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

Nautilus Explorer: "Unexpected Surprises", Jan, 2018,

by Jeanne Downey, PA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 47 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 10114 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our fifth trip to Socorro aboard the Nautilus Explorer, and it was one of the better ones. The boats left from San Jose Del Cabo, rather that Cabo San Lucas, so the trip from the airport is only 20 minutes, but the boat ride is longer. We stayed at the Tropicana Inn, near a newly built shopping plaza; the hotel is older, but clean, has a very nice pool area, and the food was awesome. We’ll stay there again next time. The meeting place was El Ganzo, a $10/person, 5-minute taxi ride away from the Tropicana, and where the boats dock. After spending the afternoon at El Ganzo, we finally boarded the boat around 8:30pm and were off.

Half way there, we were notified that the boat was turning back toward Cabo; a compressor part had come loose and hit a divemaster, cutting his head and slamming him into another piece of equipment. Luckily there was a doctor on board, who monitored him, and after two hours declared him sound, so we turned around again, back toward Socorro, where we arrived a few hours behind schedule.

We did 5 days of diving. There are more boats than ever, and the dive sites are not that big, so there is some jockeying for dive times. We ended up doing a 6am dive at Roca Partida on the last day—not doing that again, as there was not much to see at that hour. The day we went to the island of Socorro to check in with the Navy we were only able to do 3 dives plus the night silky shark snorkel.

Our first dives took place at the Canyon, where over 4 dives we saw white tips, lobsters, eels, octopus, and a couple mantas, one staying with us an entire dive. We ended up under the boat on one dive, where there were schooling fish and several silkies hanging out. The second day we headed to Socorro and spent two days diving at Punta Tosca and Cabo Pierce, Cabo Pierce being the most interesting spot. We saw mantas being cleaned by dozens of Clarion angelfish, and butterflyfish sheltering from the current. On one dive I saw octopus, eels, a hammerhead close by, and a school of 10 dolphins that came over looking to play for a few minutes—awesome!

The last two days were spent at Roca Partida, where there was a total of 5 boats at one point. Each boat managed to keep their divers on a strict schedule so there were never more than a few minutes of overlapping dive groups under water. We started wondering if we were going to visit The Boiler at all, but were told that there were no mantas at The Boiler and that the visibility at The Canyon was down to 15 feet—that made Roca sound pretty good. Divemaster Maya led us out close to the blue and we saw silvertips, Galapagos sharks, one turtle, hammerhead schools, silkies, silvertips, and mobulas, one of the two best dives of the week! Tying with that dive was the appearance of a 30-foot whale shark, which we were able to spend quality time with. And one dive, my husband & I started swimming around the island, not seeing very much, but when we got almost completely around, we were amid all kinds of sharks and a young, very exuberant black manta spent several minutes swirling around us.

There were familiar crew members along with new ones, all interacting well together, always busy and smiling. Enrique was our chef again, and we were happy to partake of his fabulous feasts!

Even before we left for this trip, I booked another in 2020. I can hardly wait!
Websites Nautilus Explorer   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Caribbean, Cocos, Socorro, Tahiti, Malaysia, Indonesia, Micronesia, Galapagos, Cayman Islands, etc.
Closest Airport Cabo San Jose Getting There Many airlines

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 78-78°F / 26-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions One hour, then they started looking for you. No deco.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
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 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera shelves upstairs and downstairs. Could use more charging stations. One rinse tank not that big.
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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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