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Dive Review of Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)

Solmar V: "Good Diving with Big Animals", May, 2019,

by Michael Chiado, CA, US ( 1 report). Report 11155.

Photos Submitted with this Report


Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My buddy and I meet the group that would be our partners for the week at The Bahia Hotel & Beach House, the official host hotel. The official hotel changed between the time we had booked our hotel and the trip date. None the less, the Solmar team made contact with us the day of arrival and arranged transportation to the host hotel. Once the full group arrived at the hotel, we had shuttles to the hotelís beach club for a nice lunch and with a great view of the water.

Boarding the Solmar V was delayed on the day of departure. I donít recall if a mechanical issue or late arrival back from previous trip due to weather was the reason for the delay. We never felt out of touch with the Solmar team and were provided local contacts phone numbers before leaving home. Also, a detailed two-page ĎPRE-TRIP INFORMATION - SOCORRO ISLANDSí letter was provided with step-by-step detail from arrival in Cabo to return and departure.

Multiple shuttles from the host hotel took everyone to the dock with all our gear in a single trip. The crew was waiting with carts to move our bags and gear to the boat. We were assigned dive stations once on the boat. Each station had a plastic storage bin for everything except BC, regulators and wetsuits. BC and regulators were immediately put on tanks, and hangers were provided to hang wetsuits in a dedicated area on either side of the boat. A couple dive stations on each side overlap with the walkway and those assigned there did complain about traffic to and from inflatables made putting on and taking off wetsuits difficult.

On the way out of Cabo, the captain did pause for photo opportunities at the end-of-land Arch. A nice touch especially since we were delayed departing.

The next morning we arrived at San Benedicto. By 7am we were in the water for the first of three dives that day. Each of the five dives days had a similar pattern. In the water by 7am to 8am. Light breakfast before first dive, bigger meal after first dive, a pre-lunch dive, lunch, and one or two afternoon dives. By twilight each day, diving was done. No night diving allowed in the Socorro Islands. The boat moved at night and was in position by morning for the next dive location.

During the trip we dove in order, San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca Partida and then returned to San Benedicto. Weather dictated the locations and order of the islands. Every dive day had encounters with either sharks, dolphins, mantas or whales sharks, and usually all except the whale shark which was only on a single dive. Mantas were in multiples and during one dive there were six mantas circling! Truly an amazing experience. The whale shark encounter was with a juvenile, maybe 25í long, and two passes very close to our group of divers allowing for perfect photo op. Iíve waited twenty years for a whale shark encounter. Everyone was as excited as I once back on the inflatable and couldnít stop talking about for hours.

During the week we had seventeen dives and not one would be considered a throw-away. Every dive was fill with great interactions and good photo opportunities.

The crew was super helpful and always had a great attitude. The cook created special meals for the three of us vegetarian/vegans on board without issues. Tanks/BCís were always loaded and unloaded from the inflatables by the crew, and when things were especially rocking, even the captain helped to get the divers and gear onboard.

All dives were Nitrox and the standard tanks were 80ís with larger 100ís available. Often negative entries were required due to currents. The groups were cohesive and no one was left behind or missed a dive due to a slow descent.
Websites Solmar V   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Belize, Bonaire, California Channel Islands, Cayman Islands, Florida Keys and Gold Coast, Galapagos, Palau, Red Sea, Truk, Moorea, Roatan, Philippines
Closest Airport Cabo San Lucas Getting There Direct Flight from Los Angeles. The only bump in the travel process was Mexican Customs considering charging some fees for bringing in underwater cameras. No fees were required in the end, but others on the trip did pay fees.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 75-72°F / 24-22°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Dive plan was discussed in advance and since diving from inflatable boats group was asked to stay together especially with negative entries.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 2 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 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments My only slightly negative comment is that the photo area on the back deck was just barely big enough for all of use with cameras. There was often some jockeying for room and the electrical plugs were all at one end leading to cords draping over gear.
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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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