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Dive Review of Shark Diving International/Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)/Guadalupe Island

October, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Dan Clements, WA, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 3681
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Puget Sound, British Columbia, Galapagos, Bahamas, Hawaii, French
Polynesia, Marquesas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
68   to 69    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
This is cage diving with air supplied via hooka. Two surface cages, one
submersable to 40'.  
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  
1 stars  
Exceptionally good facilities for photographers. A large table with ample
room for everyone, including me and my Nikon DSLR/Subal housing rig. No
problem recharging batteries, computers. (There are 110 outlets in each
cabin on the middle bulkhead, lower bunk that most folks missed seeing.)

The sharks are so close I recommend a wide angle. My Tokina 10-17 mm
fisheye was perfect. I also shot with a 60 mm, but the shots were much
better with the wide angle. I brought twin Ikelite 125 strobes and never
used them.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
This is one of the best run, well organized, live aboards I have ever been
on. Our trip had 14 divers (maximum of 16 taken on Guadalupe outings).
There was all the cage time anyone would want. After the first rotation it
was possible to be in a cage with one other person, or by onesself.

Great whites showed up within fifteen minutes of arrival. In comparing
notes with folks who have visited this site on other boats, Shark Diving
International and Lawrence Growth run the best tours on the Solmar V. We
visited the first of October, had eleven different sharks in the 12-14 foot
size category. We also witnesses the second recorded attack and devouring
of a 400 lb elephant seal (caught on film).

The routine goes from waiting 20 or so minutes for a shark, to close
encounters with one to five sharks. They were visible on all rotations. We
did quite a bit of shooting hanging out of cages, especially from the
bottom of the cage shooting up.

Great outing, great crew, great photographs, great fellow travelers. Large
camera table made it wonderful for my Nikon DSLR and Subal housing rig. 

Two issues: 1.) The 18 hour trip is south/north from Ensenada, seas quarter
from west. On return, only three of us who did not get sea sick. If in
doubt, use a patch. 2.) Shark Diving International advertises a PADI great
white specialty. Not available for our trip. 
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All Mexico (Western) Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Mexico (Western)
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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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