Socorro vortex trip reports

BOOK YOUR TRIP!
March | 20
March 15th, 2020 – March 21st, 2020

Socorro Islands #vortexliveaboard

March 16, 2020
Dive day 1: San Benedicto
Site: Las Cuevas
Visibility: Excellent, 25m/80ft
Current: Low
Water Temp: 23C/73F
We arrived to San Benedicto with beautiful sunlight and optimal conditions to hop in for our first dive of the trip. We loaded into the pangas and after sorting out weights and equipment we descended onto Las Cuevas to beautiful visibility and lots of life. We were greeted with close encounters of curious juvenile Galapagos and Silvertip sharks and spotted electric rays, diamond rays and lobsters all over the reef. We surfaced to a breathtaking sunset over the island.

March 17, 2020
Dive day 2: San Benedicto
Site: El Boiler
Visibility: Excellent, 30m/100ft
Current: Low
Water Temp: 23C/72F
We had excellent conditions at the Boiler for the whole day. The seas were calm and we witnessed a mother humpback and calf breaching and fin slapping in the distance. The first dive brought two giant pacific mantas, one black and one chevron, that slowly cruised by. On our safety stop a mother and calf bottlenose dolphins passed by at close range, went to the surface to breath, and then were joined by the rest of the pod. The remainder of the day brought in more mantas close encounters, at most four at a time, wherein they came in close to all of our divers to play in our bubbles and preform their amazing acrobatics. A classic Boiler day to start off the trip.

March 18, 2020
Dive day 3: Roca Partida
Visibility: Excellent, 30m/100ft
Current: Low
Water Temp: 23C/73F
The conditions at Roca were unreal, the surface was glassy, the current very mild, and the visibility was crystal clear. The sheer number of fish around the rock was astounding, including the cottonmouth jacks, big eye trevallies, creole fish, and yellow fin tuna. We had sighting of beautiful silvertip sharks, and a small school of scalloped hammerheads that came quite close by all of our divers. The caves were also full of piled up white tip reef sharks, giving the photographers in the group excellent opportunities for the classic Roca photo. As we drifted in the blue at the end of the dives we saw many species of pelagic fish including skipjack tuna and wahoo.

March 19, 2020
Dive day 4: Socorro Island
Sites: Roca O’Neal & Punta Tosca
Visibility: Moderate, 15m/50ft
Current: Low
Water Temp: 23C/73F
We continued to be lucky with the conditions at Roca O’Neal, with calm seas and low current. Before we even entered the water from the pangas we were greeted with a pod of 10 bottlenose dolphins, who seemed just as excited to see as we were to see them. They stayed with us the whole dive, playing with all of our divers, making eye contact, and even coming close for belly scratches. We were so excited to have the dolphins it seemed like things couldn’t get any better, until two giant mantas showed up! The mantas stuck around and played in our bubble and the dolphins played with them until we ended the dive. Such an amazing experience to share with our divers. The next dive at Roca O’Neal we were able to explore the caves and found some smaller creatures such as lobsters, nudibranchs and a playful octopus, and had two big scalloped hammerheads swimming close by up above the reef. On our surface intervals we had humpbacks playing nearby. We then moved the Vortex around to Punta Tosca where we had a nice relaxed drift dive down the wall and into the inside reef.
Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic we were then called on to return to Cabo San Lucas so that our international guests can return safely to their home countries without any issues on the journey. We had a great few days of diving and are optimistic to return to regular operations in the new future.

