A playful sea lion with beautiful eyes at Cedros Island

Guadalupe-Socorro Combo Trip Kicks off the Socorro Season

Our Guadalupe-Socorro Combo trips are incredible, and often book out years in advance. Not only are they highly popular with guests, our crew also love these special trips. Here is an account of the trips from the crew of three different vessels! Enjoy!


Guadalupe:

“The most fun I have ever had in a wetsuit…” I am quoting one of our guests after an awesome first day of the trip in Guadalupe Island. The morning started slow with one shark, a big female, to share for all the cages. As the hours passed more and more sharks made their way to the Nautilus Belle Amie, and soon after lunch we were all amazed as newer sharks came out of the blue. We identified “Andy,” “Bryn Penny,” “Bite Face” and “Johnny,” although we saw at least 3 other sharks, and a fearless green turtle cruising in between all the cages.

–DM Adrian, the Nautilus Belle Amie


An unexpected visit:

The Guadalupe season 2018 has come to an end and here on the Nautilus Explorer we are already heading south with a boat full of happy guests! But today I don’t want to talk about the great whites, because yesterday we had a really funny and unusual moment when a sea turtle started turning around one of the submersible cages and she ended up entering inside the cage to rest on the floor. A bit later she swam out and disappeared!! It was an awesome moment, you never know what will happen when you come to meet the nature in the middle of the ocean, it is wild out here! Keep connected for more adventures from the Nautilus Explorer, see you soon my friends

–DM Victor, the Nautilus Explorer

 

A turtle swims past the cages in Guadalupe...
A turtle swims past the cages in Guadalupe…
And then enters the cage to hangout for a bit!
And then enters the cage to hangout for a bit!

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


The morning of this first dive day was met with some disappointment as there was no activity for the first 3 hours. Shark activity began picking up in the middle of the day with a couple of familiar faces (“Ropey” and “Luca”) entertaining the relieved guests for 2-3 dives as well as a couple other unidentified whites. Guests retired early in the afternoon, with some opting to sit out of their scheduled dives. We are encouraging them to be optimistic about the coming days, but most of them seemed content with the action seen today and they were also all very engaged during Shark ID, having contributed a few photos and videos of their own. We have our fingers crossed for the next two days at Guadalupe.

–DM A-Wei, the Nautilus UnderSea


This week was our penultimate trip to Guadalupe. Even though it is getting late in the season the sharks were plenty. The famous “Lucy” hung out with us for a couple of days. It is always wonderful to see her along with her many, many, pilot fish friends. We also had the pleasure of seeing “Ropey!” I believe that “Ropey” is looking much better than she was earlier in the season. In August you could tell that she was having trouble moving around and her skin looked shriveled up. However this past week “Ropey” looked much happier and healthier. I could also see a bit of natural fiber stuck in her teeth, meaning somewhere along the line she earned a tasty tuna snack! Overall it was a great trip with a wonderful group of guests.

–DM William, the Nautilus UnderSea

 

"Ropey" looking much healthier at Guadalupe
“Ropey” looking much healthier at Guadalupe

Fantastic diving conditions, all day greatly entertained by two awesome usuals, “Lucy” and “Bryn Penny.” They spent the whole day with us, constantly swimming straight up from the bottom to the bait tirelessly. Occasionally other sharks showed up for a dive or two, but the big girls kept them away effectively.

–DM Adrian, the Nautilus Belle Amie


We have just finished the first leg of the combo trip with 22 happy divers on board. Some have been diving with us before and one lady from New Zealand has even taken the same trip with us last year!! Seems like she liked it!! And this year’s combo trip got off to an amazing start. At Guadalupe we saw many sharks. Big lady “Lucy” was around the cages for nearly 2 full days and many others came for a visit and checked out the cages. I think it was the first time every diver did all their scheduled submersible dives; that’s how good it was!! It was nearly a bit sad to leave the island as it will be 8 months until the Nautilus Explorer visits the sharks again!

But as we arrived at San Benitos Islands we got greeted by beautiful scenery and curious sea lions playing in the water! Could be worse! And to top it off, a red sunset after the last dive!! We are on the way to Cedros Island, waiting for another delicious meal by Chef Kike and still have 10 more days of amazing diving ahead of us!

