A Memorable Expedition to Socorro Islands Onboard the Nautilus Undersea

I have been to the Socorro Islands umpteen times before but the place never ceases to amaze me. The pretty landscapes and a plethora of sea animals around you are more than what a diver can ever dream of.

We started our journey by heading southwest to Archipelago Revillagigedo. The weather is a little tough but the Undersea Hunter is even tougher and can take the roughest conditions in her stride. She is built to tackle heavy swells and cuts through the waves like a hot knife on butter. The rest of the crew is getting the boat and our guests ready for the trip. Some of our guests have been in Socorro before and for one of them, it is the fifth trip aboard the Nautilus. Truly amazing!

On the second night, we reached San Benedicto Island. Some guests stayed awake to catch a glimpse of the fantastic wildlife of this little paradise and they were not disappointed. Silky Sharks were circling the Undersea Hunter just below the surface and above us, the pinpoints of light on the milky way twinkled down. One feels small and humble in this fantastic environment but it also fills the soul with joy.  

Losing Yourself in Paradise on Earth

As dawn broke over the ocean and the spectacular red-orange sun lit up the sky with the volcano Barcena of San Benedicto Island in the background, I felt blessed to be born in this world of beauty and magnificence. This is my backyard and even after so many visits, it still has the power to amaze me. I am awed by the scene before me as are our guests. 

In the distance, I could see Jurassic-looking islands sitting on the ring of fire that is the rising sun. We were on the merging site of 3 different main currents, one of the remotest dive sites in the world, full to the brim with endemic fauna and flora and mind-blowing underwater life. And all this is experienced by us onboard one of the safest boats in the industry.

Head-On with Hammerheads – A Tornado Below the Surface

We had been diving for 3 days and had completed about eleven dives but it was the first one at “El Cañón” at San Benedicto Island that will be forever etched in our memory.

On that dive, we had some current and that is not a bad thing if you want to see Hammerheads. And Yes we saw Hammerheads, a gigantic school of them. It all started with some big solitary Hammers followed by smaller groups of dozens each. As we opened up a little towards the blue, more and more of those majestic creatures showed up and Bam, suddenly we were face-to-face with a massive school – you could say a wall of hammerheads passing by in front of us.

At this point, we were at 27 meters depth and as far as you could see down to a depth of maybe 20 m there were just Hammerheads left, right, and center. In the background, there were loads of them moving eerily in the shadows like ghosts in the deep blue. There were easily more than a hundred of those super-evolved animals within eye-contact distance. They were in front of us passing slowly, turning, and coming back to us again, closing in more and more.  

It was mind-blowing, we had this Hammerhead tornado right before our eyes for about 5-7 minutes, so close and so many. The huge living tube gave us goosebumps and our divers could not believe what was happening. This amazing scene lasted for so long that it took our brains quite a while to fully comprehend what was happening around us. It was only later that the true realization of this miracle sunk into our beings.

All the guests onboard were able to see this huge school of Hammerheads on two different dives at least. Some of our guests told me later that though they had come with very high expectations of interacting with Hammerheads, this was one sighting that they could never have imagined in their wildest dreams. For them, it was mission accomplished!

By Nautilus Crew

Recent blogs and dive reports from the crew onboard the Nautilus Liveaboard's vessels.

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