Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
Join Undercurrent on Facebook
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
 

Dive Review of Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)/Sea of Cortez

Solmar V, Sep, 2004,

by Mark Buchfuhrer, CA, USA . Report 1316.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over the world, mostly south Pacific
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, surge, currents
Water Temp 79 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 10 to 40 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 130 feet (fine by me), but only 50 minutes when diving from pangas.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The photography table was too small for 22 divers (luckily, only about 7 cameras, but still not enough room). Only 3 outlets for charging and they are outdoors under dripping stairs.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 2 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments The cost of the diving on the Solmar V is similar to other first class live-aboards. However, the operation has much more in common with less expensive boats. They do not pick you up at the airport (I spent $80 on a taxi from the airport to the boat) and no welcome T-shirt on my bed. As noted by many others, the rooms are tiny and my son and I could not stand without touching each other (and there were actually smaller 2 person rooms!). The food was on a par with most live-aboards and quite plentiful. They did have sodas, but no juices included. Visibility was usually 10-30 feet making sightings of pelagics virtually impossible. We saw only one small white tip shark on the last day when diving in the southern most area. A whale shark was seen the week before us, but there was nothing even close on our trip. The highlights of our trip included 2-3 turtles, many seals, 2 jawfish, 7 sea horses (on one site) and one school of small baracuda. I did see 2 nudibranchs the entire trip (so much for my macro photography!). Many of the divers had been on the Solmar several times and kept saying that more pelagics were seen over 3-5 years ago. There was open diving at times from the stern of the boat, but diving from the pangas was limited to 50 mintues (that was a first for me on a live-aboard...I prefer live-aboards because they do not limit your dive time except when the must travel to the next site). There are too many divers for the 3 divemasters as with visiblity of 10 feet it was easy to get separated from the group (especially when taking pictures) and several times I ended up diving alone (despite their warning us not to dive alone) missing out on the few interesting things on the dive. I had to fight for space on the photography table and their were only 7 cameras. Imagine if all 22 divers were taking pictures! There were no secure indoor charging stations and the main area to charge was outside under dripping stairs with only 3 double sockets. As far as how pretty the reef was, fish life and photography opportunities, this has been the worst trip that I have ever taken, live-aboard or land based! The most positive aspect of the trip is the short 2 hour plane ride from southern California (where I live) to the Solmar's port in Cabo San Lucas.
Was this report helpful to you?
Bookmark and Share
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here
 

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 278 dive reviews of Mexico (Western) and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share
Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that like to scuba dive. Let us plan your trip to view great white sharks & giant mantas in Western Mexico.

Want to assemble your own collection of Mexico (Western) reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home


Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!



Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |


Copyright © 1996-2017 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.17 seconds