–DM Jessie, the Nautilus Explorer

 

A great white glides past a photographer in the cage. Photo by Nikki Sevy
A great white glides past a photographer in the cage. Photo by Nikki Sevy

It was chilly and cloudy today, with strong current hitting the cages all day. The big female “Lucy” and her gang of pilot fish were the stars of the day, although at least 6 other sharks also visited the Nautilus Belle Amie, including “Joker,” “Drogon” and “Johnny.” “Lucy” was by far the most active, up and down endlessly for over 12 hours. Tomorrow we have our last day in Guadalupe until next season, then we will start sailing south to Socorro so stay tuned!

–DM Adrian, the Nautilus Belle Amie


Shark activity today was likewise sparse, with some midday action pleasing the guests and engaging them in-water. Most prefer surface cages to submersibles for their ease and accessibility during the long waits in between sightings. We had one playful younger male on and off for two hours, while most of the rest came and left quickly. A brief but exciting wrangling show lasted for the better part of an hour in the afternoon with a large female breaching a couple of times.

–DM A-Wei, the Nautilus UnderSea


That thin line between the surface and underwater, when you see it breaking by the jaw of a great white shark, you are looking at something few people in the world have seen, the meeting of two worlds, split apart by physics and biology and brought back together by instinct and curiosity. Are we here to see great whites or are the great whites here to see us? You never know what to expect once in Guadalupe Island. On this trip we had guests coming back for the 7 and 27th times, some others are planning their return with their kids. After being here there is no other option, you will come back, I can assure you. I am finishing my 4th season of Guadalupe, this time it was a surprise how curious the sharks were towards the Nautilus Belle Amie. Sometimes the bait would hang floating in the surface for long time without a single check, but sharks would sneak us at the deck or the cages with no other interest than trying to figure it what we are doing!

–DM Felipe, the Nautilus Belle Amie


What a trip!! Today was the last day of the great white season at Guadalupe Island and it could not have ended better, we had action all day long with lots of sharks, at least 8 different ones, but the star of the show once again was “Lucy,” who was getting very close to the cages and was very active all day long. Once again another awesome season at Guadalupe Island.

But the trip is not over yet, it is just starting! Now we are on our way to Socorro, but we still have to do some stops on the way. The first one will be San Benito Islands. I’ll keep you posted to see what happens next on our famous combo trip on board the Nautilus Belle Amie.

–DM Thiago, the Nautilus Belle Amie


For the Nautilus UnderSea, today is our last day at Guadalupe Island, the season is coming to a close and we will soon make the journey south to Revillagigedo (Socorro). Before working for Nautilus, the idea of seeing a white shark in the water was something that definitely made me uncomfortable and nervous. However, no longer do I view white sharks as aggressive and dangerous animals. For me they have become graceful and beautiful and I want nothing more than to get closer! I love these animals, I feel like I have connected with the white sharks, and that each one I have met has become my friend. Today, as the Nautilus UnderSea pulls away and Isla Guadalupe is behind us, it will surely be a bittersweet moment. I will look forward to the next adventures that await in Socorro but will surely miss my sharky friends.

–DM William, the Nautilus UnderSea



San Benitos & Cedros:

The first scuba diving day of our combo trip! We dove at San Benitos Island and it was awesome!! This island is full of kelp and it was amazing to see it dancing with the surge, tons of friendly California Sea Lions passing by, lots of life like Garibaldis, Horn Sharks, Lobsters, Guitar Fish and Abalone everywhere. Now we are on our way to Cedros Island and hopefully we will get to see some more Sea Lions.

–DM Thiago, the Nautilus Belle Amie

 

A guitar fish hides on the bottom
A guitar fish hides on the bottom

Yesterday we had the incredible privilege of diving with the funniest animal on the ocean, the sea lion, and we dove with looooots of them!! On our way from Guadalupe Island to Roca Partida, we stopped in Cedros Island, home to one of the biggest sea lion colonies in Mexico. We did two dives there and both of them were amazing, full of sea lions swimming fast around us, getting more and more confident until they came to check us out giving us little and soft bites on our hoods, cameras, masks, fingers… it was really lot of fun and all the guest were amazed by those intelligent and playful creatures.

Now we are sailing to Roca Partida, where everything is possible, so who knows what we will find in there? This is all for now from the Nautilus Explorer.

–DM Victor, the Nautilus Explorer


The first stop en route to Socorro, San Benitos, was, to me, also a return home. The ecosystem here resembles some parts of the Channel Islands that I grew up scuba diving and freediving, with hints of warmer climates in the South scattered throughout the reef – a gentle foreshadowing of the diving we are headed towards.

