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.
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…
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!