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

Great White Adventures/Solmar V, Sep, 2006,

by Jim Harris, TX, USA . Report 2920.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Hawaii, San Diego, Flower Gardens
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 70 to 71 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 100 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Don't touch the sharks
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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 that).

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

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