–DM A-Wei, the Nautilus UnderSea


Our third stop on this extended combo trip was at Cedros Island. We woke up in a calm anchorage to a beautiful sunrise and the sound of hundreds of sea lions. We got to do a couple of dives and they were full of so many sea lions, they were everywhere, lots of juveniles being very playful on a very shallow site that allowed us to do a couple of 60 minute dives. Now we are back on our way south to Socorro Island, looking forward to some warmer weather and new adventures.

–DM Thiago, the Nautilus Belle Amie

 

A sea lion checks out a diver at Cedros Island.
A sea lion checks out a diver at Cedros Island.

We have had some amazing days so far during this combo trip. Immersing in the cold waters of San Benitos yesterday and Cedros Island today, I realized how much I miss scuba diving after spending so many thrilling moments in the cages at Guadalupe. Today was super awesome with shallow dives at the sea lion rookeries off the beach on Cedros being surrounded by inquisitive and curious sea lion pups who were as thrilled of seeing us as we were of seeing them. The most amazing part was when a polarized school of several million sardines cruised the shallows attracting all sorts of small predators like birds, Horn Sharks, Guitar Fish, stingrays, and sea lions. Everyone enjoyed the dives today and after dinner all retired to their beds looking forward to a new day and new dive adventures at Roca Alijos tomorrow.

–DM Aldo, the Nautilus UnderSea



Roca Alijos:

We have been at sea today, heading to San Benedicto Island in the warm tropical waters of Revillagigedo. Yesterday was a great day in the clear waters of Roca Alijos with schooling reef fish and milder temperatures than Cedros. The guests on board were impressed but they opted to cancel the second dive and head to Socorro earlier in hopes of arriving early enough to get an extra dive in the archipelago.

They are all eager after tonight’s presentation on the wildlife at Socorro and the possibility of a whale shark encounter during one of our dives there. The dive crew are also excited to get in the water with a variety of marine life encounters. Today 1st Mate Gilberto showed us around the wheelhouse and the gauges and gadgets that keep the boat running and we were each assigned an hour watch in the wheelhouse which we executed without incident. Tomorrow we will be at sea for the better part and we will be concentrating in keeping the dive deck in order and preparing for our first dive at San Benedicto. I hope the Boiler will be a welcoming dip full of pleasant surprises for our anxious divers waiting to get their dive gear wet.

–DM Aldo, the Nautilus UnderSea

 

Diver Kai in Roca Alijos with a fish blizzard. Photo by Silvia Viola
Diver Kai in Roca Alijos with a fish blizzard. Photo by Silvia Viola


Socorro Islands:

We are a bit over half way through our combo trip and just arrived at Roca Partida! It’s such a pleasure to see “the Rock” again after so many months, and to our happy surprise, we are the only boat here so we will be able to enjoy this magic area all by our self for the whole day!

After saying hasta luego to our sharky friends at Guadalupe Island we sailed over night to San Benitos and Cedros Island the next day! There we were lucky to see several Guitar Sharks and Horned Sharks. But by far the highlight were the Sea Lion colonies!! We are blessed with many colonies here around Baja, but it’s always great fun to swim and play with those friendly underwater puppies!! Brings out the kid in every diver. This colony is very big and only few divers come here so they are not yet bored of divers and are nearly as excited as us when we roll into the water, their little heads surrounding the whole skiff! Adorable!!

–DM Jessie, the Nautilus Explorer

 

Spotted a horn shark!
Spotted a horn shark!

This is by far my favourite trip. Sixteen days sailing from Guadalupe Island to The Revillagigedo Archipelago in the eastern Pacific, meeting the best of the big marine animals. I can say its an honor for be here once again, but more than that, its an honour to share the boat with this amazing crew! Thank you so much guys for the fantastic season at Guadalupe, let’s have a blast in the Socorro Islands now!

–DM Felipe, the Nautilus Belle Amie


We have completed our second day of diving at San Benedicto Island around El Canyon and The Boiler. Giant Pacific Mantas have not failed to amuse everyone in these warm waters. What amazes me the most is the topography both above and below the sea as I observe in awe at the remnants of past violent volcanic activity that shaped San Benedicto Island. The beautiful terrain on the mountain ridges carved by hardened lava and the immense monoliths underwater that seem to have been placed by hand contribute to some of the most magnificent diving locations I have visited.

