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Dive Review of Rocio Del Mar in
Mexico (Western)/Sea of Cortez

Rocio Del Mar, Aug, 2010,

by Bob DeFeo, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports). Report 5655.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Phillipines, Roatan, Caymans, Puget Sound, Monterey, Channel Islands, Hawaii, Texas, Socorro Islands, N. California Coast
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 70 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive computers required. Night diving dive time limits
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 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 Large camera tables, rinse tanks. HD wide screen for viewing/showing pictures and video. Very careful crew when handling cameras. Crew goes out of their way to accomodate photographers during the dives...best I've seen anywhere to date. Photographers' heaven in the Sea of Cortez and on the Rocio Del Mar!!!

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments OUTSTANDING diving, superb accomodations, jovial crew, and great food! Dora & Lolo Sandoval have created a diver's dream cruise on the Sea of Cortez. Book now because this operation will soon be booked out far in advance once word spreads. How about snorkeling with 10 whale sharks for 2 hours? Ever have your very own whale shark to swim with? Happened for us on this trip! Incredible. The variety of aquatic life on our dives was beyond belief: families of sperm whales, hundreds of common & bottlenose dolphins, a dozen whale sharks, hundreds of sea lions, groups of octopus, squid, lobsters,frog fish, seahorses, manta rays, 200 lb groupers, Mexican hogfish, parrot fish, jaw fish, garden eels, sting rays, electric rays, guitar fish, angel sharks, trevally, creole fish, yellow-flowering black coral, gorgonian, nudibranches, crabs, yellow ribbon clams, barracuda, and a whole slew of other species. These are the ones I personally saw. Large, plentiful schools of fish. Four dives per day for a week, 2 night dives and a 2-hr snorkel with whale sharks. Nitrox 32 available @ $100 for the week. Spacious dive equipment set-up/storage areas. Two inflatable runabouts for to/from dive sites and for diver escort as most drives are drift with sometimes very fast currents >5 knots. Currents caused by tidal flow. Tidal movement is 22' in the Sea of Cortez and with the depths (to 6k'), numerous islands, and large volume of upwelling, currents are prevalent. Bring your safety sausages! Diver safety is important to crew...very watchful and responsive. Because of upwelling you can hit water temps of 70 despite starting in 86 degree water. Dives go in/out of cold/warm water that makes you feel it more than if you just stayed at the lower temp. Southern midriff islands are warmer--82 @ depth but middle and northern have the temp variation. 5mm with a hooded vest available would probably work best all around for August. Food is plentiful with great Mexican meals and very good traditional meals. Continental breakfast at 6 am, 1st dive at 7:30 followed by great full breakfast. Lots of fresh fruit all day. Full lunch after 2nd dive, delicious snacks after 3rd, and dinner after the 4th. Thursday nights-Mexican BBQ on top deck--great traditional Mexican! No illnesses onboard stomach or respiratory during trip. Surface intervals a healthy 2 hours. Dive times averaged, for me, 60-70 minutes. Towels provided after dive. Rocio has beautiful and spacious top sundeck, indoor/outdoor salon/lanai on mid deck, main berthing off dive deck and galley below deck. Berths are spacious with private baths with separate showers, sink, toilet...large windows, not portholes, in each cabin, ceiling fans. Entire inside of ship is airconditioned & we needed it as temps went over 100 with high humidity despite being an almost zero rainfall area. Beds are a bit uncomfortable--short for medium height people. But I put some clothing on the drawer top at the foot of the bed and was fine. Plans are to replace outboard beds with twin mattress in the very near future. Easy to get from Phoenix airport and back via arranged van...3 1/2-4 hrs one way, A/C of course. Trailer in back takes all bags. Crew handles bags on arrival and departure--with great care. I'm going back on this liveaboard..and why not? Short flight, great people, great boat, great price, and a diver's dream come true! Five Stars for the Rocio Del Mar and my deepest thanks and gratitude to Dora Sandoval and the crew. I had a total blast with all.
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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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