Scuba Club Cozumel
"Welcome home," Sophia said as my husband and I arrived at the front desk. And it does feel like a homecoming for us and an ever-increasing number of "Scuba Club family members" frequenting this landmark PADI 5-Star dive resort. I had been looking forward to another dose of the resort's hospitality just as much as I was looking forward to a dose of Cozumel's epic diving. We settled into our room, taking in the view of the Caribbean over the red roofs of the Spanish architecture, and let the pressures of the real world drift away in the salty breeze. We made ourselves at home and headed down to the beach bar to check in with the "family," many of whom were back for their nth time, and drill them on where they'd been diving and what they had seen. We wanted to see and do it all, of course, and knew we were in good hands with the staff here at Scuba Club. Drift dives off Palancar, Santa Rosa, Columbia and Punta Sur were definitely on the menu, as well as a dive on the C-53 (a great wreck dive!). But our No.1 challenge would be to spot a splendid toadfish (endemic to Cozumel) without the help of our eagle-eyed divemasters.
During our week of diving, we did our best to spend as much time immersed in salt water as salt air. Miguel, Alberto, Raymundo, Jose and all the dive staff were exceptional. We are early risers, so we took advantage of the morning two-tank dives, and we also visited the C-53 on an afternoon dive. Night dives are also offered several times a week in addition to dusk dives. We particularly liked this option, offering a glimpse of the transition between the day and night life on the reef and a peak feeding time for many predators.
In between dives, we took advantage of Scuba Club's peaceful atmosphere, catching some Zzz's in the hammocks under the palapa on the beach or sunbathing on the rooftop patio. We grabbed a quick breakfast of fresh-baked pan dulce and coffee every morning and returned from our morning two-tank dives to a mouthwatering selection of Mexican, Yucatecan and native Mayan dishes for lunch. Dinner was served every evening at the Fat Grouper Grill, and as the name suggests, there's an excellent selection of fresh seafood as well as meat and poultry prepared with a Caribbean flavor incorporating locally grown produce. Vegetarian meals can also be prepared with advance notice.
On our final dive day, we achieved our big goal. On a drift dive at Yucab, it happened - tucked back into a small crevasse in the reef, we simultaneously spotted the striped and whiskered face we'd been looking for all week - a splendid toadfish. We celebrated with an underwater high five and continued our drift dive. What a way to end the week.
That evening, in honor of our success, (well, not really, but we'd like to think so) the staff at Scuba Club threw one of its Mexican beach parties under the stars. We feasted on fresh salsas and spicy tortilla specialties and washed them down with cold cerveza. Satiated but sad to be leaving soon, we called it a day - no waiting for a check since all meals were included. Even our tab at the bar was held throughout the week, so we never needed to carry any money. And as usual, we reveled in the comfort, conveniences and exceptional service that Scuba Club and its staff provided. Heck, this was better than home