The marine life here is also top notch as you witness large numbers of sharks, lobsters, angelfish and butterfly fish all coexisting in harmony as predator and prey set the stage for the giant pelagics of the Pacific Ocean. Highlight for today was a pod of False Killer Whales at The Boiler. Tomorrow we will be at Socorro Island where we plan to do a night snorkel with silky sharks before enjoying a relaxing Taco Night under the pleasant light of the moon.

–DM Aldo, the Nautilus UnderSea

 

We're so happy to see these beautiful mantas again!
We’re so happy to see these beautiful mantas again!

Hello from the Nautilus Explorer my friends, we are back in Revillagigedo and it was a wonderful welcome that we had, today we dove in The Boiler all day and it was a day full of mantas, in the last dive we even saw 6 dolphins! I have to confess that after Guadalupe season where we do 6 dives a day inside a cage in 20°C waters, it feels really good to wear fins again and dive in really warm waters (26°C)! Right now we are having dinner anchored at El Canyon, lets see what will we discover underwater tomorrow. Follow us if you want to discover what is going on in Revillagigedo!

–DM Victor, the Nautilus Explorer


Beautiful weather arriving at San Benedicto, Las Cuevitas welcomed us in the late afternoon for our first dive in Revillagigedo. The swim throughs did not disappoint anybody, tons of lobsters, whitetips sharks and a green sea turtle surprised by the first group in, the rest of divers did not have it any worse, with sightings of the first manta of the trip. Right after dinner we got in the water again for a phenomenal night dive at El Cañon, right under the Belle Amie, some 15 silky sharks played for over an hour amongst the divers, and even the dolphins showed up at times, how cool is that! I mean, we had Great Whites in Guadalupe, lots of California Sea Lions on the way down south, now Giant Mantas and Silky sharks and dolphins…all in one trip, and the best still lays ahead.

–DM Adrian, the Nautilus Belle Amie


My return to Revillagigedo brought me to familiar sites but different marine life activity. Most shocking was the lack of presence of large numbers of shark species at Roca Partida while Cabo Pearce was much more livelier than last year. All in all it was an amazing trip with plenty of megafauna including a whale shark at Cabo Pearce, hammerheads, dolphins, moray eels, schooling fish, different sharks (though in small numbers), and of course the ever present mantas. I believe that the most important part of this trip were the wonderful guests who booked this combo. They were very understanding and flexible, participating in briefings and presentations and contributing with almost a terabyte of photos and videos for the slideshow. We sailed a total of 2,677Km during this 16 day combo trip and I am so excited about the next trip.

–DM Aldo, the Nautilus UnderSea

 

A whale shark at Socorro. Photo by Gerald Smuegg
A whale shark at Socorro. Photo by Gerald Smuegg

Another trip is ending, two hours ago we were in the water doing night snorkel with dozens of silky sharks that came closer and closer to look curious at us, but now we are already on our way to Cabo San Lucas. It has been a special trip because our guests have been with us for two weeks, discovering all the Mexican Pacific has to offer, from great white sharks in the northern Guadalupe Island to sea lions in Cedros Island and the magnificence of the underwater nature here in Revillagigedo!

Today we had a wonderful end of the trip, the mantas came to say goodbye, we had close encounters with a couple of hammerhead sharks and the cherry on top of the cake was when a couple of dolphins came really close to us, it was amazing!

We are working now on a slideshow with all the pictures of this amazing trip, to give as a present to our guests so they can show their friends the beauty of Mexican waters. Tomorrow me and the rest of the crew will leave our floating home, the Nautilus Explorer, for some time off, but we will be back, and in the meantime the other crew will keep you updated about everything happening in Socorro! See you soon!

–DM Victor, the Nautilus Explorer

 

A whitetip shark at Socorro.
A whitetip shark at Socorro.

To finish off the great white season at Guadalupe Island, we had the presence of 2 “Big Mommas,” #182 “Bryn Penny” and #28 “Lucy,” and it was a good way to say “see you next season!”

Then we sailed to the islands of San Benitos and Cedros to dive with local marine life. The stars of Cedros are the Sea Lions. They were so playful and all the guest were so happy and excited after diving with those nice and beautiful creatures, which kind of look and act like dogs with flippers!

Today, after spending two nice days diving in Roca Partida, it is so nice to feel the warm water at 81°F, and have great encounters with Chevron Mantas and some Hammerhead sharks. There was very good visibility and a lot of schools of fishes around Roca. Tomorrow we head to San Benedicto Island, and we can’t wait to dive there again!

–DM Hector, the Nautilus Explorer

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