San Benedicto round two! What better way to finish the trip off than as we started her. Mantas Baby. Giant mantas. Not only mantas though unexpectedly, as we came back to San Ben for, but dolphins, hammerhead sharks and an extra little surprise too! As the sun’s rising, painting the horizon from a gradual red to deep orange, blending then through to a light baby blue to the deep dark midnight blue sky still sparkling with the stars and moon; dolphins are on the move. Popping up within 20ft of the stern as guests drink their morning tea, with cameras already strung around their necks snapping away what I can bet to become spectacular photographs.
Finally the sun is full up on the horizon and it’s another toasty one. Crawling into our suits to jump on in with our dolphin friends back here at the canyon, in we go. Down our shot line, dropping right in atop a lava flow-like finger, 50ft down. Normally following that finger to the cleaning stations beholding mantas, right there below our shot line… a big 16ft, at least, winged beast was perfectly still. As us divers fin against a slight current, the manta lay motionless, mid-water, ever so magnificently.
With a few hammers on the outskirts and that big manta just floating, life feels complete. Up from the dive we come and as we start pumping up the tanks for our next dive, starboard side, 2 miles off, whales! Within a few seconds the word whales relayed off, seeming to be a continuous echo throughout the boat. Almost instantly afterwards, everyone is peering off at the breaching humpbacks. How about a closer look!? In the skiffs! Lets go! We see more spouts and another breach; hoots and hollers all around. Whale season has definitely begun!
Through all this, my insides cringe with pure happiness, almost bringing a tear to my eye. Knowing it’s going to be some time before I will be back here at Socorro with some of the best crew, and drawing in the coolest of guests to share experiences like these. Being engulfed with miraculous creatures in our one and only ocean blue, treasuring what we have down there and the time spent is a must as they welcome us into their underwater realm openly.
-DM Joel, Over and Out
“That was the best dive trip I have been on. Seen many mantas, but these are the greatest.”
“I was in reach of the manta, and wanted to touch him so badly, but I didn’t. But I could have!”
“Making eye contact with the mantas is an amazing feeling!”