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Dive Review of Nautilus Belle Amie in
Mexico (Western)/Revillagigedos Archipelago

Nautilus Belle Amie: "Great Diving on a Great Boat", Jan, 2016,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 88 reports with 53 Helpful votes). Report 8836.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my 9th dive trip to the Revillagigedos Archipelago (aka Socorro). The previous 8 trips were aboard the Nautilus Explorer. This was my first experience aboard the Nautilus Belle Amie (NBA), which has been operating since about March, 2015. The NBA is a large spacious boat that can accommodate 30 divers (we had 27 on this trip). My single cabin was very roomy with 2 beds and lots of storage space.

The NBA departs in the evening resulting in 2 nights at sea before diving. The vessel cruised at a slower pace so we were at sea for almost 36 hours. The current schedule results in 8 nights at sea with 5 dive days. Most previous trips on the Nautilus Explorer left in the morning with one additional day of diving. This type of schedule is preferable.

The NBA has a large dining area and a spacious salon. The food prepared by Enrique was excellent, as usual. The stewards (Sylvia, Jorge, and Carlos) were very friendly and helpful. The breakfast and lunch were buffet and dinner was served family style. The serving area for breakfast and lunch could get get a bit congested and crowded so best to get there early or wait for 10-15 minutes for the others to eat.

The dive deck is quite spacious with 3 large camera tables and plenty of charging outlets. This is much, much better than the Nautilus Explorer, which has very limited camera area. The dive gear and tanks are usually stowed on the 3 dive skiffs (large inflatables with ladders); tanks are refilled with air or Nitrox on the skiffs. After the last dive of the day, the gear is stowed on the NBA.

With 9-10 divers in the skiff along with the driver and dive guide, the skiffs can get a bit crowded. Also, it is somewhat awkward to handle large large camera rigs. The 3 skiffs rotate the order of diving so that the dive sites do not get too busy. The dive guides also rotate among the skiffs daily. Jessy and Nelson are excellent dive guides. The other dive guide was OK but acted a bit inexplicably at times such as kicking against a hard current for no apparent reason and on another dive finning off into blue water.

The other crew members were all helpful and friendly. Captain Bryden did a great job of letting all guest know about the schedule and dive conditions. The dive briefings by Sten were always quite thorough and well done.

Our first day of diving was at San Benedicto Island at Fundeadero and the Canyon with mantas and dolphins. The next day, despite rough seas, we had many manta encounters and another face-to-face with dolphins at the Boiler. The 3rd dive day was spent at Punta Tosca on Socorro Island where we had the best diving of the trip with several mantas and another awesome dolphin encounter. This was ideal for celebrating my 2000th dive. After a night cruise, we dived the next day at Roca Partida where we had an occasional manta encounter. However, the lack of sharks for the 2nd year in a row is a bit troubling. Usually there are several Galapagos, dusky and silver tip sharks at the north end of the seamount. We conjectured that El Nino has raised the water temperatures so the sharks were out seeking colder waters, but the water temps were 71º-73º F. Near Roca Partida, there were some humpback whales at the surface. However, the dive operation on the NBA is not set up for snorkeling during surface intervals since the dive gear is kept on the skiffs between dives and thats where tanks are refilled. For the last day of diving, we returned to Socorro Island and dived Cabo Pierce where there was a bit of a current and low viz. We had several nice manta encounters here.

I logged 19 dives on this trip and had manta encounters on 17 of them plus several dolphin encounters. Very Nice!!

I have booked my 10th trip to these islands in January, 2017 on the Nautilus Explorer. Hopefully, the camera table situation will have been resolved by then.

Websites Nautilus Belle Amie   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean; Galapagos, Socorro, Fiji, Solomons, GBR, Vanuatu,
PNG, Philippines, Indonesia, Palau, Yap, Kosrae
Closest Airport SJD Getting There Pretty good connections from all over the world.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 71-77°F / 22-25°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 25-75 Ft/ 8-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco and no going "blue".
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales 1 or 2
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The NBA has large camera tables to accommodate several big camera rigs with plenty of battery charging outlets. The dive deck has a dedicated camera rinse tank. There was not air hose to blow excess water form housings.

Camera rigs are stowed on the floor of the dive skiffs, which can lead to some nervous moments when dives are boarding and disembarking from the skiffs. Fortunately, no major damage occurred.
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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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