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Dive Review of Great White Adventures in
Other Locations/Eastern Pacific

August, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Kent Bonde, FL, USA
Report Number 1983
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, South Florida, Cayman, Australia, Italy, Malta, Red Sea
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy, surge  
Water Temp
68   to 70    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Diving was restricted to shark cages with surface-supplied air  
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
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Solmar V provides a generously sized camera table on the aft deck, complete
with a stowage shelf for camera cases and air nozzels to dry off gear. Dive
crew is is quick to retrieve and rinse cameras in two large freshwater
rinse bins. Media center provides means to review video and digital
photography on large  flat screen tv and smaller monitors located around
the main salon and dining areas.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
For the second year in a row, San Francisco-based Great White Adventures
(GWA) has chartered the Solmar V out of Encenada, Mexico from mid-August
until December, to run its "luxury" live-aboard trips to
Guadalupe Island, specifically to dive with great white sharks. The $2,775
price tag includes a one night stay in San Diego at the Hampton Inn
Downtown, a two-hour bus ride across the Border to Encendada and five days
and four nights on board the Solmar V. The crossing to Guadalupe from
Encenada takes about 20 hours and can be a little rough - we had steady 6
footers the whole way over. Definitely recommend the dramamine, even for
those not prone to motion sickness. Since the vessel anchors on the leeward
side of Guadalupe Island, wind and seas are not an issue once you are
there. Diving is conducted in two four-person cages attached to Solmar's
dive platform by two specially designed brackets to minimize cage movement
and to facilitate entering and exiting the cages. Air is surface supplied.
A two-person deep cage is deployed on the second day (depending on current
and surface conditions). After a thorough dive briefing by GWA's founder
and President, Lawrence Groth, divers are split into four four-person teams
and assigned to rotating one-hour shifts per cage. After the first couple
of rotations, cage time becomes more flexible as many opt to sit out
rotations and observe the action from the upper deck. Within 18 minutes of
deploying the hang baits, the first shark showed up. After that and in the
three days to follow, we had a total of 15 sharks, ranging in size from
8-12 feet and one in the neighborhood of 16 feet. The Solmar crew was
exceptional, the food and drink was plentiful and the quality of
accomodations on board was first class.   
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