Cozumel May 2024 Trip Report - Bluewater Dive Travel
Cozumel May 2024 Trip Report

Cozumel May 2024 Trip Report

Cozumel Trip Report 2024

Bluewater Travel'S Underwater Photography Workshop

May 11 - 18, 2024 at Iberostar Resort & Dressel Divers

Words and Images by: Mike Chiado

The colorful corals in Cozumel



Day 1, May 11, Arrival Day

Our Bluewater Travel Photography Workshops group met at Iberostar Resort’s Lobby bar. The trip leaders Paul Vukovich and Mike Chiado ensured all guests were happy with accommodations and knew the details of the next day’s diving schedule. Joining the group were Naza, manager of the on-site dive shop, Dressel Divers, answering questions about rental gear, boat schedule, dive shop storage and operations. With information for the next day sorted, the resort’s all-inclusive bars and restaurants awaited. 


Day 2, May 12

Breakfast was served by the resort at the large restaurant adjacent to the lobby. Food selections were numerous and plentiful. With full bellies, our group assembled at Dressel Dive Shop at 8:30AM. The dive shop’s location is on the resort’s beach front and adjacent to the dive boat dock. After completing the necessary paperwork, and a bit of a wait due to high winds, our group boarded the boat dedicated to our exclusive use for the week. 

The dives were easy in warm clear water with a gentle current. Within minutes dropping into the first dive site, San Clemente, the dive guides spotted two longsnout seahorses and four splended toadfish! The latter are endemic to Cozumel and super photogenic. A nice start to the week of diving!

A flat fish hides in its cave A fish swims up to the camera


Our group spent the surface interval on the boat avoiding the need to return to shore. The second dive treated us with more splendid toadfish and longsnout seahorses, barracudas, yellow stingrays, large, friendly queen and french angelfish, smooth and spotted trunk fish, large whitespotted filefish, beautiful reefscapes and massive sponges. 

A hard coral in Cozumel Colorful corals found underwater


Following the return to the resort after the second dive and a quick shower, lunch was available at either the resort’s beach burger place, or a complete buffet at the centrally located El Cedral. Unfortunately, during the lunch break, the winds picked up and prevented our dive boat from docking. With the remainder of the afternoon free, the pools, open bars and restaurants were at the ready.


Day 3, May 13

The day’s weather suspended diving completely for the day. We made use of the time to catch up on workshops. Mike presented Fundamentals of Underwater Photography and a second one on Wide Angle Photography. The remainder of the day was spent enjoying the resort, exploring the island of Cozumel and processing photos and video from the prior day. Plans were made to dive the Cenotes on the mainland if weather prevented diving the following day.


Day 4, May 14

Better conditions today, allowing our dive boat to dock at the resort and take us out for two morning dives. The dives brought more sightings of splendid toadfish, Seahorses, large angelfish, a loggerhead turtle, porcupine fish, queen triggerfish and many more colorful Caribbean fish. The second dive had stronger currents and presented more a challenge for photographers- as once past a subject, there was little chance of getting back.


A fish swims close to the camera A diver takes a photo of the vibrant corals

   A puffer fish side-eyes the camera The vibrant corals and fish


Once the dive groups were back on board the boat, the captain determined the winds were now preventing returning to the resort’s dock. Instead, a much more sheltered local marina was used to unload divers and gear. The afternoon dives were cancelled and with timing of the day, the window for workshop had lapsed. So, off to the inclusive beach, pools, bars and restaurants.


Day 5, May 15

We managed to thankfully get two great dives in today! Our group’s boat was able to return to the resort’s dock. All other boats offloaded at the marina, and our group was very happy to come directly back to the resort. Good photo and video capture was reported by the guests. The group beginning to gel and enjoy the experience! 

Weather once again prevented the afternoon dive and allowed time for another workshop - Macro Photography


Day 6, May 16

The day began with loading the boat at 8:05 and being the first boat out again. Two dives had mild currents and great visibility. A massive male Loggerhead Turtle passed by the groups plus the now usual large angels, filefish, scorpionfish, stingrays, trunkfish, snappers, grunts and huge sponges. The group agreed to a quick turn for lunch so the third dive could leave be 2pm. The afternoon dive matched the conditions and wildlife as the morning’s, and when back on the boat, we found out a Marina offload was required. Due our late return from the Marina, the afternoon workshop was canceled, and instead, Mike offered one-on-one Lightroom assistance in the evening in which five guests participated. 

  A sea turtle glides effortlessly underwater The vibrant corals and fish


Day 7, May 17

The last full day is normally a dry-out day, but with the missed dives and late departures for guests the following day, we were able to schedule morning dives. The dives were once again great with clear water. Upon dropping in we were greeted by a sleeping loggerhead under a reef ledge. Award winning photos were captured of a sleeping nurse shark and a LARGE, free swimming green moray eel, and tight portraits of a hermit crab and an oceanic triggerfish. Nice diving! 

A moray eel near the ocean floor A sea turtle rests its head in the sand


With the 24 hours of outgassing now begun for the group’s divers, two hours of Lightroom workshop were held in the afternoon; with the trip’s workshops complete, submissions were requested for photo/video competition. 

Divers underwater A divers poses underwater


Day 8, May 18, Departure Day

After breakfast on the departure day, our group assembled to review submissions for the contest. Prizes were awarded to for first, second and third places and here they are:

A fish nestled in a crevice

3rd place, Rebecca Gray


A divers poses underwater

2nd place, Rommel Bocker


 A moray eel leaves it house A shark rests on the ocean floor

1st place, Susan Bryan (Two submissions and both were placed in the top slot!) 


Click here to learn more about diving in Cozumel.



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