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Rocio Del Mar - Any comments on the operation?


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#1 BottomTime

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 11:25 AM

I'm preparing to book a trip aboard the Rocio Del Mar and am looking for comments from those who have sailed aboard. I'm particularly interested in comments from those who have been aboard this boat as well as the Nautilus Explorer or the Solmar V and can provide an objective comparison of the various operations.

 

Conversation Points that I'm keen for feedback on are;

1) Dive style? Do they like to have a DM lead "follow the leader" dive or are the dive masters there help people out, point things out but generally let people do their own thing?

2) Dive Limitations? Max dive time/depth? Do they have buddy team rules or are they generally tolerant of "same ocean, same day" buddy teams?

3) Camera care and facilities for their Maintenance. Looking at their website, their camera table looks pretty small and I never saw mention of rinse buckets. I've heard of people talking their cameras back to the room, but I'm definitely not a fan of that. Every moisture problem I've ever had with my camera was the result of taking my camera indoors.

4) Dive tanks. They only mention aluminum 80's on their website. Anyone know if they rent steel tanks?

 

I'm part cave man, I occasionally drag my knuckles when I walk and have an adequate layer of bioprene to survive a short famine, so creature comforts are secondary to me. As long as the rooms a clean, warm and dry, I'm happy.

 

Cheers,

 

Mike


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#2 divengolf

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 02:17 AM

Mike,

I've posted on this boat before but can't seem to find the post. Anyway my experience was a few years ago, 2010 I believe, so my comments may not be current.

First, the camera table AT THAT TIME was unsatisfactorily small and crowded with crew junk. I did all of my camera work in my cabin. Not the best, but acceptable if you keep your cabin at a reasonable temp. Dora said that she had plans to enlarge it. Not sure if that ever happened. Based on the pics that I've seen since, it doesn't appear to have happened. I would ask.

I don't recall seeing anything other than AL80s. I normally dive steel and would have used one if available.

I don't recall any restrictions on dive profiles. I normally dive alone and that didn't seem to be a problem. I just didn't advertise it.

We had a full boat and the dive deck was a bit crowded, but not terrible.

My other big complaint was that they only had one compressor on board, so tank fills were slow. plus if that compressor goes down, you're done diving. They said that they wanted to install another compressor, but didn't have room.

If you have any other questions, please PM me.

Harry

#3 Oceanshutter

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 07:20 AM

We are headed on there in April.....your post now has me a little concerned! It surprises me that any live aboard would not have a sufficient camera table with so many photographers nowadays.

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#4 pointy

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 08:41 AM

We are headed on there in April.....your post now has me a little concerned! It surprises me that any live aboard would not have a sufficient camera table with so many photographers nowadays.

 

Hello Oceanshutter,

 

If you go to Rocio Del Mar's website, there is a picture of the camera table on the dive deck in the ship's "virtual tour". That's what I saw when I was there in November. http://www.rociodelm...rtual-tour.html

It seemed good to me. We were also told that it was to be used only for cameras.

 

Also on the website, under ship photos, there is an old picture of the previous camera table which is much smaller. I think that may be the one some people were unhappy with.

 

John McCracken



#5 Oceanshutter

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 09:05 AM

Hello Oceanshutter,
 
If you go to Rocio Del Mar's website, there is a picture of the camera table on the dive deck in the ship's "virtual tour". That's what I saw when I was there in November. http://www.rociodelm...rtual-tour.html
It seemed good to me. We were also told that it was to be used only for cameras.
 
Also on the website, under ship photos, there is an old picture of the previous camera table which is much smaller. I think that may be the one some people were unhappy with.
 
John McCracken


Thanks john...that is good to hear.

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#6 bear35

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 10:53 PM

Hi Mike,

 

 

I have been on the Rocio del Mar, they do have rinse tanks camera table, 15l and even 20l tanks you need to ask for them upon booking. It will all depend on where you go with regards dive timings, we were told 45-50 mins per dive but to be honest in Socorro that is ok because the diving is deeper for the most part and if there are Mantas, Dolphins or Humpbacks around at the safety stop no problem. The guides we had were first rate and do their very best to show you what is there.



#7 bvanant

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:26 PM

We had a great trip on the Rocio last year and are going back this August. We are pretty much not inclined to follow guides so much and they were fine with that. The do rent AL 15 l tanks but no steel tanks as far as I know. Food was great, cabins were nice but small, dive deck is crowded so we went in two groups but 10 divers and 1 guide meant you can do what you want.  Camera table certainly was adequate for our group, a bunch of DSLR and higher end video cameras.

Bill


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#8 divengolf

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 04:22 AM

Bill,

 

Good to hear about the camera table. Obviously Dora has improved the setup from 2010 when I was last there. Plus splitting the group on the dive deck should help a lot with the crowding.

 

A good boat.

 

Harry



#9 Oceanshutter

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 06:11 AM

We just got off the RDM last week. We had terrible wind conditions, so the diving was horrible 5 out of the 6 days. Worst I have ever done...however, that 1 good days. Was 3 of the best dives I have ever made.

As for the boat, the RDM was certainly a capable boat. With the wind, the ocean was very choppy. And it's stabilizers helped a little. 1/3rd of the boat got sick on the way back. Overall, I thought it was a good boat. The camera table was adequate. With compressors as well. The rooms were small, but again adequate.. The crew was great, I have never seen a crew work harder. Food was fantastic. Breakfast was typical. Lunch was typically Mexican, with some great salsa and chips. Dinner was mixed, we had steak, tacos, pork,...very good. They accommodated our no seafood just fine.

We had 3 groups and I thought that really helped eliminate the overcrowded issue. Although, sometimes if you are in the last group for the day, the other groups may scare away the stuff you are looking for. But, it can also be beneficial being last as well. I really liked the gear up station, as it was all standup instead of seated. Made gearing up, the best I have ever had on a live aboard.

The things I didn't like about it. The dining room is at the bottom of the boat, in the hull. They said they put it there because it was the least rocking...well that may be true, but it was still seasickness waiting to happen. Not a lot of air movement, couldn't look out on the horizon, and it was very loud. Even though it appeared that they had tried to put sound mufflers on the walls, they did little good. In rough water the tables would be banging when the boat hit the water. The seating wasn't great either.

It needed more shaded areas. The sun deck, is well, for sun. There is no shade. The shaded area is small, with couches. It was too small of an area, and we had a lot of sunbathers too.

The camera rinse tanks. Basically they are barrels, that the put on the back swim deck of the boat. The barrels, aren't wide enough to easily fit a dslr with arms and lights in. And soaking was pretty much not going to happen. No way to put 2 dslr a in at the same time. In the rough waves we had, the tanks would have salt water splashing into them. So at t he end of the day they probably aren't fresh water anymore. If you have calm conditions this shouldn't be a problem.

These issues, however, weren't bad enough that I wouldn't consider booking with again. Again they are a great crew. And would consider booking with them again if we were to return to Socorro.

Dustin

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