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Dive Review of Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)/Socorro Islands

January, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Robert Courter, NC, United States (1 report)
Report Number 3826
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
North Carolina, Carribean, Bahamas, Hawaii, California, Tahiti, St.
Lawrence River (Canada), Sea of Cortez
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
69   to 73    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No knives, dive lights, gloves. No night dives.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
They have a nice table for your photo equipment on the boat and an
undershelf for camera stuff (cases, batteries, accessories, etc.).  You can
charge batteries here or inside the boat or in your room.  They have a
computer you can use if needed (I brought my own).  I am a no frills
photographer using a digital camera in an ikelite case and it was fine 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 $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
This boat had about 18 passengers and 8 crew.  I won't spend too much time
iterating the many others who have made reports: read them.

Our 24+ hour crossing was smooth going out, rough coming back. I recommend
taking sea sickness meds.  I don't have much of a problem but this was the
first live aboard for me and I did get queasy.  This was easily solved with
the SCOP patch.  At least half of the divers used meds for illness.  Come
prepared.  It is better to take the meds as a preventive rather than wait
and see.  Medicate unless you KNOW you are not prone to sea sickness.

The diving was EXCELLENT.  On this trip we saw breaching whales (from the
boat), large Manta Rays, Dolphins, tons of large Eels (Moray, spotted,
etc.) both in rocks and free swimming, a few lobsters, an octopus, and most
importantly many many sharks.

Sharks:  We saw white tip, silver tip, Galapagos, and Hammerheads.  The
White Tips were "sleeping" on ledges in groups of 10 or more. 
The Hammerheads were in large schools of 50+.  This was fantastic.  You'd
see them as distant shadows (75-100 feet) and they'd move in more and more
until some came right up to us.  So close I couldn't take a picture of the
entire shark!  Even though sharks don't attack divers, I will admit it was
scary.  Two hammers came up from below and went right through our dive
group.  It was thrilling.  Great pics and video.

Mantas: Wow.  This was a first for me.  Large (10-20 foot) Mantas come in
like flying saucers and go right over you.  They circle around and go for
your bubbles.  These are truly spectacular animals and again it was
thrilling to see them.

Dolphins:  We saw Dolphins from the boat and dived with them at least
twice.  You could hear their high pitched squeaking and know they were
coming.  They were wild but would swim right by you, spinning and circling,
all the time making their singing noises.  Again, spectacular.

Eels:  So many, and big, that you got bored of seeing them like rats.

Lobster: Not many, but and interesting blue banded species.

Octopus: one or two, about 12 inch.

Fish: Lots, both bland and colorful.

The diving is what I would call advanced.  Be a good diver with good
bouyancy control before you go.

Service: Excellent, from taking care of you diving to serving food.

Boat: Rooms are tiny, but who cares.  Comfortable, clean, and good strong
hot showers and privat toilets.

Food: Excellent, the chef does a great job.

Hotel: Quinta del Sol--inexpensive, nice, close to downtown (5 min walk),
free wireless internet, nice pool.  

This was the best large animal diving I've ever done.  They live up to the
"hype" on their website.  Excellent operation.
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All Mexico (Western) Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Mexico (Western)
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