Log from Socorro Island – Silvia – our most famous hostess – goes diving with a friendly whaleshark at Roca Partida. SUPER HERMOSA!! May 31, 2010

Yesterday we left the marina at Cabo San Lucas for our final Socorro Islands trip of the season, another 12 day expedition which will end with 4 days of diving in the Sea of Cortez. All was calm and serene as we pulled away from the dock and I was anticipating a relatively smooth 220 nautical mile crossing south to the Revillagigedo Islands (Socorro). As I turned south and left the protection of the cape, however, a very stiff 25 kt wind hit us beam on and decided to make a liar out of me. Often times off of Cabo San Lucas we do experience strong winds created by the local effects of the peninsula which are not in the forecast. Yesterday these winds made for a crossing that wasn’t quite as comfortable as I had hoped and we did have a few guests who were a little green in the face. It’s really unusual to have bigger seas 2 trips in a row as the pacific ocean is usually quite benign in these latitudes. It’s not unusual to get up to 2 weeks of calm seas. The wind did drop off as we got further from Cabo and the ride improved throughout the crossing.
On approaching Isla San Benedicto we had a great performance off the bow from our resident bottle-nose dolphins and the sea smoothed out nicely upon arriving at our sheltered anchorage and first dive site, ‘the Canyon’. Conditions at the Canyon had improved since our last trip here, with visibility around 60 ft (18m) on dive 1 and a mild current. I’m hoping that it will get back up to 100 feet of blue water within the next couple of days. The hammerhead shark cleaning stations that make this divesite so good were, unfortunately, clean of hammerheads, but were alive and quite beautiful with a lot of colorful fish. Schools of Jacks and tuna were in the area as well as a lone silver-tip shark, who was our only ‘big’ animal spotted here today. Dive two was more of the same but with reduced visibility and a moderate current flowing through the site. So, a relatively quiet start to this one, but with Roca Partida coming up tomorrow and the next day I am anticipating a much more exciting read for you on my next log. Divemaster Jessie has promised us to do her shark dance in the morning which she assures us definitely might work 😉
Captain Gordon Kipp
Surface conditions: Winds around 10-15 kts on location with up to 25 kts on the crossing, seas 1-2 ft on location with swell 5-8 ft on the crossing, today mostly cloudy with some sunny periods, air temps a little cool at 72F (22C)
Diving conditions: Visibility 20-60ft (6-18m), current mild to moderate, water temp 75F (24C)
As the sun sets today in a glorious riot of colour and the ship rocks gently in the swells, I take a deep breath and look back over the last year. You see, today is my 21st birthday. Achieved my Bridge Watchkeepers Certificate, and took all the relevant safety courses (Marine Emergency Duties, First Aid, etc.). I lived in another city for several months for the first time. And to top it off, I began working on the Nautilus Explorer. Today began much like any other day. Up early enough to see the sunrise, pink and gold fading into a brilliant blue. We were in transit to the Soccoro Islands, so I did a quick walk around to check nothing had come loose with the movement of the boat during the night. We began with a dive briefing, both on safety and on today’s site, the Canyon. This was followed by finishing tank and station set up, which is always a wonderful opportunity to connect with the guests.
We arrived at San Benedicto around 1330-1400, and promptly began discharging guests into the water. The report upon surfacing was great visiblilty, lots of fish, but no mantas. When the guests had cleared the deck, Sandy (the first mate), and I went for a dive. As promised there were lots of fish. Moorish Idols, Jacks and lots of Moray eels. A Mexican Hogfish decided he really liked how my hair looked- he was determined to get a bite. Eventually he went away without mishap. We also saw a silvertip shark!
As this is my first birthday away from home, I anticipated a small amount of homesickness – however the day is always so busy and exciting and so different from home, there really is nothing to remind me that I’m not there. Now time to go eat my birthday cake!
Tess Szostakiwskyj
Deckhand on the Nautilus Explorer April – June 2010
The second day of diving in the Socorro Island, today we are in Roca Partida, this morning we have a big school of dolphins close to the island,and I decide go for one of my last dive of the season, sad because is the last trip of the season, but exacting, because that mean Guadalupe island with the White Great Shark is coming…anyway…the visibility was great!!! no, even after five minutes that I was there a WHALE SHARK show up!!!!! That was really great!!!!!!!!he is being there since the first dive of the morning, I”m glad that I went today because I was thinking go tomorrow,so I say, don’t wait for tomorrow if you can do it today!!!!!!!
The whale shark stay the whole dive, going back and forth, SUPER HERMOSO…. Is so nice to be in his world….can wait for my next dive adventure!!!!!!!
Hostess
Silvia:)

1 Comment

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