Category Archives: Travel

Diving doubles with a Compact Car

Over the past 4 years, we have rented a variety of cars in the Yucatan. They range from a minivan to a compact car. My favorite is probably a VW Pointer Station Wagon from Easy Way Car Rental.

On a couple occasions, we have rented a Dodge Attitude from Hertz.

The trunk is roomy for a compact car, and can accommodate 4 sets of doubles, 2 people’s soft gear bags, and wetsuit/drysuits.

Dodge Attitude trunk with doubles

The benefit of putting all the gear in the trunk is obvious after a couple of days of diving. In a minivan or station wagon, the smell of dank gear soon permeates throughout. With the wet gear confined to the trunk, the smell is greatly reduced.

Even in remote sites, those without a bench, gearing up is a possibility. Using the trunk opening, two people can still kit up.

Dodge Attitude staging doubles

The one downside with the compact car is loading the car takes a little more muscle. Doubles side by side is not the way to load. Stacking them is much easier.

This past trip, we did load 6 sets of doubles, 3 divers, and everyone’s gear into a Dodge Attitude. This taxed the suspension and made navigating rough roads interesting. However, we did dive.

While diving from a compact car is pretty good, the most impressive display of car packing belongs to a German couple. They dive the Yucatan every year, and it’s usually 2 SS scooters, a rebreather, sidemount, and multiple stages into an Economy car.

SFO to CUN

6:00 am – Depart SFO for DFW

12:35 pm – Depart DFW to CUN

3:20 pm – Arrive in CUN

3:27 pm – Start immigration line. Usually, if you’re in the front of the plane, the line is minimal. Not the case today.

All four lines are open, each are 10 rows deep, and each row containing approximately 25 people. Yes, 1000 people all trying to get into Cancun. To service these 1000 tourist, there are 5 immigration officers.

4:25 pm – Get through immigration, and passport is stamped. Almost a full hour in line. Next time, carry-on will have wheels. No heavy shoulder bag filled with regulators and lights.

4:34 pm – Retrieve bags and pass customs. The back-up in immigration leaves bags sitting idle without owners on the conveyor belt. After a couple of minutes, the 50# bag appears. The bag is ominously tagged “suspect” by the automatic scan machine. Shortly after, the 49.5# sibling appears.

5:10 pm – Leave Hertz after another confidence crumbling experience. Wait over 15 minutes for the shuttle (not rare) and then have to check the pricing 3 times (first couple were actually the wrong reservation).

6:19 pm – In grinding traffic in front of PA. Construction of a new raised highway has reduced traffic to one lane – causing a stranglehold on rush hour traffic. Between 4pm and 7:30pm, driving northbound past Puerto Aventuras is slow goings. It’ll add at least 15 minutes to the commute.

6:34 pm – Check into the condo. Almost 12 hours of traveling, door-to-door, adjusted for timezone.