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

Nautilus Explorer: "Manta madness in Socorro on the Nautilus Explorer", Jan, 2016,

by Mark Etter, PA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 8851.

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 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We barely escaped the blizzard on the east coast in time to catch our flight to Cabo. After the initial stress, we easily made our connections and were picked up at the airport and escorted to Cabo. We spent the afternoon at the hospitality suite at a nearby hotel in the harbor. The NE crew met us at the hotel and we boarded that evening for a 24hr trip to San Benedicto Island approximately 225 miles off the coast. The seas were unfortunately rough (barf) but it was definitely worth the waves to reach these distant islands.

The first day of diving included sites on San Benedicto including El Canyon, Las Cuevas, and the exciting sea tower, EL Boiler. The first day was slow for action but we did see our first mantas, white tipped sharks, and silver tipped sharks. I found multiple schools of cottonmouth jacks, big eye trevally, and barberfish.

Days 2-3 were spent at Roca Partida where we were treated by several friendly and huge mantas as well as dozens of white tipped sharks, occasional hammerheads in the deep water, and a few silver tipped sharks. There was a huge school of big eye trevally along the wall if you got bored of manta encounters. There were also giant green morays and lobsters. The water was CLEAR and BLUE like the caribbean but with really BIG STUFF.

Day 4 was at Cabo Pearce at Socorro Island. The currents picked up and brought us wonderful black mantas covered with orange clarion angelfish. Wow! See my site if you need to visualize these magnificent creatures. It's best to let them pick you up for a personal experience. You don't need to swim to the mantas. THE MANTAS COME TO YOU. If you are nice to them, they enjoy your company and love it when you blow bubbles underneath their bellies. It seems to tickle them (at least that what our guide Dave claims). Anyways, you can have your own "manta hat" to travel around the reef in style. You might even find that the mantas take you back to the reef if you get lost (don't tell my dive guides please!)

Day 5 was back to the famous boiler for a final day with mantas, unfortunately in more cloudy conditions. El Boiler is exciting with great surges of current at times. This is real diving.

Overall, our excursion was a great trip lead by skilled guides including Dave and Arturo, both marine biologists and excellent divers. Captain "Insane" Sandy was fun and the crew was professional yet personal. I enjoyed the trip so much that I immediately signed up for the Guadelupe white shark trip in the fall. Hopefully they won't ban me from returning, I had too much fun I think.

The Nautilus Explorer is a professional dive expedition boat well suited to the western pacific with a great crew, fantastic food, comfortable rooms, and BIG stuff in the water. If there were nudibranchs on the reef, I missed them. The 20' tame mantas stole the show.

See my web site for pictures:

[ link]

Websites Nautilus Explorer   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Gangga, Lembeh, Bunaken, Komodo, Maldives, Red Sea, Truk, Kona, Caymans, Belize, Bonaire, etc.
Closest Airport Cabo San Lucas Getting There Easy flight from Philadelphia

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 75-77°F / 24-25°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No touching the animals. No deco, avoid "going into the blue" unless guided
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales > 2
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 3 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 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Great from my view. They just finished installing a new camera table before we arrived and have more plans for shelves this year.
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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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