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Dive Review of Rocio Del Mar in
Mexico (Western)/Northern Sea of Cortez

Rocio Del Mar , Aug, 2013,

by Charles K. Anson, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 7111.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Things to know before you book. The boat layout is not as it appears on the website. All but two rooms have overhead bunks so if you or your dive buddy don't enjoy climbing in and out of bunk beds this boat has few options. The dining room is located in the forward steel hull of the ship and can be very noisy. To reach it you must climb down a stair/ladder that may be difficult for some passengers. Some hallways are very narrow. Reaching the upper lounge areas is from the outside dive deck only.
All diving is from pangas. Although the website shows a beautiful dive platform, it is not used except to load up the pangas. You must be ready to dive at specific times so dive schedule is fairly rigid. First dive of the day is at 7:00am between cold and hot breakfast times. Second dive is at 11:00am followed by lunch around 1:00pm. The third dive is at 3:00pm. If there is a night dive, it is around 7:00pm followed by dinner at 8:30pm.
The dive deck is too small for all 20 divers to be on it at one time so divers are divided into 2 groups and must stay off of dive deck until their designated time to gear up. Gear is donned standing up from racks built for that purpose. Good for tall divers but impossible for short ones. 6 gear stations with seating are provided at the rear of boat for short divers. If you need one, grab it fast as they tend to be taken rather quickly.
Outside decks and stairs can be very slippery when wet. Divers are permitted to wear shoes to protect feet from the deck when dry as some spots can become extremely hot from sun.
Plumbing worked reasonably well but my shower had a leak that could not be fixed so my bathroom floor (cabin 5) remained wet most of the trip. No toilet paper is allowed in the head. Disposal waste baskets are provided for used paper.
August is monsoon month and we had 2 big rain days that severely compromised visibility limiting it to 20 to 60 feet. Not a good wide angle destination but plenty of macro if you poked around a bit.
Snorkeling with whale sharks is almost guaranteed in one of the bays but again, visibility restricted photo ops as the animals had to be within 7 to 8 feet to see them. Take plenty of water and sun protection i.e. lycra skin, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen as spotting the sharks may take several hours.
Sea lions were abundant and can be seen on almost every dive. They are very curious and will freely interact with divers.
Shuttle service from the Phoenix airport is very reliable. Arrange it in advance with the dive company. You are picked up at terminal 4, gate 4 for the 4 hour drive to Puerto Penasco. They stop along they way in both directions at convenience stores for a quick snack.
Boat captain reserves the right to change the itinerary due to weather conditions. We did a modified itinerary and lost one day of diving due to storms. We did not dive on 30% of the normal dive sites. In general, in the Northern Sea of Cortez visibility improves the further south you go. We have dived on a competitor's boat in the Southern Sea of Cortez in September and found the visibility to be much better. We enjoyed the whale sharks and sea lions there as well.
Food was abundant but on the greasy side. Special diet requests are accommodated.
Nitrox fills were consistent and always topped off on the high end.
Websites Rocio Del Mar   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Hawaii, Australia, Fiji, Society Islands, Cook Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas calm
Water Temp 78-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 20-60 Ft/ 6-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 3 dives each day from 2 pangas at designated times. 7:00am, 11:00am and 3:00pm 2 night dives/week at 7:00pm. standard safety restrictions on depth. 60 min. max time.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large table on dive deck for cameras. Separate rinse bucket.
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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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