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!
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.
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
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!
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!
November brought the final group for 2010 from Ocean Sports in Edmonton, Alberta, to Cozumel, Mexico.
This was a small but lively group of eight divers; three were repeaters from previous trips, two were students of ours, and three were brand new to us. All had a wonderful time! Despite two days of port closure (no diving) we managed to visit some of MY favourite sites (although I have been accused of saying each site is my favourite upon surfacing from a dive): Dalila, Chankanaab Shallows, Palancar Horseshoe, Yucab, Las Palmas, Santa Rosa and a wonderful, octopus-filled night dive at Paradise Reef.
In addition to the diving, we also had a few courses, completing Emergency Oxygen Provider and Enriched Air Diver classes, as well as finishing up two Rescue Diver certifications. It was a busy and productive week!
We posted a few photos at AtkinsScuba.com’s facebook page.
We now await the next group who will arrive in January. There are still a few spaces left in the trip planned for March: see the Dive Travel page for more details!
The November group from Ocean Sports is here in Cozumel RIGHT NOW (full report on their trip next week). We’re closing the January trip shortly and want you to have one last chance to sign up!
Join us at Blue Angel Resort in Cozumel: Check-in Sunday, January 16 and Check-out Sunday, January 23, 2011 (Cost is $749 USD per person, based on double occupancy).
Full details available under Dive Travel!
Questions? email firstname.lastname@example.org