Three days seven dives with Cabo Private Guide in Cabo San Lucas and Isla Cerralvo / La Ventana

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Fishyhead

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I spent three days in early June completing seven dives with Cabo Private Guide. Laura helped me establish an itinerary that worked with my schedule, giving me the variety and adventure I was looking for. After arriving at the airport Friday afternoon, I called Laura to let her know I was on my way. I came just before the shop in Cabo San Lucas closed and met her and Felipe, who would be my guide for the rest of the trip. Felipe fitted me with a wetsuit and BCD, checked the gear I brought, and arranged to meet me in the morning to start diving.

Saturday's check-in was quick and efficient. Felipe brought Brandon, a DM in training, along to help with the gear. We had excellent dives off Pelican Rock, Neptune's Finger, and North Wall. After arriving back at the shop, we arranged to meet at 6 AM the following day to drive to La Ventana to dive at Isla Cerralvo in the Sea of Cortez.

Sunday morning before 6 AM, Felipe messaged me, letting me know he was 15 minutes late because of car trouble. This communication was greatly appreciated! He and the driver, Eduardo, arrived just before 6:15, and we were off! We stopped at a little restaurant they knew north of San Jose del Cabo to pick up breakfast. The burrito was good, but the shrimp empanadas were so tasty! In La Ventana, we met Captain Fausto, who helped us load our gear, and we were in the water within minutes of arriving. We encountered a large pod of dolphins on the water and jumped in to swim with them. Although they didn't stick around, we could hear them clicking nearby. We arrived at the La Reinita dive site a little while later but decided to push onto the La Reina reef because the conditions looked pretty good. There was concern that the wind and swell would pick up in the afternoon at La Reina, so it would be better to do that first. La Reina was a GREAT dive! There was so much aquatic life, exciting geography, and the remains of a shipwreck! We sailed to La Reinita for an excellent wall dive with even more sea life than La Reina. At both of these sites, we were mobbed by schooling Jacks. We even encountered a sea turtle at La Reinita, which I didn't expect to see because of the temperatures.

Monday morning, I met Felipe at the shop in Cabo San Lucas at 7:45 AM and shared the boat with a couple from Colorado who were finishing their OW certification. I've been diving for 30 years and have seen plenty of OW certification dives and can attest that CPG earns their PADI 5 Star rating. The instructor teaching the couple was patient, thorough, and encouraging - all good signs. Felipe and I splashed into the Blowhole, then headed over to Lands End but decided not to dive due to unsafe conditions, so we went back to Pelican Rock for a pleasant and relaxing cruise. After the dive, Felipe offered to rinse and hold my gear overnight to let it dry in their shop because my hotel had no facilities to handle that equipment overnight. I sincerely appreciate this added service.

I didn't bring my Subal housing and Inon strobes on this trip because of the housing tax, although I wish I had them with me. Felipe sent me pictures from his GoPro, which was nice, but there's no comparison to photos with proper strobes. The dives lasted 40 to 45 minutes in 66-degree (F) water with depths of up to 102 feet on air. We were in 7mm suits with boots and hoods the whole time. Felipe told me that the same sites would be 80 degrees if I returned in November!
 

Ripple in still water

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Thanks for the review. We are thinking about going to dive in Cabo and Cabo Pulmo in August. What is the "housing tax?" Is there a tax on bringing your camera in a housing??
 

drrich2

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The dives lasted 40 to 45 minutes in 66-degree (F) water with depths of up to 102 feet on air. We were in 7mm suits with boots and hoods the whole time. Felipe told me that the same sites would be 80 degrees if I returned in November!
Thanks for this detail; I think divers often think of a destination being 'warm water,' or sometimes 'cold water,' but depending on time of year, a destination may be both.
 
OP
Fishyhead

Fishyhead

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Thanks for the review. We are thinking about going to dive in Cabo and Cabo Pulmo in August. What is the "housing tax?" Is there a tax on bringing your camera in a housing??
I didn't bring my rig because I heard about the tax but couldn't find how much it would cost. I didn't want to take a chance and get charged more than the gear is worth by today's standards. Perhaps the rules will be more clear by the time you go. I really wish I had my camera with me, especially in the Sea of Cortez.
 

VanRossi

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@Ripple in still water

From what I read in a few threads about this, you increase your chances of not getting extorted at arrival if it's not obvious you're a diver (mesh bag with gear, diving flags, pelican case, etc). If they spot anything diving related, they'll stop you. Otherwise your luggage will only get searched if you're disgraced enough to be chosen for a random check.
Apparently the "tax" is only on housings, not cameras and accessories. I'll be bringing my tg5 + housing (worth about $200-300). Even if I get caught, I won't have to pay that much. If you have a more serious camera and housing, read through the threads and decide whether is worth or not to bring your camera to Cabo.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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