Mike and his team never fail to impress. Fishing co-operative voted to create marine reserves. Isla Natividad, Baja Mexico, August 2011

copyright 2011 Roberto Chavez

I was on the first trip the Nautilus Explorer did to Sorocco Island. My fabulous experience on that trip enticed me to venture again on another first and book the trip to Isla Natividad.
The native islanders are progressive in their thinking. For generations they have relied on fishing as their main source of income however they realized that the amount of fishing needed would soon overtax their waters. Their fishing co-operative voted to create marine reserves on their coastal shores creating safe havens for the ocean life to flourish and at the same time pursue eco-toursism to the area.
Being first means getting familiar with totally new dive sites. One would expect that we would have a few duds in the bunch as this was a maiden voyage. However, Mike is stellar at finding amazing team members. Darcy and Jose would always find us interesting stuff to see on every dive. There wasn’t a single dud in the bunch. Guitar fish, nudis, kelp eels, lobster, abalone where all in abundance within the reserve. We wondered if the fish actually knew they were safe from being captured because they were unusually bold, coming out to get closer to us rather than hiding!!
The Guadalupe Black Seal continuously stole the show buzzing by divers head, yanking at their fins or poking playfully at their masks. The joy was readily apparent on every divers face that was selected for play by these adorable creatures.
While diving is certainly the focus on every liveaboard Mike pays attention to every other detail making the entire experience over the top. Educational lectures and videos give a diver more detailed insight into the uniqueness of the specific underwater world they are entering. Staff is at the ready after each dive to lug your gear off the skiff and re-prep it all for the next dive. During this time others are greeting you on deck with warm tea and fresh out of the oven cookies. If you need a deeper warmth in your bones the hot tub is just one flight away.
As a chef I have to say that the food on board is another great draw. Continental breakfast gives you fuel for your first dive of the day and a “choose your own breakfast” is ready as soon as you are upon your return. No matter what you desire, be it pancakes, eggs benedict, French toast or eggs over easy Mike’s chefs have it ready for you in minutes.
Carmen our hostess epitomizes every characteristic of the teams that Mike creates: warm, friendly, knowledgeable and caring with a genuine desire to make your trip the most memorable they possibly can.
My husband Justin and I will continue to book trips with Mike and we hope to be “first timers” wherever he decides to explore next!!
– Dawn
copyright 2011 Simon Ager

Isla Natividad has welcomed us with beautiful kelp forests, sunlight twinkling through the canopy and blue sky stretching above. During our amazing swim through the kelp we had a bit of fun with the sea lions, who seemed to think playing with fins was the game of the day. The dolphins made an appearance or two, and gave us a great show. Guitar Sharks, sea cucumbers, lobster, octopus, and a plethora of fish rounded out the sightings of the residents of the kelp forest for the day.
Our local guides have made us feel incredibly welcome and are graciously showing us their beautiful dive sites. We are looking forward to a visit on the island tomorrow.
The ever hard-working crew of the Nautilus Explorer is taking splendid care of us, as usual.
– Tammie

By Nautilus Staff

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