When you mix a diving trip to Socorro Islands with being on board the Nautilus Explorer, it turns out to be a beautiful and amazing experience, one that dreams are made of.
Socorro Islands, also known as the Revillagigedo Archipelago is one of the best dive sites in the world. It is teeming with exotic marine life, sharks, mantas, mobulas, yellowfin tuna, and more, all guaranteed to give you a trip that will be etched in your mind for years to come.
Our Socorro Islands adventure has been remarkable. The visibility is a little lower this time of the year but what we saw was amazing. We had close encounters with many Black and Chevron Mantas, at least six species of sharks, and schools of giant tuna.
But let me tell you about our remarkable experience on board the Nautilus Explorer without which all the excitement about being within handshaking distance with the wonderful sea creatures would all have come to naught.
The Nautilus Explorer – A Gateway to the Socorro Islands
This was my first liveaboard and there is no better place to kickstart it than the Socorro Islands. Most importantly, I could not have picked a better crew, boat, or location! I must say that I was very apprehensive about this trip as I did not know what to expect. Yes, seeing wildlife undersea documentaries had given me a general idea of what these adventure trips are all about but frankly, there were no wishes that I had. And before starting, I was also a tad bit worried about life in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the living place, the food, and the kind of support that I would get from the crew. Being the first of its kind trip for me, I was a little scared too.
5-Star Hospitality Aboard the Nautilus
However, my apprehensions were soon put to rest. From the very beginning, I was made to feel like family by the staff of the Nautilus. If you want to go to Socorro, this is it. You could not ask for a more friendly, welcoming bunch of people that went out of their way to make this as easy and smooth (and FUN) as possible!
Everything is organized to a tee, from transportation from the airport to skiff logistics and honestly, if I have the chance again to repeat a liveaboard, it will always be the Nautilus. Every member of the crew does all jobs, around the clock, and it is incredibly impressive. The food was awesome, and you will never go hungry. Note to the wise: order a beer from the skiff after the last dive of the day, and have your drink to the gentle rocking of the ocean.
We got the last room on the boat for this adventure and it has been amazing. The experience has been amplified tremendously by my close bonding with the other guests. We met one of the owners at the dive shop before we left and she shared her vision for the experience that they were trying to provide and expressed pride in the crew that we were going to travel with. From Captain Ramon throughout the crew, there has been a sense of camaraderie and a desire to make sure that everyone has a great experience.
I hesitate to mention anyone by name for special mention for fear of leaving someone out. Everybody has been amazing. The engineer gave us a tour of the engine room. The captain took us up to the bridge to show us his nest and then took us on skiff rides around the islands where we were diving. The crew put in their best efforts to get to know everyone on board personally while taking us on an adventure of a lifetime. The company has a serious focus on safety and repeatedly asks us not to go blue (venture into the wild blue yonder alone) but prepares you for it if you do.
At one time when I was mesmerized by an encounter with a Chevron Manta that was circling me, I found myself alone in the Pacific but easily found my way to the waiting skiff at the surface.
I should not forget to mark out the Chef on board who was simply astonishing – whipping up delicious healthy meals and catering to all dietary requirements. The taste would beat any Michelin-star restaurant on shore hands down.
A quick word on the dive masters before I wind up this post. They are the best in business in the water and out, making everything so simple and easy and guiding us to the spots where we had eye-to-eye contact with the most beautiful sea creatures imaginable. I cannot wait to repeat this experience and have already booked a similar trip for next year too.