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Dive Review of Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)/Islas Revillagigedo

Solmar V: "Solmar V, June 2-10, 2017", Jun, 2017,

by Sean Bruner, AZ, US (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 9629.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This is our fourth trip aboard the Solmar V. The reason we have not tried any of the other boats that go to the Islas Revillagigedo is because we believe that the Solmar takes safety seriously. Also, much of the crew is the same as when we came on our first trip 10 years ago, including the captain. The last time we went in June three years ago we saw whale sharks, but not this time. The main difference between this trip and the others was the water temperature. Whereas in the past we dove with 3 mm wetsuits and hood/vests, this time the temperature was was only 73 degrees. Luckily, one of the other divers had a 6 mm that he lent me and the dive guide had a Farmer John he lent Laura so we were comfortable. Be sure to check the website before going to assure taking the right equipment.

The trip from Cabo San Lucas takes 20-22 hours. You leave about 4:00 p.m. and arrive the next day in the afternoon. We did a checkout dive at Las Cuevas on San Benedicto Island. We saw some large stingrays and a few white tips. The next day we did three dives at the Boiler. On the first dive there was good porpoise action and one came right up next to me. I thought it was going to let me rub its belly, which they sometimes do, but when I slowly extended by hand it moved away. We had great manta action on all three dives. We spent the next two days at Roca Partida, one of my favorite dive sites in the world. The manta action was fantastic with up to five mantas at a time and they came in close, cruising right up next to me. I was shooting black and white with my old film camera with Subal housing and got some fantastic shots. The white tips were mostly in the caves along the ledge, but it was impressive to see so many, maybe a dozen piled on top of one another. We saw a few Galapagos and Silky sharks, but not the hundreds of Silkies seen a couple of trips earlier. On the last of the six dives we saw a school of about 20 hammerheads cruising at 90 feet. I got the closest to them, but they were on the move and the encounter was quickly over.

I skipped the dives on Socorro Island, all at Cabo Pearce due to the wind, because I was not feeling well. Nobody reported seeing anythig very interesting so I didn't feel badly about missing the dives. The next day, the last, it was back to San Benedicto. The strong wind kept us at El Cañon and so we never got back to the Boiler. The current was persistent and the water was cold. We saw silver tip, Galapagos and Silky sharks. Five or six Silkies cruised under the boat, making for an exciting safety stop. One group saw hammerheads.

Due to the wind, the boat ride back to Cabo took 30 hours, much longer than usual, and it was a wild ride. We were all grateful when the boat pulled into the harbor about midnight and stopped rocking and rolling.

Interestingly, half the divers were Chinese, some of whom had immigrated to Canada and the U.S., but most of whom were from Shanghai, China. They mostly kept to themselves, but they were friendly enough. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, constantly talking and laughing uproariously at who knows what. I engaged one woman from Shanghai in conversation and she cleared up some misconceptions that I had. As is often the case when one takes the time to investigate, it seems that life in China, at least in the cities, has much in common with life in the U.S. As the Chinese become more affluent I'm sure they will appear on more and more dive trips. Hopefully, as they become interested in diving they will bring pressure to stop the horrible shark finning.

Laura's 4 1/2 minute video can be seen at [youtu.be link]
Websites Solmar V   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Galapagos, Papua New Guinea, Panama, Palau, Solomon Islands, Islas Revillagigedo, Hawaii, Cozumel, Roatan, BVI, Fiji
Closest Airport Los Cabos Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 73-74°F / 23-23°C Wetsuit Thickness 6
Water Visibility 25-100 Ft/ 8-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 50-60 minute maximum. Keep within depth limits per nitrox mix, 28-32 percent oxygen.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Dedicated rinse tanks for cameras and a large table on the dive deck dedicated to cameras. Plenty of areas to charge batteries. Help available from resident videographer, Erick Higuera.
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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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