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Dive Review of Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)/Islas Revillagigedo

December, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Sean Bruner, AZ, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 3135
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Galapagos, Roatan, PNG, Palau, Hawaii, Bonaire
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, surge  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
130 foot max, no drifting for more than 10 minutes  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Large camera table and two large separate rinse tanks.  Compressed air.
Cameras handed down after in the water.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
We had heard mixed things about the Solmar V operation, but their timetable
fit ours perfectly over the Christmas/New Year's week.  The owners, Jose
Luis and Leslie Sanchez, were on board for this trip.  They  just took over
the ownership of the boat a year ago and have refurbished it, so some of
the negative comments which appeared in previous chapbooks may no longer be
valid.  The boat left Cabo San Lucas at 5 p.m  for the 24 hour crossing to
San Benedicto.  We got there in time for one checkout dive the next day. 
Expectations were high due to sightings of schools of hammerheads and two
whale sharks on the previous trip.  The following day, we had three dives
at the Boiler, a manta cleaning station.  A pod of dolphins played with
divers, although when Laura and I got in the water they had already left. 
One manta and some hammerheads in the distance.  Otherwise, somewhat
uneventful.  Headed out for Roca Partida the next day where the whale
sharks and hammerhead school was seen.  We were disappointed.  A single
manta and a couple of Galapagos sharks was all we saw.  Three dives and not
much of the usual raging current.  Next day off to Socorro Island.  The day
starts late due to check in with the Mexican Navy in the morning.  They
boarded the boat with guns, but were very respectful and unobtrusive.  The
diving at Socorro was a bust, although we met some of the famous current. 
Best feature was a panga trip to see some of the island, which is a
fascinating tangle of volcanic rock.  Next day back to San Benedicto to
dive El Canyon.  Good silvertip action, some close encounters with mantas
and dolphins.  Final day back at the Boiler.  This day made the trip.  Six
mantas on the second dive and four on the third.  Very close encounters as
they played with us the whole time during both dives.  Some divers swam off
into blue water and saw a school of hammerheads reported to be up to 150,
but at a distance, below 150 feet.  All in all, a successful trip.  We went
for the mantas and weren't disappointed.  Although we were excited, then
disappointed, about seeing whale sharks, we did not book the trip with that
expectation.  Unlike coral reefs, there is no guarantee with pelagics; it
is hit and miss, mostly depending on luck.

The crew was great.  The dive masters, Rey (8 years on the boat), Eric and
Jorge were always watching out for us.  Some of the dives are from pangas
and some are off the back of the boat, although the pangas are always in
the water and you have the option of surfacing and letting the pangas pick
you up instead of returning to the boat.  The one time we drifted far into
the blue observing a Galapagos shark that made a close pass, the panga was
right there when we surfaced, a good distance from the dive sight.  Safety
sausages are provided to those who don't bring one.  Nitrox is available
($100 extra).  Tipping is encouraged but there is no pressure applied. 
Food is good and filling and special requests are honored.  The rooms are
small, consisting of a tiny top bunk and slightly larger lower bunk. 
Storage is extremely limited, although dive bags and camera bags are stored
in a waterproof locker on deck.  The cabins have in suite toilets and a
hand held shower above.  It's tiny and one diver joked that he liked it
because you could do everything at once.  One nice touch is a DVD tv in the
cabin because there are long boat rides on this trip.  Overall A-.
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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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