Hammerhead Sharks, Giant Mantas and Big Waves

Location: The Canyon, The Boiler, San Benedicto Island, Socorro, Revillagigedos, Mexico

Comments: We set off on our last trip to Socorro and the Revillagigedos for this season. The seas on the crossing were a bit bigger than normal at 6 – 7 feet with a long wave period but the stabilized ride on a heavy steel boat like the Nautilus Explorer was quite comfortable. Hurricane season at Socorro does not start until mid-June and there is certainly demand for quite a few more trips this season, but Captain Mike wants to get the boat to the shipyard for 3 weeks before the start of our Alaska season and so this is our last charter of the season. Our first dive at the Canyon was the normal check out dive and play with weighting. We saw hammerhead sharks off the cleaning station and the omens seemed to be good. Unfortunately, although there is always a lot of life under the water, it turned out that the giant mantas and sharks or what I like to call “charismatic megafauna” were going to be fairly evasive this trip. We did the Giants Causeway (or Southwest Benedicto for Mike) as the third dive and saw 2 or possibly 4 mantas but they did not seem to want to interact with us.

Dive day 2 and we went to the Boiler for the first scuba dive. The dive was spectacular, 100+ feet of visibility, a pod of 6 dolphins and almost no current. However, the wind had picked up and the waves were getting large which made the return to the Nautilus Explorer difficult and potentially hazardous. As the wind was showing no signs of subsiding we reluctantly had to leave and headed over to the northeast side of San Benedicto Island to a dive site that we had tried a couple of times this year and had fairly good luck with. The area also has a shallow bay which meant that we could do a nice, calm, easy dive for our second dive and recover from the boiling Boiler. Dives 3 and 4 were good, although the current started to pick up and the visibility dropped on dive 4. A giant manta was seen by most divers as it circled around but, again, did not seem to want to interact. Such is the nature of diving with big animals – interaction is always their call.

–DM Tricia


Weather: 80°F, partly cloudy, breezy, swell

Water: 71°F, visibility 50ft

By Nautilus Staff

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