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

September, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by David Marchese, PA, US
Sr. Reviewer   (8 reports, with 5 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6716
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Tahiti, Fiji, Indonesia, Maldives, Cocos, Galapagos, Solomon's,
Midway, Kona, California, Socorro, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Caymans,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, no currents  
Water Temp
79   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 min. max.  No solo diving, but going with only your buddy without the
group was allowed.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There is only one too-small camera rinse tank (a 50 gal drum) that would
just barely accept the smallest DSLR and only if no other cameras were in
the tank.  The camera table was also very small, on the dive deck, and
right above the engine room so it was > 100 f.   Only one person could
really work on a camera at a time and even that was cumbersome at best. 
There was zero inside table top or counter space for working  on cameras,
and the dining room was on the far end of the ship and only accessible via
a very steep narrow stair case so you really couldn't carry a DSLR there.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
3 stars    
The entire crew was great both in helpfulness and attitude.  The food was
up there with the best we've had on a live aboard.  The plentiful and
playful sealions provided entertainment on most dives.  The general size
and number of fish was good and indicative of a healthy reef.  These was
lots of very healthy yellow black-coral.  We only saw dolphins above water
and saw no whales.  We did have a great whale shark encounter that started
20 min into the dive and ended more than an hour later with us swimming
next to it on snorkel.  We surfaced from most dives saying, "that
would have been a great dive if the vis was better."  Unfortunately 25
to 40' vis was the norm.  The rooms were ok but certainly not luxurious and
had only one small two-drawer unit for storage.  The layout of the ship was
"unique" and felt a bit like living in a tree house at times
since our cabin was on the 3rd level and the dining room was on the bottom.
 Overall the boat was cramped and while they staggered the dive times of
the two groups of ten by 15 minutes, the dive deck was too cramped for 10
to gear up comfortably.  Regardless, the pluses outweighed the minuses and
we enjoyed this trip.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Harry ONeil in VA, US at Nov 07, 2012 03:43 EST  
I was on this boat in Fall 2010 and had to contend with the unacceptably
small camera table. At that time Doria (one of the owners) told me that
they had plans to enlarge the camera area. Apparently that has not
happened. Plus the proximity to the hot air from the engine room makes the
current camera table unacceptable to open a camera. I did all of my camera
work in my room. Fortunately my room as just off the dive deck. If you use
a SLR, etc. this is not a boat you will be comfortable on.
By Robert DeFeo in NJ, US at Jan 07, 2013 10:00 EST  
I've been on the boat since this was wriiten and the camera table has been
dramatically widened and lengthened.  It is now 3ft by 12ft with an upper
shelf that is 1ft by 12ft with 110-115v power recepticles.  Two compressed
air nozzles are available for drying and the table is now covered by soft
rubber material. The compressor is no longer on the dive deck making it
cooler and quieter as well.
By Laura A. Sonnenmark in VA, US at Aug 02, 2013 15:17 EST  
We are booked for this trip in early September--our first liveaboard!--so I
was obviously very interested in your report! Was a 5 mil wetsuit really
necessary? I was hoping I could make do with a 3 and a vest and hood.
By Robert DeFeo in NJ, US at Aug 02, 2013 15:26 EST  
Hi Laura, If you both tolerate temperatures in the low 80's for an average
of 4 dives a day, with two days where night dives are done, you should be
fine with a 3mmm and vest & hood. When are you going exactly? I'll be
onboard starting Sep 7th.  September is a great month with the best viz and
highest water temps.  I can answer any questions you may have.  I just left
her on the 20th and am going back onboard Saturday:) My best--Bob
By Laura A. Sonnenmark in VA, US at Aug 02, 2013 15:50 EST  
We are booked for the same week, Bob--outstanding! Are you on staff? 
I'm hoping I can do with my 3--it's a custom, so it really is quite warm.
My husband uses a 5 even in the warmest of locales. 
As for other questions, they are kind of on the girly side. I am trying to
pack as little as possible (not easy for me, I confess) but should I take a
hoodie or something for after-dive evenings?
By Robert DeFeo in NJ, US at Aug 02, 2013 15:55 EST  
Laura, Can you email me at and I'll explain more in
detail.  Thanks--Bob
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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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