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Dive Review of Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)/Socorro Islands

Solmar V, Jan, 2008,

by Robert Courter, NC, United States ( 1 report). Report 3826.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving North Carolina, Carribean, Bahamas, Hawaii, California, Tahiti, St. Lawrence River (Canada), Sea of Cortez
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 69 to 73 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No knives, dive lights, gloves. No night dives.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales >2
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 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 They have a nice table for your photo equipment on the boat and an undershelf for camera stuff (cases, batteries, accessories, etc.). You can charge batteries here or inside the boat or in your room. They have a computer you can use if needed (I brought my own). I am a no frills photographer using a digital camera in an ikelite case and it was fine for me.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This boat had about 18 passengers and 8 crew. I won't spend too much time iterating the many others who have made reports: read them.

Our 24+ hour crossing was smooth going out, rough coming back. I recommend taking sea sickness meds. I don't have much of a problem but this was the first live aboard for me and I did get queasy. This was easily solved with the SCOP patch. At least half of the divers used meds for illness. Come prepared. It is better to take the meds as a preventive rather than wait and see. Medicate unless you KNOW you are not prone to sea sickness.

The diving was EXCELLENT. On this trip we saw breaching whales (from the boat), large Manta Rays, Dolphins, tons of large Eels (Moray, spotted, etc.) both in rocks and free swimming, a few lobsters, an octopus, and most importantly many many sharks.

Sharks: We saw white tip, silver tip, Galapagos, and Hammerheads. The White Tips were "sleeping" on ledges in groups of 10 or more. The Hammerheads were in large schools of 50+. This was fantastic. You'd see them as distant shadows (75-100 feet) and they'd move in more and more until some came right up to us. So close I couldn't take a picture of the entire shark! Even though sharks don't attack divers, I will admit it was scary. Two hammers came up from below and went right through our dive group. It was thrilling. Great pics and video.

Mantas: Wow. This was a first for me. Large (10-20 foot) Mantas come in like flying saucers and go right over you. They circle around and go for your bubbles. These are truly spectacular animals and again it was thrilling to see them.

Dolphins: We saw Dolphins from the boat and dived with them at least twice. You could hear their high pitched squeaking and know they were coming. They were wild but would swim right by you, spinning and circling, all the time making their singing noises. Again, spectacular.

Eels: So many, and big, that you got bored of seeing them like rats.

Lobster: Not many, but and interesting blue banded species.

Octopus: one or two, about 12 inch.

Fish: Lots, both bland and colorful.

The diving is what I would call advanced. Be a good diver with good bouyancy control before you go.

Service: Excellent, from taking care of you diving to serving food.

Boat: Rooms are tiny, but who cares. Comfortable, clean, and good strong hot showers and privat toilets.

Food: Excellent, the chef does a great job.

Hotel: Quinta del Sol--inexpensive, nice, close to downtown (5 min walk), free wireless internet, nice pool.

This was the best large animal diving I've ever done. They live up to the "hype" on their website. Excellent operation.
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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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