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Beginner Diver

Wisconsin
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31 posts
20 reviews
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Beginner Diver

We are going to spend a week in Cozumel this month. We are certified but have no experience diving. I have learned that Coz is not recommended for beginners, but we would like to give it a try. We would appreciate any suggestions for how to get some experience. Where could we go that isn't too challenging and which dive operators would be the best match for us? We don't want to slow anyone else down - but we don't want to get too far out of our comfort zone either! Thanks in advance for any advice.

Colo Spgs
Destination Expert
for Cozumel
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29,066 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Beginner Diver

First point is that you do have diving experience (you are certified). It is just limited. Second: many new divers do fine in Cozumel. Just don't go to Barracuda, Maracaibo or Devil's Throat on your first dive.

Third: There are many sites that are fine for you. I was a newbie there once and I am still here.

Fourth: Don't let "drift diving" scare you. Consider it like being pulled in a wagon to see things. Just don't fight it. If you get ahead of the group you can turn and face into the current and SLOWLY kick a bit to minimize your speed across the bottom or you can drop behind a coral head to stop.

I suggest a dive shop with several boats so you can be put in a group suitable for your experience level. Two suggestions are:

www.papahogs.com

www.aldora.com

Don't be surprised that you feel very comfortable with your diving quickly. Just be aware that you can drop without being aware of it so watch your DM closely or when you do a wall pay attention to ear pressure, your depth gauge and the wall which is a reference for rising or falling.

Final point: Look forward to diving in Cozumel. Your points show consideration and proper respect for diving but it is fun and exciting. Let your DM know of your experience level and they will take care of you and help you build your experience and widen your comfort zone. I can only smile at the amazement you will experience after your first day of diving there.

Last final point: You have to tell us of your experience.

Colo Spgs
Destination Expert
for Cozumel
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29,066 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Beginner Diver

Clarification on "many new divers do fine in Cozumel." I suspect that most do fine. I will offer a DM the opportunity to clarify this point but I suspect that very few people have problems and probably no more than any other location. Sometimes people have problems during their cert dives but that is low too. So don't fret about Cozumel diving.

Go to your library and see if they have any Cozumel dive books. That way you can get a sense for the type dives that are available.

3. Re: Beginner Diver

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Ft. Worth
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1,143 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Beginner Diver

Two other suggestions:

www.geocities.com/scubabetsy

Click on "fishing for feedback" at the bottom of the page for reviews from previous customers. She seems to be very good with beginner divers. "She" is Betsyinczm who answers many questions on this forum.

www.oceantours@usa.net

This is the dive shop at the El Cozumeleno. Ask for Antonio, who is the Antonio on this forum.

Minneapolis
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283 posts
37 reviews
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5. Re: Beginner Diver

I know exactly what you meant when you said, "We are certified but have no experience diving", as I feel the same way. We (5 of us) are "new divers" and will have Cozumel this month as our stepping stone into the wonderful world of diving. The excitement is there along with a healthy dose of nervousness. We are currently trying to figure out who will be whose partner. With 5 of us there will be one man out (or woman, as the case may be), and one of the members of the group enjoys taking off when he see's something of intrest...so we keep trying to put him with a stranger. I am nervous about one of the jokesters turning off my air and another coming from behind to lift my mask (as that was my freaking point during certification, don't like to fill my mask with water). So many things to be excited about, but until we actually do it "for real" we won't be able to say that we are experienced.

We (my son and I) did our OW in a dark, cold lake here in MN so I am very excited about having warmth and visibility. The other 3 in our group will be doing the OW portion in Belize just before we get to Cozumel. So, I had the cold dark lake, but didn't have to fill my mask with salt water. Does that bother anyone else? or is it just me? I REALLY hated filling my mask. And, does this happen often while diving? I don't mind a bit of leaking, which happens often due to smiling or laughing underwater, but I really didn't like filling it full and purging it. Strange thing is I didn't mind taking it off completely, swimming with it off and then putting it on either...strange, huh?

Colo Spgs
Destination Expert
for Cozumel
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29,066 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Beginner Diver

shandajr, if you are concerned about your mask leaking then the best thing is to go to your local pool and kneel in the shallow end and practice doing it (letting it leak) then purging. I had issues with clearing my ears so I spent time in a pool trying all sorts of different techniques to clear mine until I was competent. Now it is not an issue.

Houston
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189 posts
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7. Re: Beginner Diver

Shandajr:

First, turning off someone's air or pulling off their mask or any such similar action is NOT A JOKE. I would never do this to anyone else or tolerate having it done to me. If you think someone in your group would do this you need to set things straight now or refuse to dive with them.

Second, there is no shame in telling the shop, DM, or buddies that you are new and nervous. Much better than maintaining a false bravado and faking it.

Third, your mask should not fill if it fits right. Any minor leakage can be purged long before it fills. And if it does you might find that the warm Caribbean water doesn't bother you as much as the cold lake water.

Minneapolis
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283 posts
37 reviews
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8. Re: Beginner Diver

CoPilot...thanks for the suggestion, my husband suggested it also. I have actually done this already and can fill my mask and then remove water, I still don't like it though. I bought a better/new mask and the leakage is only when I laugh...and again, a little leakage doesn't bother me, just a full mask, which I don't see happening, unless someone pulls off my mask...which brings me to rat...saying that someone may turn off my air (or anyone else's) was more "joke" than concern. As we have all been going through this together, we have sat around the kitchen table talking SH** and I can promise that no one would ever put someones life at risk, the group consists of a son, husband, brother and neighbor, we are all very close and protective. I do understand your reply however, as I made it sound as though I was very worried of these things happening. The only thing that I am concerned about (in real life) is my mask coming off (I really do have a phobia about this and until I do my first "real" dive I will be concerned) and the one that I said finds something interesting and takes off, I don't know if that will happen during a dive, but it sure does while snorkeling.

Minneapolis
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283 posts
37 reviews
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9. Re: Beginner Diver

Sorry ReefRat...while posting my reply I couldn't remember your screen name, all I could recall was the "rat" portion of it.

Denise

Michigan
1 post
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10. Re: Beginner Diver

Willister--My husband and I did our first "real" dives in Coz 4 years ago. Before that only dives in a local lake (yuck). I would suggest Cristina Roman as a dive master to dive with. Her web site is

www.divewithcristina.com

She has her own boat and will bring along another divemaster if the group is too large or if there is a mix of experience levels. I was very nervous my first dive and she stayed right next to me! Now I'm hooked. Have a great time and don't worry about the drift...it takes a little while to get used to it but then you can just act like a fish!