Beautiful Dive Among the Coral Heads on a Lava Flow Looking for Turtles

Location: Punta Tosca, Socorro Island, Islas Revillagigedos, Mexico

Comments: We generally promote scuba diving in Socorro/Revillagigedo Islands as being all about the big stuff – giant manta rays, sharks, dolphins, humpback whales, yellowfin tuna, huge schools of jacks, etc. I splashed on dive 4 this afternoon with a group of guests attired in evening gowns (more to follow on that!) and as I led a lovely tour through an area that we call turtle garden, I was reminded of how beautiful, enjoyable and relaxing it can be to dive among the coral heads on the lava outflows of Socorro Island. We had a wonderful time cruising around in 20 feet, ducking around large outcroppings of lava, peering under boulders looking for octopus, Socorro lobster (19 – count ’em! – in one hole), stonefish, white tip reef sharks (6 sleeping under one overhang), surging back and forth in the shallows and scooting along sandflats in narrow little canyons hoping to come across some of the turtles resident in this area (we most commonly find the turtles contentedly resting on the sand bottom under overhangs). It was a beautiful and relaxing dive, quite unlike the other dives of this trip, and we surfaced just in time to watch the sun sinking across the horizon. Times like this make it easy to remember why I love diving.

OK, so more about the evening gowns. Tonight was New Year’s Eve which we decided to celebrate on “New York time” given that we would be sailing at 2300 for Roca Partida for a very full day of diving tomorrow. One group of guests came especially prepared for New Year’s with everyone bringing dinner gowns to wear underwater. I must say that Bill looked especially good in red velvet which I think it is definitely his colour. I felt quite underdressed in my 5 mm wetsuit. Another group of male guests came prepared as well and they all brought brightly coloured – and somewhat inventive – male g-strings which they thankfully chose to wear on the outside of their shorts!! Don’t even get me started on what they were doing with some of the noise makers.

New Year’s Eve turned out to be a blast with a crab feast on the upper sundeck under the brilliant star-lit Mexican sky (what is it about this area that makes the stars so brilliant at night?? I figure it must be the total absence of ambient light?). Followed by a dive briefing at 2045. Snorkelling with the silky sharks circling under the ship’s floodlights at 2100. Music, hats, horns, decorations and lots of excitement at 2145. And the “count-down” and champagne at 2200 (midnight, New York time) followed by big hugs and kisses all round. I have to say that I am not sure what was up with 2 of our male divemasters and our engineer cuddling on a couch wearing pink tiara’s? Must have been the champagne. What a great evening!

— Captain Mike

Weather: Clear and beautiful, air temperature mid 70’s, low swell from the northwest, wind less than 10 knots.

Water: Water temperature 76°F, visibility 75 – 100 feet

By Nautilus Staff

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