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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Mexico (Western)/Revillagigedo Islands

Nautilus Explorer , Dec, 2008,

by Gene Huff, CA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 5110.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving PNG, Christmas Island, Fiji, Indonesia, numerous Caribbean, California, Hawaii, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 73 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Do your own dive, but no decompression.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Two large tables and a large rinse tub dedicated to cameras. Some power plugs available.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The Nautilus Explorer is a great boat with a large and inviting lounge and dining area, hot tub, and sun deck. There are three levels of accomodations and we stayed in a comfortable mid-level stateroom with private bath and two beds. There is A/C but we needed our fans too. Food was generous and ranged from passable to very good, although our chef was on his way out. They have computers and a large-screen TV in the lounge area as well as a small bar stocked with 30+ types of beer. Wine and beer were reasonable.

Diving is mostly done from an aluminum skiff or an inflatable. Each has its own advantages. We did do a few dives directly off the boat. We hit San Benedicto, Roca Partida and Socorro Islands. Nitrox 32 is availble as well as steel tanks. No night dives, but they do have one night of snorkeling with the silkies off the back of the boat for those who are brave enough. Each day we did 3 or 4 dives.

A typical dive was loading into the skiff and a short motor to the drop point where you backroll or giant stride off. Diving is done without a guide and sometimes in strong currents so this is not for new or casual divers. Most of the guests were from the US with a couple of Canadians and a Brit thrown in.

From Cabo it is 24 hours plus to the islands so there is quite a bit of down time. Bring a book or two. The crew does the briefing and safety drill during the crossing and did a good job of setting expectations. They will provide sausages if needed. Both the dive and boat crew were great on our trip, taking care of our needs on the boat and providing quick pick-ups after each dive.

The manta diving was simply outstanding. Over five days of diving we did 18 dives and had mantas on over half. On several dives we had multiple mantas almost the entire hour we were down. The Explorer encourages interaction if initiated by the mantas and I literally rubbed the skin off my fingertips from the manta encounters. Roca Partida had a cleaning station where we found Galapagos and silvertip sharks at the beginning of every dive. Groups of sleeping whitetips on ledges were also a photographic treat.

Several guests on our trip were there for the second or third time and had not experienced anything close to the number and duration of manta encounters on previous trips. But, the hammerheads were not so plentiful on our trip. I'd go back in a hearbeat and highly recommend the Explorer for experienced divers looking for the best boat serving the Socorros.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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