Category Archives: Blue Angel

Sign up, then show up; it’s that easy!

Looking for your next adventure? Planning a winter getaway to Mexico? Or hoping to scratch one of the biggies off your bucket list? We’ve got a trip for you!

Lembeh Strait Cozumel Mexico dive trip

All you have to do is sign up and show up!

Two trips to Cozumel in 2013!

Hello! As we noted in this post, we’re currently in Cozumel working with our beloved Blue Angel Resort to make the Blue Angel Scuba School a vibrant and exciting training venue.

We’d love it if you’d come visit, and to make it easy for you to do that, along with some like-minded diving friends, we’re putting together two group trips in 2013.

Check out these details, and when you have questions send us an email!

Thanks to our friends Amy Walczak and Warren McKay for their support in poster-making and photographs. Amy is a self-proclaimed dive junkie; you can read her fantastic blog here, and check out Warren’s photo blog here!

Cozumel: Blue Angel Scuba School!

We are safely back in Cozumel, after a fourteen-day drive! Click to read the story of our #EpicAdventure!

We’re settled in and we’re staying a while! We are working with our friends at Blue Angel Resort to help make this a destination for top-notch, safety-oriented scuba training that is FUN! We’re in the midst of launching the Blue Angel Scuba School, and we’d love for you to come along on our journey. You can “like” us on Facebook, “follow” us on Twitter, and check out our YouTube channel for some great videos of “A Day in the Office.” p.s. one of the videos has DOLPHINS!

We’d love to see ALL of you! Post a photo of yourself, leave us a message, or best of all, come visit.

Guest Post: Brian Wright

As I prepare for upcoming trips to Cozumel, I thought I’d post this report from one of the participants on the March, 2011 trip.

Brian

It had been a couple years since I certified and with only one “pool” refresher under my weight belt, I was trying to find a trip to ENJOY diving, not just doing skills for certification.  I stumbled on the Ocean Sports trip to Cozumel in March 2011 and thought the price, especially the small single supplement cost, was great.  It was a big leap for me to travel and dive alone in a place I’d never been.

I was concerned about a lot of aspects of the trip but was really wondering if I could “hold my own” with experienced divers and would my lack of experience be a safety risk.  (p.s. – I wasn’t the diver who assembled their rig backwards on day one).  I had swapped a few emails with Kari, Ocean Sports and the Blue Angel dive shop in advance to ask a few questions and get rental gear set up – whenever I mentioned to anyone I was diving with Kari and Matthew the response was the same – “you’ll have a great time, see a lot and be perfectly safe.”  Ocean Sports even matched me with a roomie for the trip.

When I arrived, Kari recognized me right off (she’s a Facebook stalker I think) and made me feel welcome.  The dive group ranged in age from mid-twenties to mid-sixties; some were just certifying and some were very experienced dive veterans; some had been on the trip before and some were rookies like me – everyone was welcoming and easy going. It developed in to a fantastic trip and a great holiday.  The whole dive group was very supportive and fun – I left with many friendships and “future” dive buddies. 

I saw so much during the dives that always seemed to uncover some new wonder.  The Blue Angel was a small resort but a great place to stay – dive boats docked out front every morning, dive shop staff were helpful with everything and the food in the restaurant was great (at a good price and wonderful staff).  I also got to visit great local sites and eat at places that weren’t in the guide book, as Kari and Matthew took the group out to some of their favourite haunts.  The whole package made for a relaxed, enjoyable week.

Matthew and Kari were professional and knowledgeable (OK she’s a bit of a fish nerd) in my “book” learning (I completed my Advanced Open Water course on the trip) but also impressed me with their love of diving.  I always felt I could push my personal limits but whenever I looked around, they were there to suggest, encourage and scold (a couple times I deserved it).  Kari even hid her laughter (until after) when Young Bryan and I did our version of underwater navigation. The biggest testament to Kari and Matt is that I went down a struggling newbie and came back with my Advanced Open Water (so some days were 4-tank days) but also with the huge confidence in my abilities and a renewed passion for diving. 

I’m already looking at the calendar to see which trip next year I will return on but the difference next year is I will stay longer…

making underwater navigation look easy!

