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Diving: CI vs. Ixtapa

Trish
476 Posts
27
Apr
2008
edf40wrjww2FORUM_TOPICS:T_MESSAGE
OK, divers, I really need your help with this one!

I currently have flights from Paris to San Diego (but going through Atlanta) for late June. The principal reason for the trip to CA is to renew my CA drivers license and to see some friends from when I lived there (except they're being a little slow on volunteering me a place to sleep (house renovations, etc.), so I'm beginning to rethink my need to go out there.

I have just learned that I can get a Georgia license fairly easily (because my family is still there), so it's possible that instead of flying out to CA, I just stop in Atlanta and do the license.

A secondary factor (and the point of this post - sorry! ) is that I want to go diving at a CM while I'm on vacation. In the past, this would have easily been solved by a trip to Sonora Bay, but it's now closed.

So I see two possibilites: Ixtapa or the Caribbean - and for the latter, it would be CI because I haven't been there since Hurricane Frances ran us out in 2004.

Ixtapa CM does not officially have diving, but by Googling, I've found operators in the resort area. However, I don't know them or the quality of the diving there. CM is currenly running a "California Residents" special, so I could go for a week for $1770.

On the other hand, I know CI, know the diving (excellent) and the diving there is "in-house". HOWEVER, a week at CI for the same time is $2408.

As I'm old enough to remember the Glory Days when CM cost around $100 per night, this kills me, but what can you do? And yes, I will check with MY CM agent, Nathalie at Margarita to see what she can find out, and I'll be looking/praying for those last minute CM specials, but it's still not going to be cheap...

So folks - any thoughts on diving at Ixtapa? Does anyone know if it's good, what it's like, etc.?

Your input is welcome because I'm not sure I'm thinking rationally on this.

Thanks!

Trish

Dive now; work later!
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Vinny
84 Posts
28
Apr
2008
Trish,
We get a lot a divers here from the west coast because the diving is so much better here in Columbus.The Pacific Ocean is sure a different creature than the Atlantic.The old saying goes :You get what you pay for " and I cant imagine the diving being better than here without heading to Austrailia or the Maldives or another exotic local.If you do go to Ixtapa,tell Brian "the chef de Sports" that I said hi. He was a great boss last season.Hope this helps a little.

All who wander are not lost
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jschantz
204 Posts
01
May
2008
For the non CM, cold Pacific Ocean water diving,
I hear there is some great diving off Catalina Island, but perhaps DadAlmighty should comment about that.


-- Joel
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Seattle Craig
659 Posts
01
May
2008
I am not a diver but have heard Columbus Isle diving is FANTASTIC. It is a Club Med dedicated dive center. As a snorkeler, I can echo the previous comments re Pacific (North America) vs Caribbean. Caribbean is preferred - plus it's on your way back to France, no?

Here is link to CI diving info written by a diver: http://www.blackpearls.net/columbus.html
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DadAlmighty
605 Posts
01
May
2008
Hi Trish,

I've been thinking about this and thought I'd weigh in.

Catalina Island is good kelp forest diving but is waaaaay North of Ixtapa, off of L.A.

Ixtapa has relatively shallow, 50 foot dives. The substrate is more rocky than sand and the water temp. is cooler than what is at the same latitude in the Atlantic due to the Pacific Ocean upwellings and current configurations. You’d see a variety of life that is less colorful and abundant than what you are used to in Columbus; however it is different. There is also less of a chance to see large pelagics. There are harbor seals and sea lions, crabs and octpus.

The bottom line Trish is that after diving Columbus, I think you would be disappointed in what Ixtapa has to offer. Seeing that you are coming from France and have to make the trip South, the “bang-for-the-buck” factor is less than what you would get from going back to Columbus. That, plus Missy would be disappointed in not seeing you. Ixtapa is better to snorkel than to dive.

Since you would be in San Diego, La Jolla Cove is an excellent place to dive, offering a mixture of depth, (the trench is way deep), kelp and all of the temperate water Pacific critters. If you like wreck diving, The Lois Ann charter boat goes to wreck alley on the weekends and is an excellent boat to dive from for a day excursion. They also pump Nitrox.

If you’re North in L.A., a day trip to Catalina is fun…a bit crowded on the weekends at the underwater park, but is fine during the week. The underwater park there by the “Casino” is a wonderful place to experience kelp diving, (7-8mm wetsuit and hood recommended for any S. California diving).

I hope this helps a little.

Dad
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Vinny
84 Posts
02
May
2008
thanks Seattle Craig for the kudos,however the link you posted is very old and the info has changed alot since 98 as far as excursions,boats,picnics,and bike availbility,and dive sites.If anyone has specific questions I'd be glad to answer any post as to what is going on here right now.the thing that hasn't changed is the diving is still awesome,even after being here over a year.


All who wander are not lost
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Trish
476 Posts
03
May
2008
Hi Folks,

Thanks for the input. Actually, what clinched my decision to go to CI (if I can work out the price) was the following from CNN.com on Tuesday:

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- A U.S. surfer was killed in a shark attack off Mexico's southern Pacific coast, officials said Tuesday.

The San Francisco, California, man bled to death Monday after a gray shark bit his right thigh, leaving a 15-inch (38-centimeter) wound, the Guerrero state Public Safety Department said in a statement.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico could not immediately confirm the man's name, but local authorities identified him as a 24-year-old who was surfing with a fellow American. The other man was not injured.

The attack occurred at the Troncones beach, about 45 minutes west by car from the beach resort of Ixtapa.

The statement said the victim suffered wounds "that reached from the hip to the knee, exposing the femur."

The victim was still alive when he was brought back to the beach. It took so long for the ambulance to reach the relatively isolated, undeveloped beach that a bystander took the victim to a local hospital in his car.

The man died from loss of blood a few minutes after reaching the hospital, according to the statement.

Shark attacks are relatively rare in Mexico. In 2006, the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History reported only one attack in Mexico, which was not fatal.

Yikes, that does it for me! Yes, I know there are hammerheads at CI, but they've never gone near me, so I feel a bit safer. Plus, I hate cold water diving and I'd forgotten all the "wetsuit" hell you have to go through to dive in the Pacific - ugh!

Trish

Dive now; work later!
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