The water visibility was not the far-seeing Cozumel usual, but considering Hurricane Rena had blown through about a week before, it was a still great day of scuba diving.
I decided to try out the dive operation, Babieca Dive Center, at the El Cid La Ceiba Beach Resort where I’ve been staying. I usually dove with another operation, but being right there at the hotel and noticing the quality of the boats they used and that they didn’t overload them, I thought I would give Babieca a try. It’s located close by at the El Cid hotel dock, so this made it even easier to wander down a few minutes before the scheduled time.
When it comes to diving, I’m comfortable at any depth, even 150 feet or more. If I have air, I don’t care. But, a good dive master has to consider the abilities of everyone on the boat in choosing what reef to dive. I was sitting by the dock filming a vid as Luis, the dive master, sat down. I asked Luis what the plan was and he replied that a few people were new or hadn’t been diving for a while, so we wouldn’t do anything over-challenging.
I really didn’t have a problem with that as just getting in the water is half the fun, anyway. Doing macho to be macho just doesn’t cut it for me. Been there, done that – and you can catch my 240 foot dive post here.
I take the afternoon boat this time, leaving about 1 PM. There are six of us on the boat, Hector, Edger, Jimmy, Antonio, and Sevarina (and one I missed – sorry!) and the other divers all know each other. They live in Southern California, like me, and speak Spanish fluently, all except their friend Jimmy, who’s from Dublin and lives in San Diego. In the boat they decide that Palancar Caves (actually swim-throughs) is going to be the first dive – about 80 to 90 feet. I thought that was a good decision and we had a lot of fun.
The dive was easy-going and all the divers handled themselves well. Palancar Caves is always a fun dive with the swim-throughs and great scenery. You can check out some vids on YouTube. We stopped between dives at Paradise Beach for a snack and to off-gas some nitrogen before doing our second dive, which was shallower and still a lot of fun, too.
The video camera is use is a Kodak Waterproof 2×3 Sport that’s good to about nine feet, so I use it both for land and underwater up to nine feet. Click my link to Amazon.com – I really like the camera, good quality video, and it’s only about $100, give or take.
What was really nice is, I get on a boat by myself, and I get off with a lot of new friends. They were staying at El Cid La Ceiba, too, so we kept bumping into each other and enjoyed our time together.
A final note about the Babieca Dive Center: very professional from top to bottom, good boats, good dive master, no overcrowding, and a pleasure to dive with. Definitely consider them on your next trip in Cozumel. the website is: www.babiecadivecenter.com.mx.