November 2-10 Socorro Vortex Trip Report
Trip 1 of the 2019/2020 Revillagigedo season and calm seas made our initial crossing to the islands smooth and fast. We arrived to San Benedicto Island for a late afternoon check dive at Las Cuevas. With warm water and almost no current we had plenty of time to play with new equipment and enjoy the Boulder littered floor of the dive site. Being greeted by both a juvenile Silver Tip then a juvenile Galapagos we were able to see what the Islands had in store for us. Towards the end of the dive a friendly Giant Pacific Manta showed up to follow us all the way to our safety stop.
After spending the night anchored at El Boiler we were ready to start the day early for 4 dives. The short panga ride to the dive site introduced us to the friendly Bottle Nosed Dolphins who were playing on the bow of the boats. From the beginning of the dive we had a pod of around 12 Dolphins dancing and playing with us, clicking and singing in excitement. Again, on the second dive quick sightings of the dolphins but that was when the Mantas started arriving! Giant graceful and serene they were with us for the rest of the day, as many as 5 Mantas at a time.
Making the most of the excellent conditions we headed straight out to Roca Partida for the 3rd day of diving. Joined only by our sister ship the Solmar V we had the small island all to ourselves. The conditions underwater matched those above, slow current with good visibility allowing us to appreciate the larger Silver tips close to the rock and the huge schools of Tuna passing by in the blue. Easily the highlight of the day was returning after the first dive when we found a pod of around 10 False Orcas cruising close to the Surface. We managed to spend around 15 minutes snorkeling along with the pod even getting a close look at a baby that was staying very close with its mother!
Waking up on the 3rd morning in the protection of the beautiful Green island of Socorro and Dolphins were spotted straight away playing close to the dive site. Again, great interaction with the Dolphins, a friendly Chevron Manta and sightings of schools of hammerheads out in the blue made for great dives. What made the day however was about half way through the 3rd dive and seeing dolphins coming out of the Deep water with a huge shadow following behind. An absolutely massive whaleshark was slowly making its way up over the spine of the reef with an escort of Dolphins! Passing slowly right in front of the group we estimated at least 25ft, and in no hurry to pass us by everybody was in awe as this beautiful creature glided by with Dolphins all around and even 2 of them rubbing their noses against the tail of the Whaleshark.
Back to San Benedicto for the final 2 days and another 4 dives in El Boiler. Again, Dolphins playing with the divers for the first 2 dives and Manta madness the whole day. With very Little current we were able to hover effortlessly away from the rock and enjoy the show being put on. At one moment we had 3 large Chevron Mantas circling overhead playing in our bubbles, passing through and then turning around to make another pass again and again.
Last day blues, but we got to spend 4 wonderful dives in El Cañon! Silkies, Silvertips and large Galapagos all taking it in turns to pass through the cleaning station as we waited close by. Hammerheads not only out in the blue but passing very close by on the shallow side of the reef too. With Mantas and Dolphins making appearances through the day we finished with incredible dives.
It´s great to be back!
MSDT Jake Gibson
-Crossing time – 19hr
-Wind – 1
-Current – 1
-Average Viz – 75ft/23mt
-Water Temp – 78F/25C