March | 13
March 1st, 2020 – March 13th, 2020

Socorro Islands #vortexliveaboard

Day 1 The guests arrived at the Socorro Vortex ready for their 13 Day trip
Day 2 Consisted of a calm 27 hour crossing to San Benidicto where we made it just in time for a sunset.
Day 3 After a good night sleep we woke up ready for 4 dives at El Cañon. We had mixed conditions but the guests were welcomed by a multitude of Sharks, Including Silvertips and Galapagos sharks on the cleaning station.
Day 4 was spent with another day at El Cañon due to weather conditions however again we had a lot of sharks on the cleaning station, with Giant Mantas throughout the day and some schooling Hammmerheads.
Day 5 found us at Cabo Pearce in Socorro with conditions still against us but with manta interactions, and a dusk dive to enjoy the smaller reef fish. We were provided with a variety of life whilst enjoying the topography of the iconic site.
Day 6 again at Cabo Pearce, after deciding to give it another shot we jumped into strong currents bht were greeted by playful dolphins and mantas for the rest of the day.
Day 7 With a beautiful break in the weather and after an 8-hour crossing we found ourselves at the isolated dive site of Roca Partida. An incredible sunrise and 3 dives on the schedule. Visibility was crystal clear and currents were mild. All groups dropping in onto huge schools of Jacks, with Yellow fin Tuna hunting alongside Galapagos and Silvertip Sharks. Dive 3 was all about spending time in a forever circling school of 40+ White Tip Reef Sharks.
Day 8 and yet another 3 dives lined lined up at Roca Partida, with whales all over the area it fair to say that the guests were more than excited. Currents were strong throughout the day first dive showed us a beautiful Vortex current. However, 7 minutes into the 2nd we were lucky enough to see a humpback whale at 30 meters.
Day 9 The world famous “El Boiler” with lots of fish and the Giant Mantas dnacing in our bubbles, a great day was had by all.
Day 10 and the 2nd day at The Boiler, a day full of Mantas, including at one point 5 mantas swimming through everyone’s bubbles. All in all, a great day.
Day 11 and we’re back where the trip started at El Cañon in San Benedicto. Conditions were not exactly optimal but the cleaning station was not ready to disappoint us. Close interactions with the Silver tip and Galapagos Sharks put huge smiles on our guests faces on the first dive. With a school of hammerheads and Tiger Shark thrown in for good measure.
Day 12 was spent navigating back to Cabo San Lucas, looking at photos from the dives, enjoying the weather on the sundeck and scouting for mammals on the horizon.
Day 13 We say Goodbye to our unbelievable 9 guests and hope that they come back again for another adventure.

Port of Departure Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Water Current in Scale of 1 to 5, 4
Water temp average 71°F or 22°C

Dive Inst. Luke Coley

March | 03
February 16th, 2020 – February 28th, 2020

Socorro Islands #vortexliveaboard

Feb 18th
Dive site: El Canon
Water temperature: 21C/ 70F
Visibility: good, 15 - 20m
We had strong current on all dives. Some dolphins passed by which we saw hunting jacks.
Different mantas that were curious. Cleaning station we found some Galapagos that came close and various silver tips. There was also a big school of amber jacks at the cleaning station.

Feb 19th
Dive site: El Boiler
Water temperature: 22C/ 71F
Visibility: good, 20m
Happy to say that the boiler is back alive. We encountered 8+ different mantas, which were very playful. One dive dolphin passed by the site. Last dive we had a strong current which brought in various sharks. We saw some Galapagos, black tips, plenty of white tips and a big tiger shark.

Feb 20th
Dive site: Cabo Pearce
Water temperature: 22C/71F
Visibility: good, 15-20m
We found various mantas that played with us and as well dolphins. Saw here and there hammerheads in the blue and encountered the big school once, unfortunately they didn’t come close. Above the water we saw different whales breaching.

Feb 21th
Dive site: Roca O’Neil and Punta Tosca
Water temperature: 23C/73F
Visibility: good, 15-20m
We did 2 dives in Roca O’Neil and 1 in Punta Tosca. Strong current on all 3 dives. When we entered the first swim through, dolphins were waiting at the exit. Further, we found 2 mantas and some hammerhead sharks in the blue. On the surface we saw different whales breaching. At Punta Tosca we saw some hammerhead sharks. When we came to the surface, we saw whales close to us. Not yet underwater!

Feb 22th
Dive site: Roca Partida
Water temperature: 23C/ 73F
Visibility: good, 20+m
We did 3 fantastic dives at Roca. All of them full of sharks, Galapagos, silvertip, white tip and hammerhead sharks. We found three different mantas playing together and interacting with our group. Entered the water one dive on top of 8 dolphins. Every dive we had huge tuna swimming in between our groups and saw big schools of them in the blue. 2 times we found schooling hammerheads. We also saw 3 different whales breaching on the surface.

Feb 23th
Dive site: Cabo Pearce
Water temperature: 21C to 23C/ 70F to 73F
Visibility: OK, 10- 20m
A cold current came through the dive site which made the water green. But, it also brought a lot of mantas with. Still managing to see hammerheads, big school of bonitos etc. but the show the mantas put up was unreal. 2dives had silky sharks joining the safety stop.

