. I will make an attempt to answer your questions. Most of the Palancar sites (Bricks, Horseshoe, Gardens) are pretty easy sites, albeit somewhat deep. Unless you charter a boat exclusively for your use, or a private dive master exclusively for the two of you, you won't get to choose your dive site. Best to explain your need to the shop and the dive master so they can attempt to accommodate you. A shore dive or two or three might be the ticket, alternatively.

I run cold and wear a 7 mm suit with a hooded vest, so a 5 mm wouldn't be overkill in that circumstance. Shops rent wetsuits but you are unlikely to find anything heavier than 3mm.

As far as don't miss sites...my favourite is Maracaibo Shallows (kind of a misnomer as it is about 70 feet), but conditions have to be perfect to get there. Colombia Shallows is a good, easy beginners second dive.
 

FishWatcher747

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Agree with MMM, I would hire a private guide for the first few dives to keep the dive shallower and sort things out.
 
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dundles

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Thanks. That was what I’ve been thinking. Do you connect with a private DM thru an op, or is there another better place to track one down? On a different subject……in the area around town is there any area that it would be safe/advisable to put in a run? My wife is trainInd for a 50 miler in New Mexico in the middle of march. The thought of going 8 days without a run has her breaking out in hives…..runners🤪
 

jbjclj

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Jorge Cabrera owner of Punta Sur Divers is an Iron Man and participates in many Cozumel races. Also Tres Pelicanos and see if Servando could be your private DM. There are many wonderful dive shops, very difficult to go wrong
 

FishWatcher747

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There is a bike/running lane along the coast highway south of San Miguel. Couldn't be easier to be a runner or biker.

The dive ops are like puffer fish. Normally there is a set amount of dive boats, guides and captains. When there are more divers and they need to run more boats, have more guides and captains, they magically appear.

So I would just pick the dive op you want and they will get you a guide.
 

ggunn

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Thanks. That was what I’ve been thinking. Do you connect with a private DM thru an op, or is there another better place to track one down? On a different subject……in the area around town is there any area that it would be safe/advisable to put in a run? My wife is trainInd for a 50 miler in New Mexico in the middle of march. The thought of going 8 days without a run has her breaking out in hives…..runners🤪
Whomever you are diving with can set you up with a private DM. There are plenty of freelance DMs on the island, and they and the ops all know each other.

I always see plenty of people running up and down Melgar on the seawall side of the street.
 

jonhall

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Agree with @MMM - dive ops will take you where they take you. I dove with 3 different ops recently and the DM's did ask where people wanted to go, so there was some input. Most boat dives will be a deep first dive followed by one at a depth between 35-55 feet. I did one day of diving in which the boat had a resort diver, so we went to 2 shallow dive sites: Paso del Cedral and Yucab - I went 56 and 60 feet respectively on those dives, both just over an hour long dive time. I think one has to go in thinking all of the boat sites are going to have a current - I recall one dive where the current was slight and then it was like someone hit a switch and it was gone - but then the switch was hit again and off we went. I experienced at least a slight to moderate current on every boat dive. As others have suggested, a private DM works OR talk to dive op - Roberta's Scuba Shack had 5 boats, 5 DMs, and 5 boat captains the day I dove with them - would think they, or any of several ops with multiple boats could set you up in a boat with divers who have similar requests - probably cheaper than a private DM.

Hard to say on wetsuit. If tending to run cold, 5 mm should work. At 79º F in Feb. I would probably be okay with a 3 mm but would have a rash guard of some type in my bag just in case I needed a little extra thermal protection.

As to sights, to me, the "don't miss" sights are the ones where there's a lot of sea life - any of the shallower dives tend to have lots of life. Chances are you'll see lots of things wherever you wind up.

Saw several runners early Dec. running on Melgar close to the International terminal. A run from town toward the south (toward the Intl. terminal) and back would be a pretty good run and safe, IMO.

4. Anything you can think of I may not be considering?
Nice thing about your thread, as you think of something you want to ask, you can come right back here and ask!
 

ggunn

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Agree with @MMM - dive ops will take you where they take you. I dove with 3 different ops recently and the DM's did ask where people wanted to go, so there was some input.
I think that in general the small boats tend to go to sites chosen by consensus among the divers aboard with the DM holding the veto card.
 

MMM

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Thanks. That was what I’ve been thinking. Do you connect with a private DM thru an op, or is there another better place to track one down? On a different subject……in the area around town is there any area that it would be safe/advisable to put in a run? My wife is trainInd for a 50 miler in New Mexico in the middle of march. The thought of going 8 days without a run has her breaking out in hives…..runners🤪
Let your dive op hunt down your private DM. They probably have many on speed dial.

As far as running, my SIL is a runner and when down here, she goes for a long run early most mornings, before it gets too hot and cruse ships disgorge their hordes. Up and down Melgar (oceanfront) where the sidewalks are maintained decently for the cruisers. Sidewalks are notoriously bad here and you would be taking your life into your hands trying to run on most of them. I have a scar on my knee to prove it.
 

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