No Gloves & No Knives: Welcome to Cozumel

April 4th through 12th I was lucky enough to spend in the beautiful Cozumel Mexico.

IMG_0172Now Cozumel is one of those dive destinations that almost all divers have heard of, if is famous for its walls that reach extreme depths down to 6000 ft, and of course the drift diving.  For those that are not familiar with Cozumel it is an island off the coast of Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, it is well known for the stronger than average currents that whist divers gently over the reef.  Cozumel has an abundance of fish and creatures to see and on this particular trip there were no shortage of turtles, a common favorite among divers.  The crystal blue water makes it deceptively simple to wonder a little farther from your group and need to play catch up.  Truly a divers paradise.

IMG_0181The Highs: For me being a cold water diver the temperatures in Cozumel were a breath of fresh air, fairly consistently 79 degrees Fahrenheit.  The currents made it possible to average hour long dives full of reef structures teaming with life from the smallest corals to some of the most massive groupers.  We were fortunate enough as a group to have guides that did their best to ensure we were not in the hoard of cruz ship divers.  The walls that seemed to reach into the depths of the earth along the walls provided a ever deepening blue.

The Lows: In reality these tend to get a little nit picky because the trip was amazing, but some of this will help prepare divers for going to Cozumel in the future.  First of all Cozumel made up of primarily marine protected area, this means that there are strict guidelines on diving.  Some of these strict rules include no gloves or knives.  The concept of no gloves is relatively common and is used as a deterrent from touching the reef, but the no knives was new to me and i could’t quite understand why.  Cruz ships are also a common sight while in Cozumel, and we were told by some of the instructors that during the busy season there can be up to 12 cruz ships in a day.  what this means is there is an overcrowding of the reefs, manny divers and also the possibility of less skilled divers affecting the visibility through poor buoyancy control.  This large number of divers also makes it difficult at times to keep track of your group during the IMG_0190dive.

Overall Cozumel is a phenomenal destination for diving that all divers should have on there list of must visit locations.  Not only is there amazing visibility, cool swim throughs, walls, and a variety of aquatic life to see.  There is drift diving which can be a game changer, bottom time is increased because of the reduction of effort to move through the water and hour long dives can be easily achieved for those who have good air consumption.

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