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Dive Review of Great White Adventures/Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)/Guadalupe Island

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Jim Harris, TX, USA
Report Number 2920
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Hawaii, San Diego, Flower Gardens
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
70   to 71    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Don't touch the sharks  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 rinse buckets, huge camera table, multiple outlets inside the salon for
charging batteries (don't want you charging batteries in your cabin due to
fire concerns).  Topside cages had an opening 18" tall to stick
cameras outside the cage (at least one housing on our trip was taller than
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
22 hour crossing from Ensenada to Guadalupe Island makes for ripe
conditions for seasickness.  Return trip had 4-6' beam seas and several
people sick after only taking OTC pills.  My Transderm Scop patch + ginger
pills did the trick for me.

3 days of cage diving with Great White Sharks, and the sharks did not
disappoint.  On this 9/11/06 trip, saw 7 different 12-13' Great Whites and
one Mako, and they would stay with the boat for 8 or so hours per day so
plenty of face-time with everyone taking 1 hour turns in the cages.  Water
was the clearest I've ever seen making for great photos without using a
flash, and attacks on the hanging baits could easily be seen and
photographed from the top deck.  Words can't describe seeing a 13' Great
White just a few feet from the cage, nor can they descibe the feeling of
having one attack the cage while you are in it (completely safe, the attack
was cause by a hanging bait handler mistakenly pulling the bait in towards
our cage).

Two-man submersible cage (to 35') and being allowed to get out of it with
Great Whites in the area is another rush.  Sharks were curious about it
being so deep so I had numerous close approaches.  Website recommends not
bringing a camera strobe, and they aren't needed for the topside cages, but
for this cage you will need a strobe.

Never felt I was in danger, and it was obvious by Great White Adventures'
and the Solmar V's crews' actions that the sharks' well-being is their
first concern.

Water temp forecast on their website was 65-70; actually 71.  Several
dry-suits, lots of 7mm suits with hoods & gloves, only people cold were
those who'd spend 2 hours in the cages at times when there was limited
shark action.  You're potentially back in the cages every other hour so
hoods and gloves will help keep you warm throughout the days.

Hookah rigs worked fine, although the mouthpiece wasn't the most
comfortable since I'm used to using a SeaCure mouthpiece.
Solmar V is a very nice boat, great crew, great salon, with my only
complaints that the cabins are on the small side with low ceilings
(5'10") and the bunks aren't the most comfortable.  But still glad I
paid extra to get on this boat.

Been diving 23 years and this by far was my best trip.  Well worth the
price.  Next time may go 3-4 weeks later to possibly see bigger sharks when
the female Great Whites show up.
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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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