Downey Duck Socorro (Revillagigedos)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  February 2015

 

This was our fifth trip to Socorro (fourth with Nautilus Explorer). The boat is still comfortable, with upgrades to some of the cabins, and there were a few staff changes, but overall pretty much the same. It’s the diving that changes, and this trip proved to be one of the better trips, with mantas, dolphins, hammerheads, silky shark night snorkeling, silky, silvertip, and Galapagos shark day snorkeling, and some cool whale interactions. Something new this trip was an allowed night dive at Aquarium.

We spent two days at Roca Partida. There wasn’t as much action as usual because there was very little current or surface waves. It was the first time we were able to swim all the way around the rock without getting stopped by currents at the corners. We had some great hammerhead interactions there and saw silvertip and Galapagos sharks, as well as some big tuna, and heard many whales underwater. We saw plenty of whales, including babies, on the surface, but only got within snorkeling distance a few times; two trips before ours, a baby was snatched by orcas, and the whales had been stand-offish since then.

Another favorite site was The Canyon, where you never know what you’re going to see; we were lucky enough to spot hammerheads, silvertips, and several swimming eels.

The Boiler was still the best with up to six mantas at a time, swirling and interacting with everyone. Our last dive only one manta showed up and did he love bubbles! So much, in fact, that we all nicknamed him “Bubbles” and used up bunches of air from alternate regulators keeping him happy. No one noticed that the current was picking up to a roar until we started trying to get back to the boat, now with little air left; everyone made it back except one person who was picked up by the inflatable. Pods of dolphins came by; Bill felt something bump his fin, looked over to see if it was me, but then realized it was a dolphin trying to get his attention, saying “look at me, look at me”.  We heard whales many dives, and during one in particular the whales sounded so close that we spent half the dive staring into the distance listening to what can only be described as a beautiful underwater concert with sounds similar to a cello, oboe, and bass. Magnificent!

Socorro is one of the places we’ve been to the most, but we’re not done yet! Maybe next time we’ll try Nautilus Explorer’s new boat, the Belle Amie.

 

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