Location: North Point, San Benedicto Island, Socorro Island, Revillagigedos, Mexico
Comments: One advantage of doing longer than normal trips (this one was 11 nights – whoooeee) is that we get to explore some new sites and re-visit past exploration sites. On dive day six we returned to Socorro Island, to the outside wall at Punta Tosca and were rewarded with a manta and a very close encounter with a hammerhead. From there we headed north to Roca Oneal which is another small rock with a 200 foot drop and is situated off the northwest corner of Socorro Island. Although the visibility did not compare to Roca Partida the presence of an underwater cavern full of whitetip reef sharks and a seven legged octopus (“you should see the other guy”!) more than made up for it and produced some beautiful photographs. One interesting note was that the rock from 30-80ft was covered with what looked like a pink encrusting algae which gave the area a very bright and uniform look and than at 80 feet there was a definite line and the rocks were covered in green algae. We are guessing that it is a light-related demarcation, any ideas?
After a relaxing wall dive in a bay on Socorro near Roca Oneal where we saw mantas feeding on the surface we went on to San Benedicto for our final days of diving and were greeted with a stunning 120ft+ of visibility. For those of you who have been to the Revillagigedos with us imagine being on top of the 70 foot pinnacle to the north and being able to see the south end of the Boiler. Yes, it really was that clear which allowed for some great photographs of the geological structure of the rock. We had more close interactions with multiple giant mantas at the Boiler, one diver counted 12 consecutive dives where mantas showed up and interacted with the scuba divers. On dive day 8 we went to the northwest point of San Benedicto Island where we continued to enjoy the 100+ feet of visibility and watched dolphins hunting jacks, a Tiger shark patrolling and listened to a humpback whale song for the entire hour long dive all without moving more than 50 feet from under the Nautilus Explorer.
Our penultimate dive was a blue water drift dive “somewhere close to the Boiler.” Although we could hear the whales and dolphins for part of the journey we saw mainly reef fish, a wahoo and as we were ascending a big school of creole fish appeared giving the correct impression that we were getting close to the Boiler. As an added bonus the Boobies (Gannets to the English people on board) took an interest in the marker buoys and drifted along with us on the surface, occasionally putting their heads underwater to observe us. Finally we went to a new site on the north east side of San Benedicto and found some interesting rock formations with lots of reef life and what appeared to be a moray eel the colour of a Clarion Angelfish. Definitely a place for further investigation. On the run home we came up with a list of possible names for the newly explored sites including Whale Sound, Booby Prize, The Act of Waiting on a Rock and Watching Barnacles although none have been adopted at this time. Maybe a few more dives on the sites will bring out the personality of the sites and the names will become obvious.
Weather: Air temp is 85°F, sunny, light breeze, low swell
Water: Water temp 72°F, visibility 100+ feet