Red hot diving at Roca Partida

Location: Roca Partida, Revillagigedo Islands (aka Socorro Islands).

Comments: Roca Partida is a wee little rock 70 miles west of Socorro Island and 75 miles southwest of San Benedicto Island that just barely extends above the surface. It was discovered in 1779 by Spanish explorer Jose Camacho (who discovered Clarion Island during the same expedition), 246 years after Hernando de Grijalva and his crew discovered Socorro and San Benedicto Islands. Measuring 91 metres by 45 metres by 34 metres high, the island is actually the lava plug from a volcano that gradually eroded away around it. It is an amazing 11,000 feet deep around the volcano and we gingerly anchor the Nautilus Explorer in 245 feet of water very close to the lava tube.

Roca Partida is a “magnet” for mantas, sharks of all kinds, wahoo, tuna, dorado and all other manner of sub-tropical fish. The diving here CAN be amazing but it is a very weather sensitive dive site. We carefully watch and study the weather forecasts in order to spend the 2 calmest days of each charter anchored on site. And, of course, like all big animal diving in the Revillagigedo Islands, sometimes it’s super hot and sometimes it’s not (luckily the diving at Roca Partida is red hot today).

The diving was very, very good but I have to admit that the sea conditions were challenging. Unfortunately, the current was running in the opposite direction to the 6 – 7ft northwest swell, which meant that the swell broke continuously on the dive deck all day long. Loading and unloading of the inflatable and aluminum dive skiffs was challenging. We’ve had this problem before and are continuously refining and improving our process to make embarkation easier for our guests.  Our latest wrinkle is to ensure that guests feel welcome to jump in and out of the aluminium skiff without their dive gear. My incredible crew and I are always very happy and willing to carry gear across. We’ve got more ideas on the drawing board, including fitting a midship loading station on the starboard side of the ship during our next refit. Staging dives in the open ocean can be challenging but wow, the reward can be the dive of a lifetime. Safe diving.

–Captain Mike


Weather: Broken mid-level stratus clouds, sunny, 15-knot winds from the northwest,6-7 swell, temperature 76°F.

Water: Water temperature 73°F, variable visibility ranging from 50 to 100 feet.

By Nautilus Staff

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