cozumel diving clamCozumel Diving services range from first-class to rag-tag with over 150 service providers on the island as well as along the Yucatan coast. Talk to the Cozumel diving boat operators. You should feel confident of their expertise and professionalism.

Begin with a shore drift dive from your beachfront hotel. Ask the dive shop where are the entry and exit points, and carry a dive flag. Check out your gear, brush up on your skills, and find your buoyancy control point.

If you don’t care for a diving certification take one of the snorkel catamarans. For $18 you can rent one of the smaller glass bottom snorkel boats that leave right from the pier.

The number one mistake of “newbies” is carrying too much weight. Ask your Cozumel diving master for help in selecting the correct weight (weightless sweet spot) for buoyancy control.

The shallows or “coral gardens” at 20 to 40 feet are filled with patch reefs and coral ridges rich with tropical fish. Some near-shore reefs can even be explored as shore dives from Cozumel’s waterfront hotels.

Follow the leader (dive master) and maintain visual contact with your dive group at all times. The dive boat will be following the group’s bubble trail. Don’t be the “Lone Ranger”. Stay within safe diving limits. Closely monitor your gauges and air supply. It’s easy to loose track.

cozumel wall divingThe Palancar Reef‘s towering coral pinnacles are a maze of tunnels and canyons located 40 to 70 feet deep.

The “walls’” drop of 3000 feet separate the men and women from the boys and girls. Dive sites closest to the “drop-off” tend to have the swiftest currents and the greatest amount of marine life (from 6 foot Morey eels to Volkswagon sized Grouper).

Cozumel diving waters are crowded. Remember to raise your hand as you surface. Then spin on the surface looking for traffic. It’s better that your hand than your brain gets turned to “fishfood” by a twin Evenrude.

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