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Trip report, Feb 1-15

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Cicopo



Joined: 24 Nov 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Post †subject: Trip report, Feb 1-15
††††Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:17 am
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Since things are slow & not everyone follows the forums at Tripadvisor & Scubaboard this was my trip report & the link to my photos. The air show was fantastic, and I didn't know about it until we arrived to check in or I would have been armed with much better camera gear. Here at home I am the official (non paid volunteer willing to do my best) unofficial photographer for the majority of Radio Control events in my area. Getting to see some real aerobatic specialists doing their acts up close & personal was AWESOME, and they had some of the very best in the world there & it was a FREE event.

Once again we stayed at Hotel Cozumel, and friends were joining us on the second week this trip. We had also vacationed together at the Grand in 09 & we were a bit concerned as to whether theyíd like Hotel Coz & the food because they didnít like the Grand. Not only did they like it they are already talking about a 2 week stay next year, which would be nice because that would allow me more time for diving because my wife will have company. We also spent a lot more time at the hotel than on previous trips & got to know more staff members & the majority of them made sure we were well cared for. When I consider the cost to stay at Hotel Cozumel against staying at an equivalent hotel or motel in Canada or the US I think Iím getting a very good deal, and that applies to purchasing the all inclusive plan. We always buy it & we think itís a bargain, but I do know that the price varies so my recommendation is to price out the room with breakfast & the room & AI package to make sure youíre not paying more than about $20 per person per day. It would be very hard for us to not use up that $20 (max) in food & beverages unless we spent the full day away from the resort. Will everyone like the food, not likely but we do & think theyíve improved both the variety & quality over the years & this trip fajitas were available at lunch almost every day. Iím a fan of them & I always load them up differently so even though I may have eaten them often they always tasted different. I donít eat at McDonalds or Burger King very often so I donít know how the cost of the AI option would compare but for us itís a bargain plus very convenient.

Iíd also like to say a BIG thanks to Raul for the special favor he did for me re the Air Show. I wonít put him on the spot by mentioning just what he did but it was way beyond my expectations. With the hotel being the HQ of the air show & Pilots Association (during the event) it was an easy task to get my questions answered & better yet it was an awesome air show & I hadnít known about it until we arrived to check in. If anyone reading this is into aerobatic flying make sure to watch for next years dates; you might want to plan your vacation around them. The captions in my photo album pretty much cover the event but I would like to say something about the safety aspect because not everyone will feel safe (nor should they) about standing that close to the action. There were places to watch most of the action without being up against the runway, but you wouldnít be able to see everything because of the trees, but if someone (with more common sense than me) wanted to watch it from a safe distance they could. As with anything each & every one of us needs to decide on whether or not we feel safe when participating as a spectator where things can go wrong.

My diving. In the fall I decided that this trip was not going to be all about diving but it would still center around diving. My plan was to dive with very specific people Iíve met over the years and instantly took a liking to. Weíve all met people that for whatever reason we connected to almost instantly, and I wanted to see them again because it had been too long since spending time with them. It wasnít going to be easy because it involved 5 different dive ops, work schedules & co operation by the weather and some work to track 2 people down because theyíd left the businesses where we first met. It took several emails but everyone involved went for it & even though I couldnít pre plan & book my trips more than a day or 2 in advance they all promised me a seat on the boat. With that done I really looked forward to my trip even knowing that it may not play out perfectly & I was fine with that.

It didnít work out perfectly, but it went much better than expected. I didnít get to spend a day with Scubatony & Carlos because he was too busy trying to get a second boat up & running as an expansion to his operation. My wife really though Iíd be down about missed dive days but it really didnít matter & I just spent my time relaxing at the hotel. I canít fault Tony for what tied him up, I keep sending business his way, and hope he can accommodate them, so itís my fault heís too busy to go diving.

