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Helmet diving in Cozumel

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Bettina

Guest
#1
We are two cruisers leaving for our first cruise next week.

Visiting Cozumel I have read about Helmet diving in Chankanaab Park (Sea Trekking)

I am a little afraid of snorkeling and thought helmet diving was the possibility for me to get under water being able to breath normally inside the helmet.

My friend has no problem with snorkeling but is nervous about the helmet dive afraid she will get claustrofibic and not being able to get the helmet off quickly when being under water.

Anyone tried this and have some words of advise for us?

Have booked the ships tour, but was wondering about going there on our own and book a helmet dive in Chankanaab Park ourselves..
Am afraid with a busy day for cruise-ships ours being one of the latest arriving that we might not get the dive unless booking through the ship. any comments anyone?

Any help highly appreciated.

Bettina
 
M

MikeInPgh

Guest
#2
While I have never done a Helmet Dive, I do Scuba dive and snorkel. From what I have seen on TV and read, you will be no deeper than 20 feet under. The helmet is weighted somewhat to keep you from floating away and there is a guide (or should be) with you at all times. The helmets I have seen are almost entirely clear, so it is not like the old fashion brass diving helmet. If your friend has a problem with claustrophobia already, this may not be the excursion for him or her. Many people with that problem get freaked out the minute their breath begins to comeback on them.

You may be better off trying Snuba (a combination of scuba and snorkeling). You have a scuba regulator in your mouth and it is attached by a VERY long hose to either tanks or a oxygen compressor on the surface. You can go down about 20 25 feet and be able to breath normally. And if you panic and jet to the surface, you are so shallow that you have no worry about decompression problems.

My mother is claustrophobic (in a big way) and the panic sets in the minute she feels her own hot humid breath coming back on her face.

Try snorkeling, you will be surprised how fast you get used to the snorkel.
 
B

Bettina

Guest
#3
Hi again,

If anybody wants to know.....

We ended up going on our own to Chankanaab park and I did the Helmet Dive.

Was great fun, only I expected to see some fish when diving and the only fishes we saw was the ones you could see from the surface before going in.

Was fun to try to walk under water.
Even had someone in our group who was a little claustrophobic but that went OK too.

You can use your hand under the helmet to relieve pressure or just touch your face, so you do not feel that closed up.

The dive was 50 dollars and pre-booking was not needed.

For the snorkeling we were very sorry to miss the stop in Grand Cayman...... guess I just have to go cruising again sometime ;+)

Best regards and happy new year

Bettina

Best regards

Bettina
 
N

NuCruzer

Guest
#4
Re: Helmet diving in Cozumel-Bettina

Was it worth the $ and would you do it again? How far can go with it? Any info would be helpful-Thanks!
 
H

Hal

Guest
#5
Re: Helmet diving in Cozumel-Bettina

We just returned from the Norwegian Sea, which stopped in Cozumel and Belize. In Cozumel we went helmet diving (me - 46 and college son who is 17) and wife and younger son (14) went on the Atlantis submarine. Both were fabulous. Next cruise we intend on swapping our trips. The Helmet diving was great and we would do it again. The cost seems steep but is actually reasonable when you consider it alone costs $50 pp in the park, the park entry fee is $10 and the cab must be $10--15 pp. To have the ship arrange all is great. Also, we got unlimited use of snorkling gear after the dive.

The dive is off a pier into the ocean. You go down a ladder and they put the helmet on your head and you descend the rest of the way down to the ocean floor. Although the helmet is around 70 pounds it is weightless in the water and your face doesn't even get wet. In fact, you can keep on your glasses or contacts and actually see. Once down the ladder you then follow a rope to a point where it ends and you and the tour guide and the other divers join hands and walk free on the bottom. (they give you water shoes if you don't have your own) You are between 25 and 30 feet down. It is incredible to look up and see people on the surface and fishes swiming in fornt of you. They will take your picture is you bring an underwater camer ( suggested as they are very expensive in Mexico) or will use their camera and charge you. No problem using our cameras and no pressure to buy anything else. The time underwater flies by. You "explore" the area, see the fishes, can look out at the dolphins and even walk around an underwater coral reef and submerged anchor. Afterwards you can use snorkel equipment free of additional charge. We tried snorkling and I was glad we did helmet diving over a snorkel excursion. Simply did not like the snorklingas I felt out of control and am not a great swimmer in any event.

We are still waiting for our pictures underwater but would go again. You feel like spacemen walking on the moon when underwater. As for safety, there is a guide in a helmet and two safety divers and a snorkler checking the air lines. The safety briefing is easy and they ask you repeatedly if there are problems while underwater. Seemed very safety conscious and a real hoot. A great trip - try it. Finally, the park (Chanaknob) is very pretty - nice beaches, restaurants with great mexican food (recommend the nachos and margaritias) and a small reproduced Mayan site. The shore excursion for helmet diving gives you enough time to shop and do other stuff in Cozumel.
 
B

Bett

Guest
#6
Re: Helmet diving in Cozumel-Bettina

We did the helmet dive on Dec. 19th. I must say that all the staff members at the park are absolutely wonderful. They really tried to make sure that everyone enjoyed their helmet diving experience. We rented their underwater camera , and they took the pictures for us. We are so glad that we have the pictures so that we will always remember the experience. It's great fun and you will love it!!