I had come to Socorro with a great group of 14 divers who had all been diving with the Gypsea Divers from Mahahual, Mexico. We set sail on the evening of the 17th of April, 2023 with rough seas for company, rocking us to sleep at night. The following evening, we anchored at Socorro Island to the side called El Canyon.
Skiffs took us to our dive sites and WOW, were we ever amazed! As always, the beautiful and serene islands are a diver’s paradise and never cease to give anybody who ventures there a very close bonding with magnificent nature at its best.
Here, I have come face to face with giant manta rays, the likes of which I have never seen before. These beautiful creatures put up a magnificent show, turning and swirling as they passed in front of us, over us, and between us. Other dives have included schools of hammerhead sharks, white tip sharks, tiger sharks, whale sharks, playful dolphins, and so much more.
Diving sites around the Socorro Islands
The Socorro Islands are surrounded by great dive sites one more beautiful than the other and we took full advantage of it. It will take pages to fully describe our feelings as we dove at different spots and came up with some incredible moments under our belt. But I will keep it short and sweet.
Let us start with the check dive at the Shep Reef. It was nice and relaxing. At Aquario, we interacted with a beautiful black manta for most of the dive when another Manta Chevron showed up across the reef! Cabo Pearce, better known as the “Manta dive” was amazing as always. There were Giant Pacific Mantas all around the cleaning stations, at least 4 to 6 of them. El Canyon was a sharky place with lots of hammerheads from the east to the southwest and a big tiger shark of 4 m /12 ft to the north.
Memorable Sighting at the Roca
At Roca Partida, you will never be short of seeing the wonderful sea animals up close. And we were not disappointed either. There was a bunch of bottlenose dolphins playing with us in the northwest when a black manta came in from the east. It was here that Roca sprung on us what I would call the highlight of the trip. We were diving in the southwest when we saw a beautiful Whaleshark of 4 to 5 meters in length heading north to south before us. We turned back to the Roca to find it one more time in the north! I will never forget this incredible experience in my life.
Manta Explosion at El Boiler
El Boiler was a wonderful dive with bottlenose Dolphins on the western side of the reef. More than 10 dolphins were playing with us. But what deserves special mention is the explosion of Mantas around us. About 4 to 6 mantas mingled with the dolphins and displayed their friendship right before our eyes. Soon we were overrun with black and chevron Mantas appearing mystically from the blue. They were all over the place, probably 20 different Mantas, giving us the time of our lives.
The icing on the cake was a huge whale shark of at least 16 m that passed by us when we were just finishing our dive. What a way to say goodbye to the Socorro Islands as we finish our dives here and head to Cabo!
Delightful Hospital Aboard the Nautilus Belle Amie
Our amazing dive experiences would not have been so memorable if it had not been backed up by the delightful hospitality and support of the crew on board the Belle Amie.
A special mention is due to Stein, Tia, and Xavi for their professionalism in leading us through some amazing dive sites. The crew was so accommodating and knowledgeable. They provided presentations about the sites and taught us about the marine life and environment we would experience on our own.
The food was Michelin-star standard and Christian greeted us after each dive with hot tea and cocoa spiced with apple cider. Every meal was deliciously prepared by Enrique, Rafael, Oso, and Christian. Warm soup at lunchtime with the regular meal kept our energy up. Dinner never disappointed either.
The bonding in the group was amazing and the new friends we made will last a lifetime. So glad I came and so thankful to be part of this magnificent place, if only for a moment in time.