Feb 24th
Dive site: Cabo Pearce + El Canon
Water temperature: 22C/ 71F
Visibility: OK, 10-20m
We started our day with a dive in Cabo Pearce. 8 mantas put up a show from start to end. Saw some big hammerhead sharks passing by. After we went to El Canon, we did another excellent dive here. Unfortunately there were 4 boats which only allowed us to do 1 more dive. On the dive we saw schooling hammerheads and mantas at the cleaning station and a big school of jacks.

Feb 25th
Dive site: El Canon
Water temperature: 23C/73F
Visibility: good, 20+m
Good dives with humpback whales passing by the dive site. Unfortunately, not on our diving times but good to see them so close. We had dolphins during first dive. Saw hammerheads here and there. Cleaning station had big Galapagos sharks and plenty of silver tips. Occasionally manta swam by.

Feb 26th
Dive site: El Boiler
Water temperature: 23C/73F
Visibility: good, 20m
Rough surface conditions but below the water, very calm. Every dive, mantas came and play. We saw Galapagos, silver tip and hammerhead sharks in the blue.


Dec | 29
December 28th, 2019 – January 7th, 2020

Socorro Islands #vortexliveaboard

Dive day 1
Location: El Cañon
Visibility: Moderate, 15m/50ft
Water Temp: 25 C/77 F
We had a great first dive day at the always impressive El Cañon. After an equipment and weight check we were greeted with encounters with Scalloped Hammerheads, Silky Sharks, a Giant Black Manta that was very playful, as well as Silvertips and big Galapagos Sharks, and octopus and lobsters crawling out and about on the reef.

Dive day 2
Location: El Boiler
Visibility: Good, 25m/80ft
Water Temp: 26 C/79 F
The Mantas were out to play at the Boiler! The visibility was spectacular as we descended and were quickly greeted with great Manta interactions, including watching a breach from down below. In the afternoon the current picked up and as we drifted into the blue toward the end of the dive, a Tiger Shark ascended from the deep to check us out at close range before disappearing just as quickly. An awesome encounter and a great way to wrap up 2019!

Dive day 3

Location: El Cañon
Visibility: Good, 20m/65ft
Water Temp: 25 C/79 F
After a celebratory New Year’s Eve our divers were excited to see what the first dives of 2020 would bring. Increasing winds brought us back to El Cañon, and it did not disappoint! The first dive of the day had just enough current for the sharks to be very active and in very close range. We had schooling hammerheads swimming just off the wall and the cleaning station was full of Galapagos, Silvertips and Oceanic Blacktips, as well as a few less timid hammerheads passing by closely. The afternoon dives had less current and further great encounters with big Galapagos sharks and a playful black manta that was loving our diver’s bubbles.

Dive day 4
Location: Cabo Pearce
Visibility: Moderate, 15m/50ft
Water Temp: 25C/77F
After arriving to Socorro Island we had four dives at Cabo Pearce, one group was greeted in the morning with Bottlenose Dolphins and another a Giant Manta and swam along next to us peacefully. Everyone had great views of schooling hammerheads out in the blue.

Dive day 5
Location: Punta Tosca/Cabo Pearce
Visibility: Moderate,15m/50ft
Water Temp 25C/77F
We made our way around Socorro to Punta Tosca, where we had a couple of nice wall dives joined by a juvenile Galapagos shark and passing hammerheads. During our safety stop we had a Chevron manta circle around us as well as a Wahoo cruising by just below the surface. In the afternoon we headed back over to Cabo Pearce where we had great encounters a very playful pod of Bottlenose Dolphins that delighted in our bubbles. Drifting out in blue we also met an Oceanic Blacktip and hammerheads off of the point.

Dive day 6
Location: Cabo Pearce/Punta Tosca
Visibility: Moderate, 15m/50ft
Water Temp 25C/77F
The morning started with an incredible dive, as soon as we descended we were met by a big pod of Bottlenose Dolphins that were super curious and lively. A minute later a manta appeared, and we enjoyed a great interaction with both the manta playing in our bubbles and the dolphins that kept returning to us after going up for a breath. Buzzing with excitement, we loaded up and headed around again to Punta Tosca for the last two dives of the day, where we had a great view of a tiger shark swimming close by the wall. An amazing day in Socorro!

