24 hour crossing was not our most pleasant ride of the season with moderate winds and a bit of a roll – February 4, 2010

Location: San Benedicto, Socorro Islands, Baja California South, Mexico
After a very successful dive expedition last week, on Wednesday we set out once more from Cabo San Lucas for the 220 nautical mile voyage to the rugged volcanic Islas of the Revillagigedo, better known as the Socorro Islands, offshore Mexico. The 24 hour crossing was not our most pleasant ride out this season with moderate winds kicking up a beam sea and causing a bit of a roll onboard. Thanks to our specially designed “flume tank” (sort of an anti-roll tank) onboard, however, the vessel handled the seas handsomely and kept the rolling to a manageable degree.
As usual on arrival at San Benedicto we were greeted warmly by our friends the dolphins who joined us for a “wake surf” as we approached the island. As we rounded the corner of the long dark lava finger jutting out of the ash on the south-east side of the island, we found ourselves in the lee of the island at a divesite called the Canyon, sheltered from the wind and swell and able to enjoy our first dive day in calm waters under a clear blue Mexican sky! Our very multi-national guests wasted no time getting wet and completed three great dives here before the end of the day. The Canyon delivered what it is known for with schooling hammerheads, silver tip sharks, and several Giant Pacific Manta Rays who wanted nothing more than to interact with their land dwelling, bubble blowing Scuba friends. Even after the divers had come up from dive two we had two of the Giant Mantas hanging around off the stern of the boat, not quite ready to say goodbye. Ever accommodating for our Manta friends several divers shed their now empty tanks and continued the interaction with nothing but a mask and snorkel, enjoying their company for another 20 minutes on the surface. As if friendly Giant Manta Rays and Hammerheads were not enough, two lucky divers got a glimpse of one of the oceans most feared (and probably misunderstood) predators, the Tiger Shark! A big, beautiful animal that is a rare treat to see and usually will disappear as quickly as it appears.
Whenever I ask a guest how their dive was and they respond with, “I could go home happy right now”, as they emerge from the water, I know it must have been pretty good! When it’s only their second dive of the trip that says even more about how special it is to experience this interaction with the Giant Manta Rays of the Socorro Islands. We won’t go home just yet though, we’ve got 6 more days of amazing diving to come.
Capt. Gordon Kipp
Surface conditions: Mostly clear skies, winds moderate (15-20 kts), swell 5-7′ but calm in the anchorage, air temp 75-80F

Diving conditions: Visibility 40-60 ft, current moderate to strong, water temps 76F

By Nautilus Staff

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