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Dive Review of Dolphin Dive Center in
Mexico (Western)/Loreto, Baja

Dolphin Dive Center, Jul, 2009,

by Gina Sanfilippo, CA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4905.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was (at least) my 8th trip to the Sea of Cortez, and my 2nd time diving in Loreto with Dolphin Dive Center. The shop, divemaster, and captains are all friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. A typical dive day starts by meeting at the shop at 9am, then walking to the marina 5 mins. away. Two dives a day are done from small pangas with no more than 4-5 divers per boat. Dive sites are about 30 mins. away. We had a group of 8 so two boats would go out together to the same site, but multiple smaller groups could theoretically go to different places so as to not crowd dive sites. We were always allowed to dive our own computer profiles, and never forced to ascend early. We got back between 2-3pm. While we had snacks (fruit, chips, cookies) and ample fresh water between dives the lack of a proper lunch threw off our meal timing for the balance of the day.

Surface intervals were often spent on the beach of an uninhabited island, and the swimming and exploring there was one of my favourite parts of the trip.

Night dives are offered if you have a minimum of 4 divers. We did a nighttime Humboldt squid dive and saw many of them!

Water temps this summer were abnormally cool, with 80F at the surface, mid-70s during most dives, and thermoclines that went down to 68. I was too cold in my 3-5-3 suit and switched to a 7mm with hood, which left me comfortable but not too hot.

Loreto is too far north for considerable coral growth, but there is some. Most sea life was smaller--reef fish, eels, nudibranches, etc. plus the occasional turtle. The only sharks seen were two horn sharks wedged in the reef. While in transit on the boat we saw a pod of about 20 pilot whales, countless jumping mobula, a few small groups of dolphins, and once we found ourselves in the middle of a pod of 2000(!) white-sided dolphins.

We stayed at Hotel Posada de las Flores in the center of town, 1.5 blocks from the dive shop. It was a high-quality hotel by Mexican standards, clean and with firm, comfy beds. My only criticism of the hotel would be dim lighting and poor ventilation (requiring the use of air conditioners, as opposed to just opening windows) in the rooms.

Here are my photos from the trip:

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving California, Sea of Cortez, Caribbean, Andaman Sea, Fiji, Costa Rica
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 68-80°F / 20-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions other than common sense.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Diving is done from pangas so there are no on-board camera facilities. You'll need to use the rinse tanks back at the shop. Particulate matter in the water during this trip had me shooting with a 100mm macro lens this trip, but there was no lack of subject matter.
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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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