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May 22-25, 2015

Well the food, diving, and company never disappoint in Cozumel. And this time neither did the accommodations. The Fiesta Americana has been closed for the last year and a half for renovation and recently opened. The beach area was improved with a choice of restaurants…burgers at one spot and seafood at another. The pool and bar area featured hanging seats. Ping pong and pool tables offered some short-term fun at the small coffee bar. The rooms are airy and decorated in modern decor with nice bathrooms. We were all pleasantly surprised.

Dive House, as usual took great care of us on our dives. Things were a bit different from years prior. We didn’t have to race down to the beach to get a locker and weights or to sign in. All the paperwork was completed on the boat, and they kept our gear for us overnight after rinsing it.

Our visit to Cozumel was a quick trip with only two days of diving. I think I could have added one more day for three days of diving since I prefer only the two tank morning dives and leave the afternoon to lounge by the pool. For those of us who only dove twice a day as opposed to five times on Saturday and twice on Sunday, we dove Palancar Bricks, Cedar Pass, Palancar Caves, and Mountains. Mountains was a new dive site to most of us and it was lovely. We saw the biggest turtles I’ve ever laid eyes on though they are not pictured. Unfortunately, due to user error, I fogged my camera case so I don’t have much to show for our final dive.

Palancar Bricks and Palancar Caves were deeper dives around 85 feet and offered lovely coral formations with amazing sponge and anemone life though the fish life was rather sparse at this depth. While it is fun to do the swim throughs, I get more excited over the marine life. Cedar Pass and Mountains were home to several turtles, angelfish, enormous moray eels, huge lobsters, a rare frogfish spotting and a baby seahorse to name a few. We didn’t see much small stuff like nudibranch, coral banded reef shrimp or Christmas tree worms, and I was surprised to see so many Titanfish. It seemed like the diving has changed since I visited two years ago. While the sites were lovely, I was a little disappointed to skip Palancar Gardens, as it is one of my favorites.

The currents this year were extremely light which was nice as we didn’t have to kick ferociously if we wanted to stop and snap a photo. I have to say I’m pleased with the new camera I purchased, the Olympus TG3. For a point and shoot it takes some fantastic underwater photos. Though admittedly, as a first time user of it, I had a few challenges to overcome. I look forward to my next attempt which is probably a year away.

The all inclusive option is nice at Fiesta Americana for breakfast, lunch and snacks, but we enjoy going into town for dinner. Amazingly Cozumel offers a great selection for Italian Food. Sorrisi’s is the best in town. The chicken Parmesan, the black linguini with seafood, the beef carpaccio, and the triple decker brownie delighted our group of six. It was nice to see Dennis and Noah again as well as meet some new faces, Tish and Cara.

Dinner at Guido’s on Saturday night included some great thin crust pizzas and pasta dishes in a lovely atmosphere. It’s tasty, but I don’t think quite as good as Sorrisi. Living in Denver now, it was a requirement for me to at least get some good Mexican food. David and I spent our last night at La Choza. They have the best shrimp and garlic plate, margaritas and hot sauce. It was a perfect way to end our relaxing weekend, especially given Cozumel must spray for Mosquitos now, or something. I got out of town with only one mosquito bite and no Off required. That was a new and quite pleasant experience.

It was also nice to enjoy the sun! It was a nice change from the rain, hail, snow, and floods me and my friends have been deluged by in Texas and Colorado. Hopefully, by the time I get home, it will be hiking weather!! ETB

For dads and grads, visit www.notablenotecards.com or www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards for notecards, key chains, and photos on canvas.

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