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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Mexico (Western)/Socorro

December, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Edith Summey, IL, USA
Report Number 2106
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
naire,Belize,Mexico)Pacific(Socorro,CocosIsland ,Galapagos,Tahiti,Truk
Lagoon,Palau,Yap,Sipadan,Bali,N.Sulawesi,Phuket,Burma,PNG) Australia,
Antartica, Mediterranean (Costa Brava, S. France, Corsica, Sardina, Italy),
Red Sea
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
78   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 0    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Space was OK, but attitude was not helpful in terms of assistance with
camera equipment.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
1 stars    
Captain Jekyll or Captain Hyde -- which was it?  If you had asked me after
my 2-week trip from Juneau to Vancouver on the Nautilus Explorer in July
2002, I would have said Captain Mike Lever was operating one of the premier
liveaboards I had traveled.  On that occasion, I initiated my dry suit
training and diving in preparation for Antarctic and Arctic dive trips and
had a very excellent experience photographing the prolific marine life of
the Pacific Northwest.  I was so pleased with that trip that when I learned
Mike was planning to bring his boat down to Baja, Mexico in the fall of
2004 to run dive trips to Socorro, I contacted him and booked back-to-back
trips for Dec. 2004-Jan. 2005 for myself and husband.  The second trip was
to be a rebreather training trip with Silent Diving Systems.  So, I met
with the SDS people at the Our World Underwater show in Chicago, made
deposits with them for their training, and was set to learn on the new
Evolution unit.  Also, in order to obtain further experience on the
rebreather, I signed up for another one-week trip with my husband for early
June 2005 in Vancouver followed by a 10-day trip for myself from Sitka to
Vancouver later in June.  
        Seemed like a great plan until we showed up in Cabo San Lucas and
started out on the first of our two10-day trips to Socorro.  On the second
day, after the fourth dive, "Captain Hyde" approached me and
wanted to have chat.  It seems that my request for help with lifting my
equipment due to a back injury I had sustained back in August 2003 caused
him to conclude that I was unfit to dive.  This was in spite of the fact
that I had been on six liveaboard trips in the interim, had done over 200
dives since the accident, had informed him in advance that I needed
assistance lifting things, and was having no difficulties on any of my
        The Captain Mike that I thought I "knew" had turned into
an anxious, suspicious, unyielding warden who relegated me to the cabin for
the remainder of the trip (8 more days).  He would not even accept the
medical certificate for the rebreather course as evidence of my fitness
because it was signed by my doctor's Physician Assistant rather than by the
doctor who was out of the office when I went in to get it.  I could have
easily had my doctor sign it later had I known that the PA signature was
not acceptable.  Mike did promise to let me dive during the second 10-day
trip and do the rebreather course with SDS if I would go to the Cabo San
Lucas Hospital and get a letter from the doctors at the Chamber there
stating that they approved me for diving.  But the entire first trip was a
loss for me although my husband did continue to dive and got some good
videos of the manta rays.  
       The report of this trip continues after we returned to Cabo San
Lucas and proceeded to obtain the letter from the hospital as requested by
Captain "Hyde."  Look for the next entry to find out what
happened next and more about the conditions on the Nautilus Explorer.
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All Mexico (Western) Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Mexico (Western)
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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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