SOLMAR V LIVEABOARD – SOCORRO ISLANDS
Our trip on the Solmar V was S E N S A T I O N A L. It was a bit of a mission to get there, however you have the option to stopover in incredible places including Los Angeles and Cabo San Lucas. After a few flights and a boat ride, finally -250 miles from shore we found ourselves on the quaint Socorro Island.
Our check out dive was San Bernedicto and (despite the hurricane 2 days prior) the diving was still incredible and the most unbelievable check out dive I have ever done. While the ocean floor was quite stark – not the place for little critters, it certainly was the place for the big boys. It is a great destination to see the huge Pacific Mantas being cleaned by the large orange Clarion Angel fish. Find yourself a comfortable ledge to sit and have this wonderful spectacle continue for the entire dive. These huge Pacific Mantas have become so accustomed to divers that they will stop over the bubbles and seem to enjoy the experience immensely. The honeycombed bottom is alive with Moray eels and large lobsters and the odd curious octopus. It was also not unusual to have Whale Sharks join in the fun. A simply amazing display and the trip had hardly begun.
After equally exciting dives at El Boiler and Clarion the decision was made to steam out to Roca Partida a tiny pinnacle in the middle of nowhere to find clearer water, so small you could circumnavigate it twice current permitting on a single dive this spectacular dive site really turned it on. We did 9 dives on this amazing structure and every dive was unique and exciting. 45 years of diving, over 200 dive trips and I was still left mesmerized at underwater life maintained in Socorro. From huge schools of every imaginable pelagic fish to Giant Pacific Mantas, Whale Sharks and pods of dolphins, many species of sharks, including galapagos hammerheads and even up to 30 white tipped reef sharks lying on top of each other in gutters around the island all with wonderful visibility. We saw yellow fin Tuna to 150 lb and Wahoo to 80 lb, one incredible highlight was a large female dolphin the dive guides recognized from a previous trip that met our group at 25 metres and in between trips to the surface for air would come up to us and lay out to be patted, letting everyone in the group join in this amazing experience.
The Solmar V is a comfortable 34 metre steel boat and can accommodate 22 passengers in 11 comfortable well furnished double cabins. To ensure ample space on boar, they usually only ever carry 20 divers and all cabins have individually controlled air conditioning and a TV/DVD combination. 6 Superior cabins are slightly larger and are located towards the middle of the boat (I’d recommend these if you’re prone to sea sickness). The 5 standard and slightly smaller cabins are in the front part of the boat. Food is delicious with plenty of snacks between dives. Power outlets are 110 volt with US twin prong outlets and there are 6 X 220/240 volt plugs at the rear computer station. There are 2 large dinghy’s for diving and depending on the dive site 4 dives a day. Nitrox is readily available for a fee and rental gear needs to be ordered in advance. The peak dive season is November through May and you can see Humpbacks and calves at Socorro from November through April.
All in all, the entire crew were an absolute delight and I cannot recommend this operation highly enough!
– Geoff Skinner, Allways Dive Expeditions.
For more information on Socorro, contact the staff at Allways Dive Expeditions on 1800 338 239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org!