Giant Manta Interaction with Divers at Socorro/Revillagigedo Islands

Location: At sea, abeam Cedros Island, Baja California, Mexico

Comments: Well, it’s the end of our Guadalupe Island great white shark season and we are in transit, voyaging (dead-heading as we used to call in in the airplane business) down the Pacific side of Baja California.

Next stop, Cabo San Lucas on Saturday morning to get ready for our first Sea of Cortez trip. It’s hard to believe how fast and how drastically the weather and seastate can change down here. The dust storms and forest fires of Ensenada are a distant memory now and we have lucked out with flat calm seas, clear skies, no wind, air temperatures in the low 80’s and a constant stream of flying fish launching themselves into the air.

Most exciting of all to me personally, is the startup of our Socorro/Revillagigedos season. I have been corresponding with Dr. Bob Rubin and Karey Kumli of the Pacific Manta Research Group regarding the manta identification work that we have been helping them with over the last three years. Giant manta rays are fascinating animals of themselves but this particular population is especially unique.

I may sound like a kook for saying this but the Socorro/Revillagigedo mantas seemed to be tuned into divers on a physical and emotional level unlike anywhere else in the world. These are very special animals and our guests are usually very surprised by the way the mantas initiate interaction with divers.

So, over 200 identified Socorro mantas now with lots of resightings and many thanks to everybody who sent manta images and video in to Bob and Karey over the summer. Karey made one especially interesting comment to me that she was able to positively identify several animals a day or two apart at different islands from images taken by our guests. One wonders if the mantas preceded the Nautilus Explorer or followed us?? It’s a very neat thought and perhaps not unlikely that giant manta rays that really enjoy “interacting” with divers, quietly follow behind the Nautilus as we move from one site to another. Divers who have been on a Socorro trip with us will know what I am referring to by “interacting.”

–Captain Mike


Weather: Nice surface weather with a low – moderate swell from the northwest and scattered clouds.

Water: In-water visibility 120 feet, water temperatures ranging from 74 to 80°F (this is the first report of cooler water at Socorro).

By Nautilus Staff

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