You can find Brian on twitter @MrBrianWright and you can read the trip report from Brian’s adventure here.

Congratulations on successful completion of the Advanced Open Water Diver course, and since this post, Brian has also completed his Enriched Air Diver program as well! As always, we’re so pleased to be a part of a positive dive experience! And we can’t wait to welcome Brian back on his next Cozumel adventure. You can be part of it! Check here for trip dates for winter 2011/2012!

Guest Post: Amy Walczak

A guest post from Amy Walczak: Amy participated on the trip to Cozumel in January 2011. She completed her Open Water Diver training while she was with us, and went on to do her Advanced Open Water course as well. Here is what Amy had to say about her experience…

Amy

When I signed up for the Ocean Sports trip to Cozumel in January 2011 it was with reservation. I wasn’t even an open water diver yet and had never travelled alone before. I worried about getting there safely, not knowing anybody else, whether I’d remember the skills I’d practiced in the pool… you name it and I worried about it. Turns out all that worrying was a waste of my time! Most of the divers were repeaters and have known each other for years, but they couldn’t have been more welcoming to those of us new to the trip and to diving. I’ve never felt quite as included as I did at the Blue Angel with Kari & Matthew and the rest of the group. And not only did I get to hang out with a bunch of awesome people for a week, I also got to bring those new friendships back to Edmonton with me!
Kari & Matthew took excellent care of me, a newly certified and wide-eyed diver. Their professionalism and knowledge impressed me while their obvious love of teaching and diving inspired me. I did most of my training with Kari and dive master candidate Debbie and those girls really had my back – I always felt safe. And, just as importantly, they were great role models. Even when they weren’t actively teaching me skills just watching them dive – how they moved, how they interacted with each other and the environment – was a lesson in itself. Learning to dive has enriched my life in ways I was totally unprepared for. It’s given me an entirely new and fresh outlook on life and created so many exciting opportunities for travel, adventure, and personal growth. It didn’t hurt that in addition to fantastic diving and new friends, the food at Blue Angel was incredible. And the drinks… and the staff… and the view… you see a theme here right?? I can’t imagine a better place to have gone than Cozumel, or a better group of people to have gone with. There’s good reason they all keep going back and I can’t wait to be among the ‘repeaters’ next year!

Amy at the beginning of the week...

Amy at the end of the week!

Thank you to Amy for recounting her experience, and Congratulations on completing Open Water and Advanced Open Water training! We were so happy to be involved in supporting her first efforts as a diver, and look forward to a continuing relationship!

March 2011 Trip Report

lionfish at columbia shallows

We just completed the final visit of this winter to Cozumel, Mexico, with yet another wonderful group of our Ocean Sports family. This group was unique in that they came from all over: two from Ontario, two from Fort McMurray, one from Cold Lake, and “international flavour” added by two ladies from Minnesota! We also had Leduc and Fort Saskatchewan represented, along with several actual Edmontonians. Great group of people!

Wonderful weather and five great days of diving to some amazing spots: we visited Tormentos, Paradise, Palancar Gardens, Cedral Wall and also Cedral Pass, Columbia Deep and Columbia Shallows, Chankanaab Bolones (where we encountered the Atlantis Submarine!), Punta Tunich and Chankanaab Shallows. Will we ever run out of dive sites here? Unlikely! We also did several shore dives at Villa Blanca including introducing five relatively new divers to the joys of night diving.

As a group we visited several of my favourite restaurants also, including Sorrisi, Casa Denis, Blue Angel Resort, Wet Wendy’s Margarita Bar and this year at El Pique not one but TWO of our hearty participants ate the sopa especial, which is made with cabeza de res, which is, of course, the head of the cow.

hawksbill turtle at columbia shallows

That’s it for trips for this winter; we posted a few more photos at the AtkinsScuba.com page on Facebook. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated in the trips this year; you all rock! We had a wonderful time with each and every one of you!

We have three planned for the 2011-2012 winter season, and lots of training in the Edmonton area this summer!

What’s New?

I've got my eye on you, too.

Keeping an eye on our goings-on? Wondering what is new?

We have been busy making plans for spring and summer in Alberta, and for next winter back in Cozumel.

