Back to the land of giant manta rays – Socorro Island – Captain Log and diver report – April 2, 2010

Well back again to the land of the giant manta rays after 36 hours alongside in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to replenish, restock and refuel. For the second straight week, the 220 mile transit south from Cabo to the Socorro Islands was perfect, with a nice long swell on our quarter making for a very comfortable ride. The sky stayed clear after a great sunset to give us a spectacular view of the night sky, a view that can only be fully appreciated far from the lights of the city. As we approached our first stop at Isla San Benedicto, our regular welcoming party of Booby birds and bottlenose dolphins joined us on the bow to escort us in and provide the morning entertainment. On arrival at San Benedicto we dropped the anchor in the sheltered bay at “the Canyon”, our usual spot for the checkout dive, and started gearing up.
A very strong current this morning however made this checkout dive a little more challenging than we wanted, but we came to dive so that’s what we did. Hand over hand down the line to the anchor chain we went, followed by what we like to call vertical rock climbing along the bottom, making our way to the volcanic ridge that is one of the best places at these islands to see hammerhead sharks. After a short wait hanging on to the edge of the ridge, the sharks showed up, 3 or 4 hammerheads coming in real close to us, with several more further out in the background. A few divers also got to enjoy a Giant Manta Ray hovering nearby as they waited for the hammerheads. A challenging but rewarding checkout dive!
We did two more dives here at the Canyon today and despite the persistent current both were great with hammerhead shars and one or two Giant Manta rays on each. Heading to Socorro Island tonight in search of more friendly manta rays and hopefully some underwater humpback whale encounters! I’ll even break out my humpback whale dance if I have too. Hopefully it won’t come to that.
Captain Gordon Kipp
Surface conditions: Mostly sunny, air temp 75F (24C), calm seas in anchorage.

Diving conditions: Strong current, visibility 30ft – 70ft (9m – 22m), water temp 75F (24C)
We just started our trip with a truly international group. Countries represented include the US, Mexico, France, Germany, Belgium and Italy. Diving is our universal language so communication doesn’t seem to be a problem. All of the scuba divers are enjoying the first class service and ammenities of the Nautilus Explorer and its hard working staff. A few giant mantas and hammerhead sharks were spotted on our first day as we listened to the haunting songs of the nearby humpback whales. We are all eagerly anticipating more big animal sightings in the days to come.
John D.
Un dia impresionante buceando con dos maravillosas mantas que nos deleitaron con su baile y nos permitieron acariciarlas con nuestras burbujas, en una sensual danza de majestuosidad. Susana B.

By Nautilus Staff

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