lisasorensen15

lisasorensen15

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Reviews (1)

Solmar V Liveaboard

5
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5
5

SOCORRO ISLANDS

Diving at the Socorro Islands should be a MUST DIVE location for any scuba diver. They are 250 miles due south into the Pacific Ocean from the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Mexico and are known for their big animals encounters. Big animals such as Giant Mantas, Hammerheads, White tips, Silver tips, silky sharks, Galapagos sharks, and depending on the season, Whale sharks and humpback whales. Since it is considered a protected Marine area, you may also encounter giant tuna, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and even bait balls.

SOLMAR V LIVEABOARD

The Solmar V is the best liveaboard to experience the Socorro Islands and have been traveling the seas since 1992. The boat is well maintained. The public spacesare all sufficiently spacious and comfortable. The dive deck has a large camera table for all your gear, two fresh water showers, and warm, dry towels are provided. There are also large fresh water dip tanks for your gear and the crew is very skilled on handling expensive camera gear and knowledgeable if there are issues.

All cabins and the salon are comfortably air-conditioned. Solmar V, throughout, appears to be very clean and impressively well-maintained. The cabins are a little cozy and with the exception of a couple of rooms, they are all bunk beds with not a lot of storage space. The upside is each cabin has it's own separate shower, toilet, and sink as well as a TV and DVD player. I brought a connector to connect my iPad to the TV so I had my own library of videos to watch, but the boat has a large collection of DVDs that they rotate regularly. There is also a wide-screen LCD TV in the library as well.

The food varied and was well-prepared. I don't think I had the same thing twice while on the trip. Breakfasts offered cereal, yoghurt, fresh fruit, toast, eggs cooked to order, but other days, it might be pancakes or French toast - and the chef never had an issue if you requested something else. Lunches are typically 3 courses, always beginning with a freshly-made soup, followed by main dishes such as fajitas, fish and shrimp tacos, grilled chicken, hamburgers one day, and many times ending with ice cream as a treat. Dinners had main dishes such as steak (two nights), chicken breast, appetizingly steamed fish in foil, and Mexican BBQ with all the trimmings and Margaritas. Appetizers were typically served after the last time, along with cold beer and a variety of sodas. In addition, there was always fresh fruit, cookies or other snacks, hot coffee, and free sodas including Diet Cokes.

The crew are very professional and proficient. I have been on the boat twice in three years and the same crew was there. Many of them have been on the crew for 20+ years. From years of experience cruising these waters with scuba divers, the nine men worked together as an amazing team; At the same time, they were friendly and genuinely interested in helping the guests to have an exceptional experience. Another must do is take an above water panga tour of the islands with Geronimo. He is a font of knowledge, an excellent wildlife photographer, and has a plethora of information about the birds and sea life, and plenty of great jokes.

The one thing to keep in mind is since the Solmar V disembarks from Cabo San Lucas, it is a 22-23 hour boat ride to the islands. While the Solmar V is relatively stable ride, if you are prone to seasickness, bring along plenty of Dramamine or patches. The good news is by the time you reach the islands, most people have found their sea legs. It will also take a good day upon return to find your land legs again. The schedule has the boat arriving the evening before you leave Cabo but the guests still sleep on the boat. They always plan the last dinner on the boat but many of the guests venture out to Cabo to experience the night life (and something very early mornings) and return to the pier to sleep off the adventure.

Solmar V offers an array of enticing adventures. The liveaboard is an extremely well run operation with decades of experience plying the Baja California Sur waters. I have been to Socorro on the Solmar V twice in the past 5 years and am returning again in January. If I had a choice, I would dive the majestic waters around the Socorro Islands every day and I wouldn't think of diving with anyone else than the crew of the Solmar V. There is truly inspiring diving for those who are ready for something new and exciting. I recommend Solmar V heartily.

Visited on 02/2011 - Submitted on 07/31/2014
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