We are teaching two Open Water (pool and classroom sessions) through Ocean Sports in May (weekend program May 13-15) and June (six-week program on Wednesday nights beginning June 15). You can read more about those here.

We are teaching an Enriched Air Nitrox course on May 1 and an Emergency Oxygen Provider course on June 2.

We will be running a Rescue Diver program in May and June; one day for pool sessions and knowledge development and one day for rescue scenarios in open water. Read more about the program here.

We just released dates for three trips to Cozumel, Mexico in winter 2011-2012.

And, we added a photo of two handsome, newly minted instructors receiving their PADI OWSI paperwork to this post.

Whew!

February 2011 – Reading Week Trip Report

swim-through at Santa Rosa Wall

Reading week is a big deal when you’re in university, and for the past two years we’ve been honoured to have members of the University of Alberta Scuba Appreciation Club spend their break with us. What a fantastic group we had this year; 16 shining happy faces! We visited several of my favourite sites on the island (of course, I’ve been accused of having them ALL be my favourite): Cedral Shallows and Paso del Cedral, Chankanaab Shallows, Palancar Gardens and Palancar Caves, La Francesa (where some of us did a beautiful dive on the wall there), San Clemente, Paradise (we saw SIX seahorses there), and on our final day, Santa Rosa Wall, which is one of my favourite spots on the planet, and then finished up with a ripping drift dive at Punta Tunich. In between, there were lots (and lots) of shore dives as well as four night dives.

We once again had a wonderful Friday night barbeque next to the pool at Blue Angel and it’s safe to say a great time was had by all! By all reports, next year’s Reading Week trip will be at least half-filled with people who attended this year, and may also include a couple of young Texans who were befriended by the Club!

U of A Scuba Club, February 2011

We posted a few more photos at AtkinsScuba.com’s facebook page.

Next up: Ocean Sports visits Cozumel one more time, in March!

Sailfin Blenny at Paradise Reef

January 2011 Trip Report

Columbia Shallows

We just finished the first trip of 2011, with a fantastic group of people from Ocean Sports in Edmonton, Alberta visiting Cozumel, Mexico. 2011 marks our 5th year of bringing groups here; when you like something as much as we like Cozumel, you just have to share!

We had 15 participants on this trip, 13 divers (8 repeaters) and 2 not-yet divers. The weather cooperated, dive conditions were great, and we visited some of my favourite dive sites once more… Dalila, Chankanaab Shallows, Palancar Gardens, Yucab, Columbia Deep and Columbia Shallows, Santa Rosa, Paradise, Cedral, and Villa Blanca Wall. Oh, and lots and lots of shore diving right in front of Blue Angel Resort.

As usual, we shared some of our favourite local restaurants with our friends from Edmonton, enjoying dinners at Casa Denis, Sorrisi, El Pique and Parilla Mission. We also had a lot of fun at a Friday night poolside barbeque at the Blue Angel Resort. It was nice to relax and chat, after all that underwater time.

We posted a few photos at AtkinsScuba.com’s facebook page.

Next up: the University of Alberta Scuba Appreciation Club hits Cozumel in February!

-kari

Fun dive indeed!

A friend had a friend on the island for a few days, who is leaving today. So, yesterday we decided to go diving, just a little fun trip with the three of us plus Matthew as the divemaster. We headed out shortly after lunch and as we were on our way to the first site, lo and behold, a pod of dolphins! If you read my blog, you’ll know I LOVE DOLPHINS! Awesome start! We went to Yucab Wall for a great first dive and then during our surface interval – Whoa! The dolphins again. This time Desiree and I slid into the water and snorkeled with them for a few minutes… as I entered the water there were five of them right in front of me. Amazing. Wow, Whoa and Woot!

The second dive had a long way to go to match that, but it did not disappoint. We were at Chankanaab Shallows, one of my favourites, and saw “the usual.” Several HUGE crabs and oodles of little things: spotted drums, jawfish (one of which was brooding eggs in his mouth), pike blennies, a gazillion silversides, and four sightings of the reclusive peppermint basslet (one of my favourites).

All in all, a great dive day!

-kari