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Dive Review of Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)/Revillagigedos Archipelago

December, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Jeanne Sleeper, CA, US
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 5946
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
all over the world
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
76   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Max depth, based on Nitrox mix, no lights, no night dives - reserve rules
and common sense given the location  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Need good camera with high iso, 10, 16, 18 mm wide angle up to 55mm. No
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
2 stars   
5 stars    
We had incredible weather-flat, dry, sunny 75F days and water that was
75-80. Wore a older 3mm and a hooded vest and was toasty warm. Had no
current to diveable drift dive current. Dove from 6:30 am - 4:30 pm which
translated into 3-4 dives of 60 minutes on the computer. Mostly 50-80 ft
midwater dives with dolphins, mantas, sharks, jacks and a whale shark.
There are a limited number of reef fish, but  the rock cracks are filled
with lobster and the big octopus out hunting in the day time were a huge
treat.  Leaving port and running 24+ hours to see the first speck of land -
Roca Partida- was am amazing transition from the stress of daily life to
the wide openness of being at sea for a week.  We jumped in the water and
within minutes had 2 mantas with 14 ft plus wing spans using us for a
slalom course as they zigged and zagged over our bubbles. They loved
capturing the bubbles on their bellies and wings, then banking and letting
the bubbles slide off. I assume they loved it - they did it over and over!
Big mantas - 26ft+ wing span come in out of the blue like the stealth
fighter - suddenly they are in your face - up close and personal - but
never touching you. They are big, but glide thru the water with no wake. 
Eyes on the sides of their head, but they know exactly where you are in the
water column. It's a no touch rule to preserve their mucus layer - wow was
it tempting when they were so close. Sometimes they hover over the rock
reef and the Clarion Angels march in a line up onto their backs and flit
about cleaning, then with a shrug the Manta is done hanging out and the
Clarions line up and file off its back, marching down to the reef like
soldiers.   The white and black  tips were out cruising the walls and
laying in piles on the ledges sleeping. You could approach them within a
foot and fire off the pictures. The Solmar divemasters Eric and Rey were
excellent watermen and their detailed knowledge from years of diving
Socorro, Isla Benedicto and Roca Partida wre invaluable. The seamanship of
the entire crew and tip top condition of the ship is critical when you are
300 miles off shore. These guys are pros.  The anchors went down first
time, every time and were exactly where the dive briefing said they would
be. The customer service was exceptional. Safety first, was not just a
slogan. This boat and this crew have been coming to Socorro for years. They
clearly know the above and below water territory from 1st hand experience -
no reading a chart and guessing with this operation. I'd go back in a
minute with Solmar V in the December-January time frame and hope to see
more scallopped hammerheads or wait until March-April and hope for some
freediving with humpback moms and babes. But the Giant Pacific Mantas are
the ones that stole the show on our trip - including the biggest that we
named, Darth Vader, for his near all black color - who followed us 70 miles
one night when we moved from Roca Partido to Isla San Benedicto - I think
he must have been having as much fun with the divers as we were shooting
hundreds of images of him. If your travel budget is tight and you are
undecided, the extra this one costs is worth every penny. Save your money
and do it. 
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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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