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Old 12/20/2007, 03:38 PM   #1
boxfishpooalot
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Playa Del Carmen

Hey guys! Got an early x-mas present, going to Playa Del Carmen! I want to go scuba diving. How do I go about this? Playa is 20 minutes from Cozumel.

Never been to the ocean, never been scuba diving. But I have to do it! Any recomended dive places, or things I should buy/do in my city before hand?

Thanks


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Old 12/20/2007, 04:03 PM   #2
Wryknow
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Well, I have been to the area a number of times and dove and snorkelled quite a bit. My own personal opinion is that some of the most fun trips have been snorkelling and if you are not a certified diver I would consider buying a good set of snorkelling equipment and give that a try first. With a little practice you can easily breath-hold dive to 20-30 feet and the reefs in that area are very good in shallow water.

On the mainland side (Playa/Tulum/Cancun) the water conditions vary a lot day by day so you may not be able to dive when you plan to. If there is a lot of current then the visibility gets bad and there can be strong undertows in some areas so its best to go with a pro if you can. There are tons of little dive/snorkel outfits that will run you out to a reef and let you snorkel (or dive) for a minimal fee and when I'm in the area I just find one or two close to the hotel and walk over in the morning to check the water conditions and decide if I want to book a trip.

If you really want to go to a primo dive spot then take the ferry over to Cozumel. It's about a 30 minute trip from Playa and the conditions on Cozumel are much calmer and more predictable because the reefs are on the lee side of the island. Palancar gardens is my favorite dive spot there. You may also want to check out one of the fresh water c'enotes. They are pretty neet too.


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Old 12/21/2007, 04:59 AM   #3
boxfishpooalot
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Hey thanks for the tips! Its my first time ever! Im so excited!

I think I will go to Cozumel and dive there. Whats the going cost at Palancar Gardens? With a dive intructor of course.


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Its a good idea to have a refrence sample for alk test kits. 1.1350 grams of baking soda in 1gallon of distilled water=10dkh. Check your alkalinity test kit!
Algae is Mother Natures phosphate remover

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Old 12/21/2007, 09:17 AM   #4
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It really depends on the out fit. A top-quality dive shop (Al Dora is really good) was like $80 for a 2 tank dive last time I was there. You're going to need to present your certification card there though before you book the trip. (You are planning on getting certified first, right? ) They will provide you with nice equipment, a good dive instructor, and a small, well supervised dive group.

Personally I tend to go with the "budget" places myself. I've been diving for a while though so the extra hand holding is not something that I want in a dive outfit. Last time I went I was really happy with the dive shop and the Reef Club (I think it was Sand Dollar or something like that.) I got a 10 dive card (with equipment rental) for $550 and split it up with friends. The groups were a bit bigger and we didn't get dive computers but the reef looks the same no matter who you dive with.

One word of advice though. Mexican law is VERY different from US law when it comes to litigation. In the US, if you do something stupid the company gets sued because they let you do something stupid. In Mexico, if you do something stupid it's your own fault. This tends to result in very different attitudes with the dive masters. The "discount" Mexican dive outfits I have dove with are all good and absolutely want you to be safe. They keep an eye on you and the dive boat is always right there but if surface. Just keep in mind though that if you wander off somewhere they're not going to hang around and wait for you. They're going to assume that you'll catch up. If you run out of air then you need to get yourself to the surface and wave for the boat to come over. The dive master may never ask you how much air you have during the dive. If you need to add more weight because you ate too much at the buffet and can't sink now they're not going to hold up the dive for you while you try to add another 5 lbs. (In other words, they sort of presume that you know what your doing already.)


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Old 12/31/2007, 08:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response!

I whent snorkeling in the local pool here in my city. Just wondering what do you think is the best way to remove mask fog? And at 30feet man did my ears hurt, I dont know how im going ot snorkel in the reef with my ears hurting like that! Any suggestions?


