Get away from the New England January cold with a little drift diving on the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere. Join the Scuba Shack crew traveling to Cozumel, Mexico in mid-January 2001.
Scuba Club Cozumel is located on the waterfront one mile south of the downtown ferry dock, an attractive multi-level building of Spanish-Colonial architecture blends in with the waterfront. Built in 1976 as Cozumel’s first dedicated diver’s resort, Scuba Club Cozumel is still a very intimate place where Cozumel aficionados find convenience and good value.
Scuba Club is designed and built — by divers for divers — to provide all services in one convenient place. The resort is private, safe and secluded from the crowds you’ll find downtown, but is still close enough to walk to town. The courtyard area is rich with tropical plants adorned with local stone carvings and exotic flowers. The freshwater swimming pool is located next to the restaurant.
There are only 61 rooms. Each has individual character with a feel of Mexican heritage. All rooms have a private terrace, AC, ceiling fans, hair dryers, alarm clocks, and a small refrigerator. Finished in tile and stucco, they are ready for wet divers and have drying racks for dive suits on each terrace.
Scuba-Cozumel is the in-house dive operation for Scuba Club Cozumel resort. This PADI 5-Star facility and full service dive center is located inside the hotel premises and includes an air filling station consisting of four compressors and a four-stage filtering system, a full line of rental gear and basic repairs shop.
A fleet of seven customized diesel boats are available to safely transport divers to the dive sites. The boats are different sizes and can accommodate from 10 to 20 divers. Equipped with dive platforms and sturdy ladders, marine radios, oxygen and first aid trained crews, they will be ready for boarding every morning at the Club’s comfortable pier, right after breakfast. Diving guests are normally assigned to the same boat, crew and underwater guide for the length of their stay.
Due to the prevailing currents found in Cozumel, all boat dives are drift dives. Divemasters will lead every group of divers. The pace is generally very relaxed. When the currents are running stronger its easiest to go with the flow and let the current carry you over the reefs and through the passes. Naturally some dives are more advanced than others and your guide will help to evaluate your diving comfort level so they may suggest dive sites best suited to your skill level.
Dive sites are between a 10 minute and 50 minute boat ride from the resort. The newest site in Cozumel is the wreck of the Felipe Xicotencatl located very close to the resort on nearby Tormentos Reef. Trips are made daily (minimum 4 divers) at 3:00 in the afternoon.
Cozumel is located at the northern fringes of the Mesoamerican Reef, the 2nd largest reef in the world at early 600 miles. The reef is a hotbed of marine diversity and the home to some 500 species of fish and 60 species of coral. The Island of Cozumel lies at the Eastern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula. This Mexican Caribbean jewel is renowned as one of the best dive destinations in the world. It offers stunning, towering coral formations, warm and clear turquoise-blue waters, and an amazing variety of tropical marine life. Friendly locals with a rich cultural heritage, fantastic weather, delicious food, and miles of sandy beach, make Cozumel a divers’ paradise. The limestone plateau that forms the base of the island is 34 miles long (north to south) and 11 miles wide (east to west) and, despite the boom in tourist and residential development in the past few years, continues to have vast expanses of untouched jungle and shoreline.
“Cuzamil”, Island of Swallows was inhabited by the Mayans since 300 AD. It was the spiritual center for the Goddess of Love and Fertility, Ixchel. It was also a thriving trade center. The Spanish Conquistadores arrived in the early 16th Century, followed by notorious pirates such as Jean Lafitte and Henry Morgan who made it their base in the 17th Century. In 1961, Jacques-Yves Cousteau broadcast the wonders of Cozumel’s magnificent reefs to the world, paving the way for today’s thriving Dive Community.
Cozumel’s protected Marine Park (declared a national park in 1996) harbors impressive walls of coral, huge canyons and pinnacles, thrilling swim-thru’s, and an amazing variety of sea life. Year round 120 ft. + visibility, warm, calm, turquoise-blue waters and gentle currents make Cozumel diving a truly memorable experience! We would be delighted to share it with you.
Text and photos courtesy Scuba Club Cozumel. Click an image to see a larger size.