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Trip Report--Dive with Cristina, CenoteXperience, Sunscape

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by bshort4, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. bshort4

    bshort4 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Colorado Springs
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    Colo Sprgs to Houston (1 hour layover--tight), Coz. Second stay at Sunscape--upgraded to a bigger room--nice big room with sea view. Forgot that you needed to pay for Wi-Fi in your room ($39 for the week) or you can use the free Wi-Fi in the lobby which I did. Next morning Cristina picked me up at the dock at Sunscape--the dock fee thing was a non-issue--never paid it and never heard it mentioned the entire week. Cristina's boat the "Nena" is large and comfortable and entries are giant stride--no back roll. Between dives she lays out a big spread for lunch (included in dive price). SI is spent on the boat having lunch then move to different dive site. The second day (Sunday) was a bit rough weather wise--windy, raining and very choppy seas--they closed the harbor after we got out so we got in both dives. The rest of the week was great weather and perfect diving--but the currents were almost non-existent or very mild. Dived all the usual suspects--Palancar Bricks, Columbia Deep, Santa Rosa. The best fish life seemed to be on the shallower sites--Cedral Wall, Dahlia--we dived these sites twice as the marine life was outstanding--so many turtles, eels, nurse sharks, lobsters and sting rays and reef fish. We did get a chance encounter with a lone Spotted Eagle Ray as we started our safety stop at Palancar Bricks--of course we went back down to try to get some pics and were breathing fumes when we surfaced. One night dive at Paradise reef--so many divers when we visited--oh well--still a nice dive.

    CenoteXperience--- Had never done any cavern diving in the cenotes so I wanted to give it a try. Had set up two dives with CenoteXperience before I arrived. Took the 7 am ferry to Playa (181 pesos going over on Waterjet and 220 pesos on return on Ultramar). I met Mathias from CenoteXperience at Senior Frogs and he drove me to their shop to fill out the paperwork and then we were off to Dos Ojos and El Pit for some cavern diving. There were only two of us diving plus the guide. Dos Ojos was fairly crowded with snorkelers and many divers. They have tables there to help with setting up your gear. I wore a 3mm full suit, a 2.5mm vest and a beanie hood--it was overkill for me--I could have gone without the vest and hood. Water temp was 77 degrees. We put on all our gear and walked down to the dock by the cenote and jumped in and did a weight check. I only needed 8 pounds for the dive compared to my usual 12 pounds in the ocean. We discussed during the safety brief--which was long and detailed--how we wanted to do the dive--Barbie Line or Bat Line? Or a little of both? We did a little of both so we could go into the bat cave. The Barbie Line is very wide open with lots of room, Bat Line a little tighter and better buoyancy is needed and is much darker. Fun and interesting dive--about 49 minutes and max depth about 25 feet. Sunlight at the entrance is very beautiful but again all the snorkelers kind of get in the way of good pics. After the dive we had our lunch which they provided and drinks.

    El Pit--this is a totally different dive than Dos Ojos. One small opening down into a very huge cavern and very deep. All gear is lowered by rope into the cenote and you put your gear on in the water and then it's hauled back out by rope at the end of the dive. There are steep stairs to get down to the water. It goes down to over 300 feet but of course you are limited on how deep you go by your certification. A AOW cert is needed for El Pit but only OW is needed for Dos Ojos. Dived with more weight in El Pit (12 pounds) because of the many haloclines which mess a little with your buoyancy. Once we started down the light effects from the small entrance were amazing to see--I guess it's even better later in the summer when the sun is directly overhead. We circled around the edges of the cavern as we went deeper--visibility was unlimited. We had the cenote to ourselves--the only three people there--how great was that? We could see the hydrogen sulfide cloud perfectly undisturbed below us. We arrived at the cloud at 116 feet and circled around it. Then our guide swims right down inside it--really I thought--so in we went--spooky to say the least---he all but disappeared from view six feet in front of me. We came up above the cloud and slowly worked our way around the cavern to the surface taking some pics and video along the way. Total dive time 54 minutes, 116 feet. We used Nitrox 32 for both dives--included in price of the dives. We took off our gear in the water and the attendant pulled our tanks and BCD's back to the top--please leave him a small tip--he appreciates it. Then it was back in the truck and back to Playa and the ferry back to COZ. Rough ferry ride back--packed boat at 4 pm and many folks were loosing their lunches. Cost of cavern dives was $170 for two dives in Dos Ojos and El Pit--it's only $135 if you do both dives in Dos Ojos. It was nice to do it once but I don't think it's something I'd personally like to do on a regular basis, but I did enjoy it and CenoteXperience made it so easy to set up and do.

    Checking in for my flight home I was shown a piece of paper with items that could be in the carry on and checked bags. No batteries in the carry-on---last year it was just the opposite--so batteries out of my carry on and into my checked bag. Once I was in Houston I collected my checked bag and took out the batteries and put them back in my carry-on. Whatever it takes. IMAG1036.jpg MICR0965.jpg MICR0981 (1).jpg MICR0977 (1).jpg MICR0972 (1)_Moment.jpg MICR0972 (1)_Moment(3).jpg MICR0985.jpg MICR1033.jpg
     
  2. ckofabq

    ckofabq Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
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    Nice report, thanks!
     
  3. Cozdreamer

    Cozdreamer Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NC
    459
    116
    43
    thanks for sharing your experience and pictures.
     
  4. OrcaTorch

    OrcaTorch Dive Equipment Manufacturer

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    Nice, you must have great fun. Can you pls share some video along the way?
     
  5. bshort4

    bshort4 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Colorado Springs
    249
    195
    43
     
  6. bshort4

    bshort4 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Colorado Springs
    249
    195
    43
  7. Bubbles below

    Bubbles below Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Arizona
    217
    35
    28
    Nice report! I dove w Cenote Experience and dove Dos Ojos/Barbie Line. I like them 5 yrs ago.
    This year, I’m staying in Talum for June 16-20 to do some cenotes dives. El Pit sounds pretty cool and spooky.
     
  8. bshort4

    bshort4 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Colorado Springs
    249
    195
    43
    El Pit was a totally unique experience--very different than Dos Ojos and I enjoyed them both but El Pit blew me away. My next trip to the area will again include some more cenote dives but hopefully in a couple of different ones--Taj Maha, and maybe Angelita. Enjoy your diving!
     
  9. tsuyoshi

    tsuyoshi Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    128
    23
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    I'm quite confused about the battery for the checked bag. I'm used to have battery packaged separate from deviced in carryon. Now airlines want them in checked bags? Did you do that for both the outbound & inbound flight?

    Thanks for your report, I'm hoping to check out the cenote June 17 soon.
     
  10. bshort4

    bshort4 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Colorado Springs
    249
    195
    43
    It seems to change daily in Cozumel about the batteries. Going to Cozumel I was asked by United if I had any batteries in my checked bag--nope only in my carry-on. Good to go. In Cozumel I was told by security as I was waiting in line that all batteries had to be in my checked bag--so I had to move them out of my carry-on and into my checked bag. Then in Houston I had to switch them from my checked bag to my carry-on for my on going flight. United agents in Cozumel never asked me about batteries but I know others recently have had a totally different experience and were told by United in Cozumel that batteries needed to be in their carry-on--go figure. There's a new thread just posted about the "battery experience" in Cozumel--check it out.
     
    drrich2 likes this.

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