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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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July 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Belize, Bonaire, Florida, Philippines . . .

and a Cozumel dive shop with a great refund policy

from the July, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Baja California Liveaboards. To counter our reviewer's experience aboard the Nautilus Explorer in April, let us note that Barry Levenson (Bellingham, WA) boarded the boat in May and had no issues. "We were a little surprised at the guest-to-staff ratio of 25 to 9. Captain Shawn and his crew worked like a well-oiled machine and made it seem easy, even though we knew it wasn't. We had manta sightings on almost half the dives. We had pods of dolphins interact with us on four of 27 dives. Other creatures were sailfish, eels, huge lobsters, hundreds of crosshatch triggers, guitarfish, tuna, white-tip reef sharks, a few Galapagos sharks and some silkies. The dive deck was small but sufficient. Almost all dives were from a Zodiac. Loading was athletic and only one Zodiac had a ladder, so if you were overweight or unable to pull yourself up over the side, you had to wait for the boat with the ladder. The crew would help pull us up onto the other Zodiac, which worked fine and made for some comic relief."

Another option is the Solmar V. Thomas Smith (Columbia, MO), who has logged more than 1,000 dives, was aboard in May. "It's an older boat that has been doing the islands for many years. It's clean and well maintained, if smaller than newer liveaboards, with a great crew and OK food. The diving was spectacular. I did four dives at El Canon from the big boat, where we saw mantas and white-tip sharks, with a Galapagos shark passing well below. Brisk current on a couple dives, water about 78 degrees. At Roca Partida, we did three dives for two days from Zodiacs. The schooling hammerheads were deeper than we were. Saw a few silvertips, some Galapagos sharks, tons of white-tips and silkies on our safety stops. The biggest thrills were frequent dolphins. Last day at the Boiler was the perfect end, with mantas on every dive, and a whopping seven mantas on the fourth. One of my best days diving in 25 years." ( )...

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