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Dive Review of Solmar V in
Mexico (Western)

Solmar V: "A December Trip on the Solemar V", Jan, 2017,

by Ellen Marie Smith, MN, US (Contributor Contributor 19 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 9445.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I read the previous readers reports (which I found quite helpful, thank you!).
The bad: The only thing that I had a stronger opinion about is the boat itself. Solmar V is an old boat that charges "new boat" prices. The cabins are all below the deck and noisy, with water lapping and kitchen stomping constant. The front cabins (where we were) are terribly small (accessed by one set of stairs), and the back cabins (accessed by a different set of stairs) are like the "small" cabins on most boats. The kitchen is tiny, and the food is adequate, and abundant. I usually gave half my portion to some hungry diver, as I found it lackluster. One thing that is nice (if you are lucky enough to book it) is that there are 2 single cabins (more like cupboards) in the front of the boat. I don't think you have to pay a single supplement if you get one of these. Don't believe the "underwater encounters with humpbacks" part on the website. I asked the divemasters and not one of them has been in the water within sight of a whale, and some had been on the boat for 10 years.
Now the good: The mantas, dolphins and sharks. You will see lots of these! The Pacific Giant Mantas are magical and are not afraid of divers. The dolphins were friendly and there was a whale shark around (only the photographer saw it). I saw my first Silvertip shark. Beautiful! Many whitetips, silkies, a few Galapagos and a even some Hammers in the distance. The water temp was 78 degrees down to 73 at Socorro. The divemasters were top notch and the trip photographer is also involved in tagging and studying the mantas, so he was a wealth of knowledge and is willing to share it.
Diving was from both the boat and the panga. Some divers wore drysuits, my buddy wore a 5 mil and I wore a thermal skin and shorty. We dove in December and we told the best season is late Feb to early April. The crew on the boat was fabulous! I would love to do this trip again but will look into a "newer" boat.

Websites Solmar V   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Galapagos, Hawaii, Caribbean (Cozumel, Belize, Turneffe, Utila, Turks & Caicos, St. Martin, Nevis & St. Kitts), California, Cocos & Socorro.
Closest Airport San Jose del Cabo Getting There I took Delta, connected in Atlanta then non-stop to Cabo.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 73-78°F / 23-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-150 Ft/ 15-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions While you could dive your own profile, I opted to stay with the divemaster. Several times we drifted to the blue looking for Hammerheads (and whatever else might come by) and it was nice to stay together in this type of situation.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large camera table. No compressed air. Charging right at the table (great for my sola lights). 2 Large dedicated rinse tanks and crew was great at handling the cameras.
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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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