June 3-13 Socorro Vortex Trip Report
For this trip we spent five days at San Benedicto, one day at Socorro, and days at Roca Partida. Following the afternoon checkout dive at Las Cuevas, the second and seventh days of diving took place at El Cañon. Both days had similar sightings despite the visibility dropping from 20m/66ft down to 10m/33ft. Both black and chevron mantas checked us out throughout the day and the usual suspects of sharks could be found cruising the cleaning station (whitetips, silvertips, blacktips, galapagos, and a few hammerheads). However the most exciting part is the second day here we were treated to false killer whales just after the first dive! On one of our jumps we were even able to catch them eating a tuna whilst being surrounded by sharks and dolphins!
The third and eighth dive days were spent at El Boiler. On our first day here we were interrupted during breakfast as false killers swam right past the boat! As for the diving, on both days we had dolphins and mantas competing for attention starting on the first dive. The dolphins didn`t stay long, but the mantas stayed and played throughout the days. With our last dive having one manta play with us from the moment we hit the water all the way until we climbed back aboard the pangas! Other cool happenings going on around the rock included spawning parrotfish and an occasional hammerhead coming in to say hello.
At the Island of Socorro we explored the dive site Cabo Pearce for our fourth dive day. We were plagued by a low visibility current coming from the north, but the reef diverted enough that there was a little clearer water on the south side. Here we had hammerheads out in the blue and lots of turtles around the reef. There were some dolphins and mantas around, but our encounters with them were brief as they appeared to simply be enjoying the reef.
The wind was nothing but a slight breeze throughout the middle of the trip allowing us to spend our fifth and sixth dive days exploring the tiny island of Roca Partida. It was beautiful above and below the waves. A sunny and warm topside with a clear 30+m/100+ft and mild current in the water. The fish were plentiful including huge schools of tunas and bonitas. And with so many fish the galapagos, silkies, silvertips, and whitetip reef sharks were lurking everywhere you looked! As we swam off from the rock we even found a massive cloud of baby lobsters floating in the current, which was possibly what drew so many fish to the area.
The weather throughout the trip stayed a consistent 29ºC/85ºF and partly sunny. Water temperature has dropped slightly to 23ºC/74ºF. The wind was up over 20kts on our way out to the islands, but the bulk of the trip was calm with winds under 10kts. Water visibility averaged 20m/66ft with a couple spots as low as 10m/33ft. Currents around the sites were mild, but persistent and a few visible thermoclines could be seen.
Travel times are as follows:
-18 hours for Cabo San Lucas to San Benedicto
-3 hours for San Benedicto to Socorro
-6 hours for Socorro to Roca Partida
-9 hours for Roca Partida to San Benedicto
-19 hours for San Benedicto to Cabo San Lucas
-Hex, Divemaster on Socorro Vortex