Downey Duck



Cozumel, 2002


Eight years have passed since we were in Cozumel last, and it’s still a great destination for diving and having fun.

We stayed once again at Scuba Club Cozumel, formerly the Galapagos Inn. Unlike the big hotels and resorts, Scuba Club Cozumel has a more intimate atmosphere, with 55 unique rooms. There are upstairs and downstairs dining areas, a bar, pool, hammock area, small gift shop, and lots of friendly staff.

 There is a large scuba shop and a fleet of six various-sized boats able to handle up to 30 divers comfortably. We were on three different boats during the week, depending on our itinerary, but Martin, our divemaster, stayed with us the entire time.

 The diving was good Caribbean drift diving, with visibility averaging 60-100 feet. First dives were deeper wall dives where we saw large coral formations, swim-throughs, and ledges, all potentially hiding fish and critters. Second dives usually began with a shallower wall dive, then up to areas of coral heads and sandy bottoms, for plenty of search and discovery opportunities. Some of the more unusual things we saw were seahorses, splendid toadfish, pipefish, and several turtles. Additional choices, at extra cost, consisted of a wreck dive or two-tank twilight dive. We also did enjoyable dives off the front of the hotel. The depth there averaged only about fifteen feet, but there was plenty to look at amongst the man-made rubble field; seeing half a dozen octopuses at night was common. The usual routine was a two-tank boat dive in the morning, then unlimited shore diving.

 Three meals a day were included. The breakfast buffet ranged from pancakes and eggs to cereal and fresh fruit. Lunch was a choice of the “diver’s special” or something ordered from the menu, and dinner was a choice between two entrees.  Mexican cuisine was definitely the order of the week, most of it excellent; ordering more Americanized food off the menu was popular for people with timid palates. Desserts were delicious, and helado (ice cream) was very popular—no low fat stuff here!

 Topside, we were less than a mile from town; shopping and people watching on cruise-ship days were interesting past-times. We enjoyed driving around the island in a rental car, and flights to Chichen Itza, a top-notch Mayan ruin, can be arranged through the hotel. Taking the ferry over to the mainland and checking out Playa de Carmen, Cancun, or the Tulum ruins is also possible. Of course, lazing by the pool or in one of those hammocks while looking at the sea is very relaxing. Boredom is not a problem.

 Cozumel is still a great dive destination and Scuba Club Cozumel is the place we’ll stay again next time.