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Scuba Trip, Cozumel Nov 07, PICTURES!!

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    #46
    This is a timely thread since I'm going to cozumel for a week on NYE. I only had 10 dives or so under my belt before injury though, and am really concerned about not being able to swim well. It looks like you went with DiveHeart / Dive Paradise? Would you recommend going with Dive Paradise without the experts at DiveHeart? Also, any recommendations as far as snorkelling? Seems like that might be a bit easier!

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      #47
      vsu-The most important factor is your buddy imo. Jill, my buddy, is a VERY experienced diver and did some training with Diveheart prior to our dive trip. We also had a back-up buddy starting out, Jim Elliott the founder of Diveheart, and that was darned reassuring. I hate to say it, but at T5 with only 10 dives, I think I'd stick to snorkeling this trip, unless you can get some practice in before. Safety first. There are instructors around the country that can help, they need to be certified by HSA (Handicapped Scuba Assn.) It may not be necessary to go through the whole program but you both need some basics figured out, a lot of planning needs to happen and it is hard to do alone. My husband is a Divemaster but we needed specialized input.

      We'd (Jill and I) discussed this first dive trip for years and never felt comfortable until the Diveheart training. I'm C5-6 incomplete, Advanced Diver rating, have done some pretty difficult dives (not caves or anything though) with 80 dives logged. I trained with Jim and 2 instructors for 2 days in Albuquerque. It was really valuable to figure out equipment and weighting in this new body, and even basic refresher was needed for me because it had been so long (Out of air, emergency ascent, ditching weights, recovering reg, mask on/off, etc).

      This link will take you to a search engine for HSA Instructors:

      http://www.hsascuba.com/scripts/FindMember.php

      If you do decide to dive, I recommend Martin and Santos at Dive Paradise for divemasters. At least we know they're experienced! Leave your chair on shore, it's useless on the boat, they'll watch it in the shop for you. Sit at the end of the boat so they don't have to carry you as far. Ask them to attach a life vest to the tank rack where you sit for something to lean on. Even to snorkel, you'll need a wetsuit. I was surprised how chilly I got in a 3 ml. Take thermoses of hot water and hot tea, dry towels, jackets. Get those swim gloves that go on your hands, I forgot and wished I had them the whole time.

      I've never tried this outfit (link below) but have read that she has an accessible boat, which means experience with disabled snorkelers. I've seen good reviews. I'd drop her a line right now, see if she's available or can recommend someone.

      http://www.cozumelmycozumel.com/Page...kelingTour.htm

      As best I can tell, her email is kuda1@hotmail.com

      Take your good snorkel and mask LOL, cheap ones suck. Use booties! Our legs flop, another reason you need a wetsuit for protection.

      One bit of bad news. The fish population at Coz is down drastically. Hurricane Wilma did a number on the reef. Those giant barrel sponges are mostly gone, but there's a nice crop of little ones coming up. I hope to God this is temporary.

      Have fun, keep us posted! Where are you staying?
      Last edited by betheny; 25 Nov 2007, 3:21 AM.
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        #48
        Awesome Bethany!
        And the truth shall set you free.

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          #49
          Thanks for the advice. I would feel more comfortable with snorkelling, after hearing what you had to say. Even snorkelling sounds hard with just hands. We're staying at the Occidental Grand-- also, I booked a dinner cruize, the atlantis submarine, and glass bottom boat. Hope those are as fun as they look. I was thinking about going on the jeep tour. Any other activities you would recommend there?
          Last edited by vsu; 28 Nov 2007, 1:01 AM.

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            #50
            I’ve been using scuba most of my life. Navy brat, born on Hawaii, lived in California, Florida growing up. I continued diving after my injury up until this summer, when I sold my boat. Out of all of the diving related activities, taking care of the boat was the only thing that was really difficult, and was the only reason I sold it.

            Next time you might try adding some “board gloves” which are webbed gloves. They make maneuvering in the water much easier. I don’t see any reason why someone with a SCI cannot enjoy basic open water diving. It’s something that I’ve been able to do completely on my own. They only help I’ve had to have is with trailering the boat….

            http://www.watergear.com/webbedgloves.html

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              #51
              Damn, you must be a tough C5, there was MUCH I couldn't do alone...starting with getting on the boat! Cool that you've been able to do it, sad about the boat though.

              I do need those webbed gloves. One of my hands is clawed up, I leave it that way because it's more functional, so I'll have to modify that glove. Shouldn't be a big deal.
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                #52
                Betheny, It looks like such fun, and the pictures are great. You've got me shivering tho just looking at them! Even at my level I am pretty much "cold blooded"!
                T7-8 since Feb 2005

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                  #53
                  Originally posted by betheny View Post
                  Damn, you must be a tough C5, there was MUCH I couldn't do alone...starting with getting on the boat! Cool that you've been able to do it, sad about the boat though.

                  I do need those webbed gloves. One of my hands is clawed up, I leave it that way because it's more functional, so I'll have to modify that glove. Shouldn't be a big deal.
                  Bethany,

                  Did you ever modify those webbed gloves?
                  Thoughts become things, choose the good ones!

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                    #54
                    Nope, never have.
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