Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Mexico (Western)/San Benedicto, Roca Partida

Nautilus Explorer, Feb, 2010,

by NEAL LANGERMAN, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 5376.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
We have over 10,000 dives in many locations. We have been to the Revillogigedo archipelago before on a different vessel.

Deep dives with strong current. Water was cool (75oF/20oC). Diving was from the stern of the Nautilus Explorer when in the Canyon (4-1/2 days, 15 dives) or the Boiler (1/2 day, 2 dives). At Roca Partida, diving was from a panga. Generally gear handling and diving was very efficient, with cameras being well protected. Dive stations on the Explorer were mainly along a sloping deck and poorly designed for smaller divers. The ergonomics of donning and removing tanks was poor. The bungi tank retainer was especially difficult for many passengers to remove or put in place. A significant trip hazard was in the middle of the ramp to the stern deck and did cause one fall, which did not result in an injury. The very uncomfortable dive stations downgraded the ease of diving.

The crew did not immediately address the high current which forced divers to pull themselves along a long tag line/anchor chain and then crawl along the bottom. The configuration results in more than 6 minutes to reach the bottom and then more current fighting to reach locations to interact with Mantas or see hammerheads. The current at Roca Partida was strong, but the dive profile did not require fighting it. After 3-1/2 days of fighting the current, a descent line directly to the canyon wall was used for one dive. It helped a lot. The current dropped significantly shortly after that accommodation.

Animal interaction was random, but intense. Mantas were incredibly interactive and often remained in the area all day. This provided excellent photography. The hammerhead and shark viewing generally required deeper dives (100 foot/30 meter and deeper) and frequently were not productive. Hammerhead photography was poor.

The crew was superb. They were extremely friendly and their training showed in their professionalism and attention to details. There were three Dive Masters. As always on live-aboards, there was one Dive master who was particularly camera oriented, rather than passenger oriented, in the water. The galley staff and the other crew members were also excellent. A significant number of the 24 guests were French-speaking, and an additional staff member was on-board to accommodate possible language difficulties.

The food was plentiful, but uninspired, and boring. For the first three days, the amount of salt in almost every dish rendered the food unpalatable. A request to the crew did not change things. Only when hamburger was served for dinner, and I totally lost my cool about the food, did the head of the galley address the problems. The boring menu did not improve, but the salt load decreased markedly. The fresh-baked breads and desserts stood in marked contrast to the dull cuisine. Overall, the quality of the cuisine was far below what the live-aboard industry has set as a norm.

Aside from the poorly designed dive stations, the boat is roomy and comfortable. The private rooms are large and more than sufficient for a couple or two divers. The salon is very comfortable, but tight quarters for a meeting of all of the guests and crew. The dining area is large and well designed for meals, even during heavy seas. I found the only available locations to download image files and work on a computer uncomfortable. The dining area would be best, but was only available for brief periods between meals.

Money’s Worth
Mike Lever, owner of the vessel, contacted us immediately upon our return to home to find out more about our poor experience with the food. According to him, changes were implemented immediately and a long term food quality maintenance program was being implemented. This speaks highly to the concern of the vessel for its guest’s experience.

The nautilus Explorer is a vessel designed for hardcore divers seeking high-adventure diving. This trip costs about $350 per day (10 days), but the diving is only for 7 days. Nitrox, bar tab, port fees, and gratuities are extra. Overall, we got our money’s worth on this trip.

Websites Nautilus Explorer   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All around the US, Gulf, Caribbean, Western Pacific, Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 73-75°F / 23-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dives allowed to dive with the same freedom the "divemasters would expect to dive with"
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 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments A wet camera station and a "dry" battery charging station were well designed and convenient. The rinse tanks were adequate with fresh water changed daily. Overall camera handling and protection was very good to excellent.
Was this report helpful to you?
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 388 dive reviews of Mexico (Western) and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that like to scuba dive. Let us plan your trip to view great white sharks & giant mantas in Western Mexico.

Want to assemble your own collection of Mexico (Western) reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2021 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.09 seconds