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

Nautilus Explorer, Dec, 2004,

by Edith Summey, IL, USA . Report 2106.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments 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 dives.
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.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving USA (FL, IL, NC, TX, MO, CA, Alaska), Canada(BC, Nanavut), Greenland, Carribbean(Bahamas, Turks&Caicos, Curacau, Bonaire, 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

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 78-0°F / 26--18°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 80-0 Ft/ 24-0 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales >2
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments Space was OK, but attitude was not helpful in terms of assistance with camera equipment.
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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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