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Dive Review of Shark Diving International/Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)/Isla de Guadelupe

August, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by steve wenc, IN, usa (2 reports)
Report Number 3531
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Pacific, Atlantic
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
70   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
This was a shark cage diving trip. No diving certification was required for
the surface cages. Only certified divers could use the submersible cage.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  1 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  
  There was a large area with shelves for all camera equipment. there was
plenty of space for everyone. Freshwater rinse tanks were provided. 
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    
    The Solmar V is the nicest liveaboard boat I've ever had the pleasure
to charter. First class all the way. The CEO of Shark diving International,
Laurence Groth, was on board. His enthusiasm for Great White sharks is
contagious. He worked nonstop from sun up to sun down every day to make
sure everyone was happy. The entire crew could not have been any nicer.
Solo travelers don't always get the best treatment or accommodations. I was
given a last minute cut rate deal, a solo cabin and free underwater video
camera rental. This trip started in San Diego at 8:00am. After a four hour
chartered bus ride across the border into Mexico we arrived at Ensenada,
where we boarded the Solmar V. The 180 mile voyage to Guadelupe took about
18 hours. We had beam seas coming and going so the ride was a little rough.
Lots of patches and Dramamine. Laurence and the crew began chumming as soon
as we anchored and we had our first shark within 15 minutes. They have a
100% success rate for locating Great Whites on this trip. I'm not sure
anything can prepare you for your first Great White experience. They are a
different breed of animal. I've been around a lot of different shark
species and take it from me, these guys are in a class all by themselves.
They look you right in the eye and try to stare you down. We had as many as
seven circling the cages at a time and I'd say they were all between 10 and
15 feet. They came close enough to touch, although we were told not to. The
action was nonstop all day, everyday. There were two cages attached to the
stern with four divers in each. We rotated in one hour intervals to start.
Everybody got as much time in these cages as they wanted and after awhile
you could stay in there basically as long as you wanted. Everything was
done off hooka lines. They also had a submersible cage that was lowered to
35ft. One diver at a time was taken down with the dive master. He wore a
full face mask and had radio contact with the surface. There were two
bailout bottles in the bottom of the cage in case something happened to the
hooka lines. They are the only outfit in the world offering a submersible
cage experience. Laurence, the CEO is a former commercial diver so he knows
how to rig a boat. He also isn't afraid to dig into that chum bucket and
get his hands dirty. He has an on going identification program and they
have identified 99 different sharks frequenting this tiny island. We were
also taken on a panga ride where we saw seals, sea lions and elephant seals
on the shore. We were not allowed to go on the island itself. I found this
trip to be very interesting and educational. I think every diver dreams
about cage diving with Great Whites. You don't have to go to Australia or
South Africa to do it. This trip will be memorable and I couldn't give it a
higher recommendation.  
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Other dive reports on Shark Diving International

All Mexico (Western) Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Mexico (Western)
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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