The diving itself was great, but heavily overcast skies the first few days made it relatively dark at depth, but currents were very gentle at most sites. I saw a big improvement in the reefs, lots more big Groupers & Turtles & in general more large fish of just about every common variety found in Cozumel plus I saw that the attempts to reduce the Lionfish population were working. Last year they were just about everywhere, but I donít think I saw 10 total this trip.

Now for the negatives. Hotel Cozumel has replaced the lights over the beds with new energy efficient ones but they took away the pole light which I used at the table when working on my computer. I miss that light. Also (& I know itís difficult having done it myself) itís time to replace the bathtubs & maybe update the fixtures. Many of the lounge chairs also need repair & / or replacing because the adjustable part for the backs are broken or damaged to the point they suddenly slip. Fortunately there are far more chairs than guests using them so it wasnít a real inconvenience. One other thing (& itís been said before by many) is that if you arrive early for the breakfast buffet many things will be cold. Itís obvious that itís been pre cooked much earlier & is now trying to warm up in the heating trays at the buffet.

Eating Out. Had lunch at Ernestoís on day 1, happy hour snacks & beer at Blue Angel one day (we arrived too early for the dinner menu), ate dinner there twice, both times were after our friends had arrived, and we also introduced them to Sonora Grill & the downtown Mission. Every meal was great, priced right, large portions & came with good service. I just wish I could find the time to eat at so many other places, & look forward to my next trip because of that.

My plan for the next trip will be similar with who I intend to dive with because Iíve still got a few more of those special people I want to spend time with but in most cases we have dove together in recent years. Last trip one of those people asked me who Iíve dove with in Cozumel, and after I was about Ĺ way through the list he simply said ďyou know a lot of people hereĒ and we left it like that. Thatís the way it is in Cozumel, you make a lot of friends when youíre a diver sharing boats to & from the reefs.

As usual my photos are here

www.picasaweb.google.com/CozumelTimeCapsules
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uriggin



Joined: 06 Aug 2005
Posts: 588
Location: Pleasant Hill, California

Post †subject:
††††Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:23 pm
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Thanks so much for the report and the great pix.
It'll take a while to look at the pic...that's great! It'll start the anticipation for a vacation in Cozumel going...
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Cicopo



Joined: 24 Nov 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Post †subject:
††††Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:13 pm
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Nothing better than extending my vacation by sharing the photos EXCEPT dreaming of the start of the next one. I hope yours is as satisfying as mine was.
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uriggin



Joined: 06 Aug 2005
Posts: 588
Location: Pleasant Hill, California

Post †subject:
††††Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:38 pm
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Thank you!
So far my Coz vacations have been excellent. Learning something new every year and bringing new divers to visit Very Happy
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tommass



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 32
Location: Frisco, Colorado

Post †subject:
††††Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:00 pm
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Wow, thanks for the pictures I loved the ones of the spotted eel eating the lion fish!
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Cicopo



Joined: 24 Nov 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Post †subject:
††††Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:09 pm
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You're welcome. That feeding frenzy has taught me a new respect for eels in general. They can be very fast & they have powerful jaws which can really open wide. I won't be sticking my camera into their faces like I used to.
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HarrySL



Joined: 05 Dec 2003
Posts: 388
Location: Columbus,GA

Post †subject: EELS
††††Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:20 pm
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1979-82 I was stationed on Okinawa and was certified. Once an eel came out of nowhere and snatched the fish off my spear. On another dive at night an eel took a bite out of my buddies game bag. Shocked
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Cicopo



Joined: 24 Nov 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Post †subject:
††††Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:11 am
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More proof I've been a bit stupid at trying to get as close as I do. The one in my photos could accelerate super fast with total accuracy when it wanted more of the Lionfish. It was an awakening.
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christine



Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 611
Location: Sonoma County, CA

Post †subject:
††††Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:44 pm
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LOVE the eel pix!! Much better to feed these guys lion fish than canned cheese whiz - I remember DM's doing that in the old days. Will get to the other pix soon. Thanks for posting....
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