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Dive Review of Baja Expeditions/Don Jose in
Mexico (Western)/La Paz

Baja Expeditions/Don Jose, Sep, 2008,

by Greg Oppenhuizen, MI , USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 4542.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Multiple locations in the Carribean, Atlantic, Eastern and Western Pacific, and Great Lakes.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 84 to 87 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions I was left to do whatever I was comfortable doing. I was asked to buddy up only at El Bajo, which was prudent.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I used a dual strobe digital SLR with multiple lenses. I was able to work on an unused berth in my room which made it very easy. It would be tougher if there were more guests. I had plenty of electric outlets.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments September 1 -6,2008.

The La Paz area is best seen by live aboard since the day boat rides are at least 2 hrs each way. Air to La Paz is somewhat pricey compared to Cabo San Jose from the Midwest, but the bus or charter ride from there takes hours - not worth it to me.

The Don Jose is a nice, somewhat Spartan boat. The crew and dive master were knowledgeable and let you dive as you saw fit. I had cabin 3 to myself, but it has bunks for up to five people. There were 12 guests on the boat which was a good number. It would be very tight with 5 in the cabin. I shared a shower with the adjacent cabin and the head was just outside my door. There was AC in my cabin after supper, but not during the day. Food was Mexican and better than average for a live aboard.

We dove numerous locations at Las Animas and Los Islotes including a very, very nice macro dive reef a little off shore. We also dove La Reyna, El Bajo, San Diego Island, and Ferry Salvatierra. I had seen numerous mantas at La Reyna in 2001, but the crew indicated that they were no longer around. I did 20 dives including 2 night dives - all the available dives.

There was an enormous school of Scats and Stripped Barracuda at La Reyna. I saw most all of the species in the Sea of Cortez Fish book on the boat. There were Sea Lions on every dive near shore (not El Bajo).

The Sea of Cortez is a dive location that is unique from Caribbean diving and also different from California. It is most similar to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Over fishing is manifest here, like nearly everywhere. Large schools of sharks, big fish and mantas are gone. Nevertheless, this is a place to see at least once.

Photos from my trip can be seen at: http followed by colon
//picasaweb.google.com/doctorgregoryo/SeaOfCortez#


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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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