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

Nautilus Explorer, Jan, 2013,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 93 reports with 59 Helpful votes). Report 6897.

No photos available at this time

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 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my 6th trip to the Regillagigedos on the Nautilus Explorer. It was nice to see several of the same crew members who have been on previous trips.

The dive conditions on this trip were the most challenging that I have encountered. Upon arriving at San Benedicto Island, we dived the Canyon in marginal visibility. We did encounter several juvenile silver tip sharks. Then we moved to the Boiler to encounter a strong current and rollers. The marine life at the Boiler was outstanding with several mantas and a pod of dolphins. Whales could be heard throughout the dives.

The current took several divers off the dive site but the inflatables were there for pick up. A SMB was essential. Also, the rough water made it a challenge to get back on the NE.

Due the conditions, we dived off the south west point of the island. It was a drift dive that was quite relaxing compared to the Boiler.

Next, we moved to Socorro Island and dived at Punta Tosca and Cabo Pierce. The current and visibility at Punta Tosca were challenging.There were some manta encounters here. After a couple of dives at the point, we dived inside the bay with much calmer conditions and more mantas. The 4th dive day was spent at Cabo Pierce. Here the current was so strong that we had to go down and up on a line so we weren't swept off the dive site. The first time in over 20 dives on this site for me that this has been necessary. The dive conditions on the site itself were fine. The marine life here included white-tip sharks, hammerhead sharks, octopus, eels, and mantas.

The 5th and 6th dives were spent at Roca Partida, a sea mount in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The sea conditions were still choppy and windy. Here, we encountered up to 4 mantas on a dive, lots of sharks (white-tips, Galapagos, silver-tips, hammerheads, silkies, duskies).
I was fortunate to get several photos of a Galapagos shark getting wrapped up in the pectoral fins of a manta then being flung away. It appeared that neither the manta nor shark were happy with the encounter. Also, while diving, some divers got glimpses of a humpback whale and calf.

Between dives at Roca Partida, the crew was quite happy to take us snorkeling with the whales. I spent almost every moment between dives
observing the momma whale and new born calf. The calf would need to surface to breath about every 90-120 seconds so both the mother and calf were fairly close to the water surface. It was a truly incredible experience!

The conditions aboard the Nautilus Explorer were the usual "well done". I had a dedicated single cabin toward the bow that is plenty spacious for one person. The salon can handle several persons although the bar area and buffet line in the dining area can get a bit congested (you get used to it). The food was quite good and plentiful as usual.

The dive operation is efficiently managed with thorough dive briefings and an emphasis on safety. The dive guides (Joel and Peter) are very knowledgeable and experienced. The rest of the crew is friendly and always helpful.

The dive conditions were not the best on this trip but the marine life encounters were still exhilarating. I will return for a 7th time next year.
Websites Nautilus Explorer   

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 Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 74-76°F / 23-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 35-100 Ft/ 11-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco; No blue water diving
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales > 2
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 3 stars
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 The Revillagigedos Archipelago is the place to dive for large pelagics. We encountered mantas on many dives and many, many sharks at Roca Partida. Also, for the first time in 4 trips to this location, we encountered mantas back at Roca Partida. The several minutes of snorkeling with a mother humpback whale and a new born calf were very special. This is a great place for wide-angle photography.

With 22 divers and most of them with cameras, the dive deck camera table can get quite congested. Also, the dive deck was remodeled adding a head ( a good thing) but the camera table battery charging capacity is now quite limited.

Much of the diving is from inflatables in fairly rough conditions. The crew is quite conscientious regarding the handling of camera gear, but don't be surprised if a dome port gets a small scratch or 2.
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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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