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

September, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Heidi Sheltry, VA, United States
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 4124
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Indonesia, Panama, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Honduras,
Florida, Saba, St Kitts, North Carolina, British Columbia, California,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy  
choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
68   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
30 minutes in the top-side cages 4 times a day.    
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  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Large camera table in the center of the dive deck. Seperate rinse tank for
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 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 runs a great operation and this trip was no exception.  Shark
Diving International's CEO Laurence Groth and his crew did a fabulous job
of making sure that everyone was happy and well taken care of.  They ran a
very safe operation.  The trip begins with an overnight stay in San Diego. 
The next morning we took a comfortable chartered bus for a 4 hour ride
across the boarder to Ensenada Mexico where the Solmar V is docked.  The
ride out to Guadalupe took about 22 hours because the sea was very rough. 
There were huge swells and several people were sea sick.  The wind and
swells did not let up once we anchored at the Island.  It was so rough and
windy that the crew could not get the cages in the water.  With diving not
a possibility we hung around in the salon and watched jaws 1, 2 & 3. 
The next day the wind and swells died down enough to put the surface cages
in but not the submersible cage.  The sharks came the minute they put the
cages in water and were there on every dive.  Because the water was rough
we had only one day to use the submersible cage that went down to 25 feet. 
Spending time in this cage was the ultimate rush.  The front and back of
the cage each have about a 4 foot opening so the view was unobstructed. 
Taking pictures while in the surface cages was a challenge.  There were so
many small fish that it was hard to capture a shark without a fish in its
face.  The crew did their best to get them out of the way by putting chum
in the water away from the approaching sharks.  The little fish would go
after the chum leaving a clear view of the sharks.  In the submersible cage
the small fish were not a problem so the encounters were incredible. The
ride back to Ensenada was worse than the ride out.  Even with the high seas
and windy weather this was a trip that was well worth it.  Two thumbs up!!!
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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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