School of 100 hammerhead sharks sticks around all day resulting in knackered Captain!!

Location: The Canyon and Boiler dive sites, San Benedicto Island, Socorro Islands, Baja California, Mexico
Two dives = Whale shark, Giant Manta Rays, hammerheads, and dolphins!
Our ocean safari started right out of the gate this week after departing Cabo San Lucas under a beautiful blue sky and a gentle breeze on the morning of January 25th. Around 10 miles south of the cape we came across two adult humpback whales slowly patrolling the coast, occasionally spy-hopping to get a closer peak at us as we cruised along beside them. Only a few hours after that we came across a huge pod of dolphins, numbering in the hundreds, many of whom broke off from the group to join us on the bow, cruising alongside us and surfing our wake as we continued our journey south. A long swell from the North West rocked us gently throughout the crossing, but with almost no wind to speak of throughout the journey our passage remained very comfortable all the way to our first stop at San Benedicto, of the famous Socorro Islands.
Dive day 1 offered us some beautiful weather and promising conditions topside, but in the end turned out to be a little slow by our very high standards diving at these islands. A strong current at the Boiler kept us to one dive there, and although clear and blue near the surface, the visibility at the Canyon diminished greatly near the bottom. Despite these less than ideal conditions a few people still managed to spot a couple Giant Mantas cruising by as well as a few scattered hammerheads patrolling the area.
What we missed on the first day, however, we made up for on day 2. We started the day at the Canyon, and before the lunch bell had even wrung I was being regaled with tales of giant schools of hammerhead sharks, whaleshark encounters, curious dolphins and ‘molestation by Manta Ray’ (his words not mine!). A school of hammerhead sharks numbering close to 100 stuck around for most of the day, passing close enough to touch at times. The Giant Mantas were as friendly as ever, circling repeatedly and hovering above the divers, then slowly sinking until pushing down on the diver, enjoying the tickle of bubbles and, apparently, the human contact. As if that was not enough, a whale shark showed up and cruised slowly by, passing closely to those divers lucky enough to be in its path, before continuing on into the blue. The action was steady throughout most of the day, with 3 of our 4 dives being “dives of a lifetime” for many of our guests. All this after only two days, wow!! I think I can speak for most everyone on board when I say I can’t wait for tomorrow, but now it’s off to bed ’cause I’m knackered!
Captain Gordon
Surface conditions: mostly sunny with clouds in the morning, winds light, seas calm, air temp 77-82F

Water conditions: visibility 20-100 ft, water temp 76F, current mild to strong

By Nautilus Staff

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