Greetings from the Solmar V! The year 2006 will be filled with very exciting, positive changes for the Solmar V, and we wanted you to be among the first to know!
We've been exploring the Socorro Islands and Sea of Cortez in search of the very best "big animal encounters" for our diving guest since 1992. Jose Luis Sanchez and his wife, Leslie Lee, have been involved with diving operations and sales/marketing operations with the Solmar V since she took her first voyage "way back when".
Their experience, which also includes running land based operations in the Baja (Amigos del Mar in Cabo San Lucas) back to the late 70's, makes them the most experienced operators in the entire region. Jose Luis' family is actually from the Baja, and he made his first dive (at the tender age of 12) using "hookah" equipment with his uncles at local Baja sites.
We are also delighted to announce that Jose Luis and Leslie will both be assuming new positions of greater responsibility with the Solmar V, effective immediately, and will oversee all operations of the vessel in addition to the duties performed for the past 14 years.
JL and Leslie will be on the vessel more during 2006, and will also be coordinating some very special opportunities to expand the scope of diving operations and accommodations onboard the Solmar V:
1. NITROX will be added to the Solmar V in mid 2006during her annual "boatyard" maintenance. This will be an added amenity for our guests, and we will also be providing NITROX instruction for those guests who have not as yet been certified for it. In keeping with the overall practices of the Solmar V, you may expect a top of the line system.
2. COMMUNICATIONS on board the boat will also be improved. While we have always maintained 24 hour emergency capability via sat-phone, we will be adding Internet, Email, and Computer access for our guests in the very near future. This will also include digital editing capability on board the vessel for photographers and videographers, etc.
3. BOAT IMPROVEMENTS: While the SOLMAR has always been maintained in a pristine condition, there are times in the life of any vessel when engines need to be updated (particularly with recent rising fuel costs), and other technical issues unique to boats. All of these improvements will again take place during our "boatyard" session in June...
4. The Solmar V will be adding activities as well. We will expand our Great White Trips to Guadalupe with more dates, and are looking to expand our activities during "whale season", 2007, and continue and expand the exciting encoutnters with giant mantas, dolphins, whale sharks, and six different types of sharks. There's also an exploratory trip to Clipperton Island, some 800 miles SW of Baja, at some future date!
Overall, Jose Luis and Leslie are very excited about the new opportunity for themselves AND for our guests. Their commitment to superb "big animal encounters", always high, will continue to be the main focus of our voyages of exploration. And, as always, with our philosophy that the environment takes first consideration, that all of our encounters be governed by the animals themselves, and that we will not force the activity in any way. This philosophy has resulted, in the last 14 years, in an increase of quality big animal encounters each year, and the health of the marine ecosystem at Socorro is still among the best in the world.
Please join me, Bill Gleason (editor of the Solmar V eNEWS), in congratulating Jose Luis and Leslie on their new position, and wishing JL and Leslie the very best of success in creating "the new and improved" Solmar V for us all to enjoy in the coming years.