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Dear Fellow Diver,
My first foray back into the water after being fully vaccinated for COVID was an April 2021 trip aboard the Nautilus UnderSea, plying the remote Pacific waters of the Revillagigedos Islands, better known as Socorro, about 300 miles south of Cabo San Lucas. In reviewing my 2021 dive log from Roca Partida: "This dive was a one-with-the-universe experience. We entered through clouds of jacks and trevallies as whitetips cut through -- two massive yellowfin tuna streaked by. Silvertip and Galapagos sharks cruised by ... and then a massive school of bonito flowed over us, the size of a five-story building made of fish. The whale shark was icing on the cake!"
No wonder I returned this April, and while diving was not as astonishing as in 2021, it was still good.
Whenever I take a liveaboard trip, I plan to arrive at least a day before departure in case I miss a connection, or my luggage has to catch up. I stayed at the charming Casabella Boutique Hotel, next door to the Nautilus operation at See Creatures, a short walk to many restaurants and the marina. I traveled solo, so security mattered to me, and the small, family-run Casabella made me feel very comfortable, psychologically and physically. To tune up before the hard-core diving at Socorro, I made a local dive
with See Creatures. The sites (like
Pelican Rock) had low visibility and
66F water, but lots of fish.
I felt a certain déja-vu boarding
the 105-foot Nautilus UnderSea. My spouse and I traveled on the then
Undersea Hunter for our first trip
to Cocos 30 years ago. It was swanked
up in 2017 with an expanded dive deck,
a roomy suite on the top deck, an ADAaccessible
cabin on the main deck, a
hot tub, and improvements throughout.
Built for exploration, its bones remain
sound. Like every vessel plying this
route, the Nautilus UnderSea moves with the ocean, and even some folks inured to
motion sickness felt green around the gills. Before boarding, I loaded up on overthe-
counter Bonine (meclizine) and took it throughout the trip. One diver, on her
first-ever liveaboard, hesitated to use her scopolamine patch, and it took days
before she was comfortable. Count on about 80 hours of open ocean crossings, 30
hours each way between Cabo and the islands and another 8-10 hours between the
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