The island of Cozumel off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is known for drift dives along craggy reef walls with numerous swim throughs and abundant marine life. Topped off with gorgeous white sand beaches it was an awesome destination to start our 2 week road trip through the Yucatan.
Diving with Scuba Tony
Scuba Tony is a well-run outfit that offers small boat dives. Groups are limited to 6 divers plus the master diver guide. They do not have an office but are very responsive via email or by phone. The dive boats leave from Marina Fonatur at 7AM or 1PM. You can meet them at the marina or if you are staying along the coast south of the Marina they will pick you up.
The boats are just big enough for 6 guests with the seating area mostly covered and protected from the sun. They claim that with their smaller faster boats they reach dives site before most others. In general dive sites were not crowded and we often did not see other groups while diving.
You can rent gear through them or if you have your own they will keep your gear for you if you are diving on multiple days. However, they do not keep wetsuits and booties. This was a minor inconvenience as we did not have a good place to rinse and hang wetsuits between dives. Supposedly there is rinse water at the marina but not the week we were diving.
We did 3 days of diving – the first day a 2 tank morning dive and an 1 tank night dive, day 2 a 2 tank morning Nitrox course followed by a 2 tank afternoon dive, and day 3 a 2 tank morning dive followed by a 2 tank afternoon dive.
Morning dives leave around 7:30 and get back around noon. They will also drop you at a beach side restaurant between morning and afternoon dives. The afternoon dives leave the marina at 1PM and get back between 5 and 5:30. The night dive leaves close to sunset. In hindsight it would have been more convenient to do the night dive the same day as the afternoon dive rather than the morning dive.
The nitrox course was professionally run. We did not have a dedicated instructor but for this course it is really about learning to analyze the gas content of your tanks and making sure you set your computers correctly before the dive. The actual time in the water doesn’t really add anything to the course. We felt adequately prepared for the nitrox dives with all our questions answered.
All the dive masters are professional and pay attention to the guests. You do want to be self-reliant as they do not baby you and you are expected to know what you are doing. They will, however, help you with difficulties including equipment malfunctions and so forth to keep you safe.
All the dives are drift dives with varying current speeds. My favorite was the Santa Rosa Wall for the sheer drop off and the number of swim throughs. Most dives had a wide variety of marine life. Below are my best pics by dive site.
Santa Rosa Wall
Between La Francesa and Dalila
December 3-5, 2019
For links to all the posts in this series see the Yucatan Peninsula page.