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Its a good idea to have a refrence sample for alk test kits. 1.1350 grams of baking soda in 1gallon of distilled water=10dkh. Check your alkalinity test kit!
Algae is Mother Natures phosphate remover

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Old 01/01/2008, 01:36 PM   #6
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There are commercial defoggers available at most dive shops. Also spitting in the mask and rubbing it around real well, than lightly rinsing will work well.

As for the ears, you need to learn to equalize. Basically, as soon as you start descending, pinch your nose and blow till your ears clear...repeat often. Generally on ascent your ears will clear by themselves, or sometimes just wiggling your jaw a bit if they need a bit of help.


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Old 01/01/2008, 04:19 PM   #7
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I just came back from Cozumel on Sunday and the diving is wonderful.

With that being said, I share Wryknow's concerns that your not a certified diver and are heading into a dangerous situation. Diving is not something you can learn in a day although, the dive shops will make it seem that way.

Do you have time to get certified before you go?


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Old 01/02/2008, 04:30 AM   #8
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Bills Reef thanks! I will spit in the mask then LOL. Or get some fog cream.

Bono:

I understand your concern. I bet its dangerous! I dont know how long it takes, but im leaving for Playa on jan 27th. I asked the cost of it and its only 350$ here in my city.

What kind of things are dangerous? A huge ocean swell pushing you into a rock, or equipment problems? Im curious what is dangerous when diving. I can imagine why it is.


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Its a good idea to have a refrence sample for alk test kits. 1.1350 grams of baking soda in 1gallon of distilled water=10dkh. Check your alkalinity test kit!
Algae is Mother Natures phosphate remover

Current Tank Info: 220 galon mixed reef.
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Old 01/02/2008, 06:09 AM   #9
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The dangers range from simple environmental, such as wave action near rocks, currents that can suck out towards sea, and in the case of Cozumel's infamous currents...downwellings that can suck you down when diving. Other problems are, yes, equipment failure, ruptured ear drums, embolism, the bends, drowning, etc. These are things proper training will teach how to recognize, avoid, and deal with.

Considering how soon you are leaving, I would suggest sticking to snorkeling this time around. There's still plenty of good stuff to see. I still go snorkeling in such places, and enjoy it


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Old 01/03/2008, 10:07 AM   #10
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not to be mean or burst your bubble......but you are clueless......swells and currents and things are the least dangerous of things, i wont try to explain the nitrogen to you but trust me you have no business diving. go see the ocean and maby snorkel some and then if you want to, take a cert class and learn about diving. its not something you, pardon the pun, dive into to.


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Old 01/03/2008, 02:28 PM   #11
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Definitely get a snorkel in at Akumal.

I went diving with the Akumal Dive Shop and my wife and daughter went out snorkeling with a local greeter at the beach. They told about the number of turtles they sawm schools of baitfish and a shallow wreck. All I got on my dive was an out of control family and a bunch gas exhaust from a broken down boat.


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Old 01/13/2008, 01:18 AM   #12
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Snorkeling in Cozumel will get you a chance to see the dolphins uncaged, face to face with spotted eagle rays, and view of the amazing gorgonians.

I would stick to snorkeling if you are not already certified.


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Old 01/15/2008, 03:51 PM   #13
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Papa Hogs in Cozumel. Great dive operation.


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Old 01/28/2008, 01:53 PM   #14
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is it cold down there these days .. going to playa and diving from pex maya ... bought a 5 mm henderson cause i get easily cold ... is 3mm good enough tho? thanks


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Old 01/28/2008, 07:52 PM   #15
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I haven't learned to scuba dive yet but last time we was down in play del carma we did some snorkeling on a reef and it was still great. we went on the stingray excursion and then later spent a little time on a reef and it was awesome, i would either just plan on snorkeling or take the time before you go to get certified. You can still see alot of beautiful marine life if you just snorkel though oh and check out x-caret while your there, it was cool and actually snorkeled along time in one of their inlets and the fish were awesome!


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