First, a quick word on the service on board the Explorer before I get down to the beauty of nature and the amazing dives I had.
The crew was always at our service asking how they could help and all our requests were immediately attended to. The captain was very cordial and welcoming and provided constant communication about the conditions each day. The dive masters were enthusiastic about their work and regaled us with funny anecdotes.
Now to get down to the purpose of our visit here.
Diving at the Archipelago
The first day of diving checked off a bucket list encounter for me with a beautiful pod of dolphins who announced themselves and then come in so close one tapped my GoPro. They continued to play with us three times throughout the dive. On that same island (San Benedicto), we had frequent sightings of humpback whales from the ship.
Exciting experience at Socorro Island
Our first trip to Socorro turned out to be a magnificent experience. Starting from the time we came aboard the Nautilus Explorer, the crew made a tremendous effort to make it a memorable and pleasant trip for all of us. The itinerary of the trip had to be modified based on weather conditions, yet the captain and the crew worked hard to make the very best of the situation and succeeded in making the dives.
The dives we did in the Archipelago were all splendid. We saw Mantas on every dive and had a chance to interact with those beautiful creatures in a way we did not think would be possible before. Other than that, we spotted a lot of different sharks (hammerhead, tiger, Galapagos, silver tip, white tip reef, and dolphins and whales from the surface.
Initially at Socorro, we were not lucky enough to dive with a humpback but our guide waited as we listened to it sing in the distance just hoping it would come close. Later that day, the mantas appeared. Our group was calm and waited patiently. We were rewarded within an hour with three mantas circling and barrel-rolling around us.
The next day, we headed out to the blue to search for hammerheads. We saw some in the distance and one small one came close. Additionally, we saw many other species of sharks, including white-tipped reef sharks, tigers, and Galapagos. Despite uncommonly windy conditions, the captain and crew worked hard to keep us diving. Overall, the food was excellent, the room was comfortable, and the operation was top-notch. As a diver who puts safety first, I felt informed and cared for during my Socorro expedition.
I would definitely want to repeat this experience in the future.