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Dive Review of Solo buceo/Sotavento Hotel & Yacht Club in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cancun/Isla Mujeres

Solo buceo/Sotavento Hotel & Yacht Club, Jan, 2013,

by Jeanne Downey, PA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 52 reports with 16 Helpful votes). Report 6854.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was strictly a snorkeling trip. My husband and I flew to Cancun where we met Andy Murch of Big Fish Expeditions. We stayed at Sotavento Hotel where we were picked up each morning by SoloBuceo dive company at the dock behind the hotel. The plan was to motor out 1½ hours, past Isla Mujares, then start watching for frigate birds. The birds look for the sardine baitballs that the sailfish drive to the surface. Once we spotted the frigates clustered close to the waves, the boat put us close to the action and we slid into the water. Most of the time, the baitball and the sailfish were moving quickly, so we would try and keep up. Eventually the baitball got whittled down to the point that the sailfish could keep them encompassed—that’s when we started taking photos. The remaining sardines tried to use us as shields from both the birds and the sailfish. The birds were no problem, but the sailfish would swim back and forth, and then dart between us, sometimes getting so close that I’d curl up in a fetal position and yelp into my snorkel. It seemed like the sailfish would actually look into my eyes as they zoomed by.

The plan was to do this for four days. The first day we spent eight hours bouncing around on the water, managing to snorkel with the sailfish a total of 15 minutes. Day number two was the bonanza day—more than three hours of prime sailfish encounters. The third day was a bust; there were no frigate birds because the seas were too rough for them to spot the fish and we gave up after five hours. The last day the weather was even worse, so we went snorkeling in the mangroves around Cancun instead. Our captain must have thought we were nuts when Andy requested some dead chickens to use as crocodile bait. There are crocodiles in the mangroves, but not where we were, so all we lured were a few crabs. The day was still enjoyable, though, and the sandwiches, beer and pop on the boat were awesome.
Snorkeling with sailfish is a high-octane activity if the weather cooperates; I’m glad we had the experience.
Websites Solo buceo   Sotavento Hotel & Yacht Club

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Bahamas, Australia, Fiji, Cocos, Socorro, Micronesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas calm
Water Temp 82-82°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-70 Ft/ 9-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Snorkeling only.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No rinse bucket--cameras placed on bottom of boat, sometimes on top of a life jacket.
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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.

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