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

Rocio Del Mar, Sep, 2012,

by David Marchese, PA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 6716.

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, Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 79 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 min. max. No solo diving, but going with only your buddy without the group was allowed.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

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