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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Mexico (Western)

Nautilus Explorer, Mar, 2010,

by DAVID SHEMTOV, LONDON, GB (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 20 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 5411.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, French Polynesia, Maldives, Cocos, Malpelo, Myanmar, Thailand, Red Sea, Mediterranean, Norway, Carribbean, Truk, Indonesia, UK...
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 23 to 26 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 10 to 40 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Pretty relaxed, but no deco. Availability of 10L steel tanks [at $36 extra for the trip] allowed for longer dives.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales > 2
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Setup is excellent, however visibility and sightings disappointing.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We were lucky in so far that the ban on visiting Socorro imposed by the Mexican Navy was lifted on the 15th of March, enabling us to dive the waters off that island. The previous several charters were restricted to San Benedicto and when conditions allowed, Roca Partida.

Unfortunately, I found visibility and the limited sightings of mantas, sharks and dolphins disappointing. The best dives took place in Roca Partida. Due to anticipated conditions, we were able to dive that site only one day. I had one dive where a single manta made a close, majestic pass and a couple where dolphins interacted with us for a few minutes, but that was it in terms of diving. Yes, there were the grey tips, white tips, a few gallapagos sharks, a sad turtle that was harrassed by one of the divers, eels, jacks, tuna, etc. Some of us saw a couple of distant hammerheads. Still, many dives were very poor with little to see through the murk. These, like me, expecting a Darwin/Wolf or Cocos experience were disappointed. The crew was clearly trying hard, but certain things were beyond their control.

One time we could forfeit a dive and join five others on a 2 hour zodiac ride in search of humpback whales. We were allowed to go into the water with them and almost all of us had an opportunity see them while snorkelling. Visibility was poor. Conscious of the 2007 incident in the Silver Banks where a snorkeller was injured by an ascending whale, we were discouraged from remaining in the water when the whales rose. This, and poor visibility, made the encounters less satisfying for me than I had in Rurutu, French Polynesia, a few years ago.

Mike Lever, the owner, was not on board. This did not translate to any fall-off in service standards. If anything, I found the crew enthusiastic and helpful. I don't think they could have done more for us.
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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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