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Dive Review of Nautilus in
Mexico (Western)/Ostensibly to Socorro

Nautilus: "Nautilus Belle Amie", Nov, 2015,

by Patrick Ryan, CO, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 8558.

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 $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments [None]The Nautilus Belle Amie is a beautiful stable vessel. Diving is from rigid hulled inflatables. Food and service was quite phenomenal.

We were supposed to go to Socorro but Hurricane Bianca put paid to that. The earliest ever second hurricane of the season, Bianca stopped us making it to Socorro. We did however get to Isla Benedito where we did a number of dives. Our first on El Fondeadero was total crap. It was cold, we swam a long way and saw nothing. The second and third on El Canon were marginally better but there was little to see.

The next day we did three dives at the Boiler, no more than a mile or two away from the previous day's dives. What a difference a day makes. We had good viz, the water was warmer and we were surrounded by giant mantas - one well over 20 feet across the "wings". We also had the company of dolphins, the occasional large pelagic fish and a whale shark (which of course I didn't see) cruised through the group. I will never forget these dives. The mantas seemed to enjoy our company and came so close that they actually hit me with their wing tips on three separate occasions. You can check out some of my pictures at:

[ryanphotographic.com link]

Wonderful though this experience was nobody in the dive group could understand why we wasted three dives and an entire day at El Fondeadero and El Canon the previous day when it was obvious our time in the area was going to be limited by Hurricane Bianca. This was a decision that puzzles me even today.

Because of Bianca we had to get out of Dodge so made a run for the Sea of Cortez. Here we did nine dives as Hurricane Bianca came ever closer. One or two of the dives were very cold even though I had a semidry 5/3 and a heated undervest. We were impressed by our dive master's ability to find a couple of wrecks in the middle of nowhere without using GPS.

We did three dives at Los Islotes near a sea lion colony and were thrilled when a female sealion came and checked us out. When I say she came and checked us out she nibbled our fins, stuck her whiskery face in our exhaust bubbles and then lay on the bottom looking at us as if she wanted to be petted - and so she was.

One of the trip highlights for me was meeting up with sister ship Nautilus Explorer (which I have been to Guadelupe on). Their passengers, crew and dive masters came on board for a cocktail party and a buffet dinner. A good time was had by all - well almost. The ship had a second captain on board - perhaps a captain in training. Perhaps he was insecure but for whatever reason he made a total ass of himself by asking our dive masters to do some cleaning instead of socializing with us. He ostentatiously wiped his finger across the railing and when it came away with salt on it (as he knew it must, it was blowing quite hard and there was some spray) he publicly reamed them out. When I go on a dive trip I cherish the time spent with dive masters above water. While cleaning may well be part of their job description doing this at a public gathering in front of guests was humiliating for the dive masters and embarrassing for us. Never again please - if you need to boost your ego find some other way.

We anchored in the face of the storm but the anchor started to drag so we steamed downwind for a couple of hours and then turned around and beat back into it - took us 12 hours to get back to where we started and in the process we lost the RHI that we were towing behind us.

Flights were delayed for a few hours getting out of Cabo but the city escaped major damage.

Despite not getting to Socorro it was a wonderful trip, the service on board was impeccable, the dive masters solicitous and the food was out of this world.

The company is/was wonderful to deal with. because they didn't have nitrox or a hot tub on board they offered us a 40% discount off a future trip as long as it is taken within a year. I hardly noticed the absence of these items but this shows how much they care about their reputation.

I was also hugely impressed by the fact that they gave everybody EPIRBs. No other company has ever provided these. The captain kept us fully informed about the progress of the hurricane, explained options to us and the need to stay safe. This is a company that really cares about diver safety.

Can't wait to go back.
Websites Nautilus   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving New Zealand, Fiji, Honduras, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Belize, Honduras, Malawi, Cozumel, Baja, Bahamas
Closest Airport Cabo San Lucas Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 60-75°F / 16-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars 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 [None]The best dive boat setup I have ever encountered. Raised platform on the dive deck with rubber matting for housings and multiple raised power outlets at every station. One station per diver. Absolutely first rate and a very short carry to the dive boat. Compressed air was available for drying off housings after a freshwater dip.
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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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