Socorro Islands is one of the best diving sites in the world. It is challenging but well worth the pelagic life that can be found here. You will run into dolphins and several species of sharks but what mainly draws people to the Islands is the mantas.
I have seen many of them elsewhere in my lifetime but the mantas here are beyond imagination, the perfect setup for wildlife documentaries. They are big and graceful and close encounters with them are a unique experience that is hard to describe. I was fortunate enough to see whale sharks on this trip as well. They were magical!
Socorro is the best diving I have ever experienced in my decade of diving.
Magical Manta Moments at Socorro Islands
Before our diving began, DM Celina on board the Nautilus regaled us with tales of magical manta moments. She explained that although you may see mantas in other places, the mantas in Socorro are special. She was so right!
One incident will be forever etched in my mind. It was the second day of diving and we had all had our first (and for many second and third) sightings of these huge pelagic creatures. As we began our ascent after the second dive of day 2, I was filming one of our divers in a happy frame of mind, dancing and twirling underwater. Then suddenly, out of the deep blue, a manta appeared cruising toward her. Slowly the diver and manta drifted together.
This is the magical manta moment I was longing to see. The diver leaned back just as the manta glided over her. For many moments, the two were belly to belly, floating in blue bubbles as rays of sunlight danced through the water. Observing the close interaction between the diver and the manta was a truly amazing experience.
I know that I will take home photos and videos of many majestic encounters, but this particular frame of the two bonded together is a glorious one that will repeatedly play over in my mind, calling me back to Socorro long after we leave.
Hospitality Aboard the Nautilus – 5-star Treatment
To meet wonderful sea animals at close quarters, you have to look below the waters. But the amazing feeling would have come to naught without the backup support of the crew of the Nautilus. It is true on my trip to Socorro I got to swim with giant manta rays, half a dozen of different species of sharks, large schools of yellow-fin tuna, and countless other beautiful marine life. But this beautiful experience increased manifold because of the treatment we got on the boat.
Whether you are an experienced or a novice diver, the Socorro Island trip is guaranteed to blow your mind and the Nautilus crew will make your experience as comfortable and safe as humanly possible. Along the way, I have made new friends and networked with people with whom I hope to continue to explore the great Pacific and beyond for the rest of my life.
The Nautilus crew took great care of us, providing food and hospitality that most Michelin-starred restaurants on land would be jealous of. From ferrying us through very choppy waters, navigating strong currents, finding amazing diving sites full of marine life, carrying our equipment, to just being there for us at every turn of the way, there is nothing more that we could have asked or hoped for.
I wish from the bottom of my heart that I get lucky one day to repeat this diving experience on board the Nautilus.