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Dive Review of M/V Valentina/Fun Azul Fleet in
Mexico (Western)/Southern Sea of Cortez

M/V Valentina/Fun Azul Fleet: "As good as 38 years ago!", Aug, 2019,

by Thomas H Rynalski, FL, US ( 2 reports). Report 11068.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Last visit to Sea of Cortez was 38 years ago, on our first live-aboard (M/V Marisla II). One of our two dive masters on the Valentina had been on that boat. Many areas where we dived are now marine preserves. We were amazed at the amount and diversity of fish life there. It seems as least as good as our first trip. We had been worried that the Sea of Cortez had been “fished out”. It’s still a great destination, and generally not as challenging as Socorro. The Valentina is comfortable and stable. Individual air conditioners in each cabin worked well. Our cabin and head were very roomy. Deck gets hot, so bring flip-flops or slip-on shoes. Dive deck is covered and well laid out. Large camera table, separate charging area and rinse tanks are present. Diving is from inflatable pangas. Fun Azul is based in Japan. Boat carries up to 20 divers. We had 11, 6 from the US and 5 from Japan. Dive masters speak Spanish, English and Japanese. Dove in two groups, based on language. Good pre-dive briefings. Usually 4 dives/day. One night dive (with mobila rays). Crew handled tanks/BCPs for those with back issues. Sea lions often seen while diving and on surface. Surprisingly healthy hard corals in areas, much better than the Florida Keys are doing. Abundant food before and after dives, probably the BEST we’ve ever had on a live-aboard. We will return.
Websites M/V Valentina/Fun Azul Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Florida, California, Channel Islands, Flower Gardens, Michigan, Ohio, Hawaii, Alaska, Ontario, British Columbia, North Carolina, Palau, Truk, Socorro, Sea of Cortez, Cozumel, Dominica, Silver Banks, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Galapagos, Cocos Island, St. Lucia, St. Martin, US Virgin Islands, Tobago.
Closest Airport La Paz Getting There 12-hr flight with multiple stops if from San Diego to La Paz, so we walked over the Cross-Border Bridge from San Diego directly into Tijuana airport (nice, clean and modern), checking in and clearing customs/immigration in 30 minutes. Took a less-expensive 2-hr flight to La Paz on Volaris Air. Be aware, some cruises start in La Paz and end in Cabo or vice versa.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 73-78°F / 23-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-50 Ft/ 6-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 45-50 minute dives. No deeper than 100 ft. Ascend at 700 psi with 20-ft safety stop.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 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 See above. Crew handles cameras if requested. Divers cautioned not to toss fins or weights into pongas to avoid camera damage.
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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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