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

Solmar V, Jan, 2014,

by David Marchese, PA, US (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 21 Helpful votes). Report 7508.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Socorro was off limits for Mexican military drills so we spent 3 days at San Benedicto and two at Roco Partida. The mantas were in-your-face friendly. At the boiler, several dives consisted of us just hanging and watching them circle for the whole dive. Hammerheads were present, but mostly stayed deep and at the limits of visibility. We also saw Galapagos, Silky, and silver tip sharks. They appeared only occasionally and alone or in small groups, but generally got closer than the hammerheads. White tips were ubiquitous and got close. While the sharks in general were deeper, more skittish, and less numerous than we had hoped, the manta and dolphin encounters made up for them. We had two excellent dolphin encounters at San Benedicto. For whatever reason, they are friendly only in the morning, so we did pre-breakfast twilight dives looking for them. I have to rank one dive among the best in my life. We had 10 - 15 very playful dolphins very close and all around us for 5 minutes. After they left, there were white tips, hammerheads, and a manta to keep us happy. With the sun barely up, it was difficult to get good photos of the dolphins (perhaps a better photographer would have gotten great shots), but it was an amazing dive nonetheless.

While the overall ship is quite small for 22 divers, the dive deck is among the best. There was more than enough space for all of us to gear up simultaneously. The crew also did a good job of separating us into 3 groups so we generally dove in groups of 6 - 8. However, at the boiler, we did tend to all end up hanging out playing with the same mantas. We generally saw 2-3 at a time so we had to "share" them. This wasn't a big deal since the mantas seemed to give everyone equal time and attention.

The dive masters did a great job of toeing the line between letting us do our own thing and still stressing safety.

The food was pretty good, but not gourmet, and frankly a notch down of what we've experienced on other DivEncounter vessels.

I struggled with what to rank the diving for beginners. Normally, I'd say, "Don't go" to beginners, but there were no currents and the diving was generally easy during our voyage. One passenger only had a handful of dives and he did quite well.

While not perfect (is any trip?) and only offering < 20 dives for a 9 day trip (3 dives/day at Roco and 4/day at Benedicto), this trip is worth the effort and money.
Websites Solmar V   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Turks & Caicos, Bay Islands, Bahamas, Fiji, Saba, Maldives, California, Revillagigedo, Cozumel, Midway, Kona,
Galapagos, Panama, Palau, Tahiti, Cocos, Tonga, PNG, Komodo, Sulawesi, Holbox, Solomon Islands, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 76-78°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-75 Ft/ 9-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Of the 22 guests, I counted 16 cameras. While half of those were GoPros, that's still a lot and everyone had room on the large, well-located camera table. Many power outlets were within easy reach too. The only faults were the lack of an air gun. They also had two dedicated rinse tanks. Overall, well set up for photographers.
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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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