Dive day 7

Location: Roca Partida
Visibility: Good, 30m/100ft
Water Temp: 24C/74F
We traveled over night as the wind gradually decreased to wake up to a beautiful sunrise over Roca Partida. True to form our three dives at Roca were spectacular, with countless jacks schooling everywhere you looked and Hammerheads, Silvertips, Galapagos and Silkies all cruising above and below. We had a few visits from a massive Yellowfin Tuna that even the sharks seemed to be wary of, its speed is incredibly impressive! Our safety stops yielded some special visitors as well, including a school of Wahoo and four Mobula Japanica passing by. It was a great ending to a memorable trip with a great team of divers!

Sarah Pulitzer
PADI IDCS Instructor #292791
IANTD Full Cave Diver #137698

Dec | 12
December 2nd – December 12th, 2019

Socorro Islands #vortexliveaboard

Day 1 The guests arrived at the Vortex ready for their 11 night trip

Day 2 Was a beautiful calm day spent out on Pelagic Safari, where we encountered at least a dozen Humpback whales displaying all types of behaviour including breaching excitedly in close range. While observing one Humpback, all of a sudden we see splashes close to the coast. Breaching mobulas! It was the first sighting of the season of the famous mobula ray migration. We entered the water and had an amazing snorkel with countless Mobula Munkiana.

Day 3 We went out again on Pelagic Safari and again saw lots of Humpback whales, again displaying numerous behaviours including resting, which allowed us to carefully enter the water from a distance and see it stationary 10m/30ft below the surface. Just after midday we headed back to the Vortex and then left Cabo San Lucas for San Benedicto.

Day 4 After a smooth 20 hour crossing we arrived at El Cañon for 2 dives before sunset. Our divers were welcomed to the islands with 7 species of shark, including Silvertips, Galapagos, schooling Scalloped Hammerheads and a passing Whaleshark.

Day 5 consisted of 4 dives at The Boiler, on the first dive we were greeted by Bottlenose dolphins that came to check us out and interact with our divers and their bubbles, alongside the mantas which accompanied us on all 4 dives.

Day 6 found us at Cabo Pearce in Socorro for 3 dives before the Naval check in. We had mild currents and good visibility. Schooling hammerheads on each dive and great manta interactions. Once the naval check in was complete we left for Roca Partida.

Day 7 waking up to a beautiful sunrise and a calm sea and the view of Roca Partida. 3 dives were on the schedule and what dives they were! Dive 1 started with a Whaleshark calmly cruising by. She circled the rock, and came right in the center of the three groups. She hung just below the surface, giving everyone a great view and excellent photography opportunities. The dive site was full of fish everywhere you looked. Silvertips, Galapagos, Silkies and Hammerheads all made appearances. As a final treat the Whaleshark came to pay a visit to the Vortex as we were lifting up the pangas after dive 3.

Day 8 We were so enamored with Roca that we stuck around for 3 more dives. The current and surge had picked up a little bit providing us with lots of action in the water. The rock was once again rife with fish and we got to witness a massive Yellowfin Tuna hunting on all three dives. We also cruised by the caves to check out the huddling White Tips and lobsters and morays wedged into the cracks of the rocks. On the last dive of day we had Hammerheads swimming nice and close and a Manta off in the blue.

Day 9 We returned to El Cañon for four more dives. We had a quick dolphin fly by on the first dive of the morning and the cleaning station was incredibly active. We had five species of sharks coming in and out and great manta encounters. We even had a Tiger Shark pass by quickly, and curious Hammerheads come to check us out as we drifted into the blue.

Day 10 The final dive of the trip started with a pod of playful dolphins whilst we made our way down to the cleaning station of El Cañon. All the usual suspects were there including great close interactions from the Hammerheads and Galapagos Sharks. Mantas came by throughout the dive posing as the perfect photo subjects. Meanwhile a small Tiger Shark with vibrant strips came up from the deep for all our divers to get a good look at. We then drifted out in the blue following the Bottlenose dolphins hunting a huge school of Jacks which were also accompanied by schooling Hammerheads that came up shallow towards us. An amazing end to an incredible trip.

Dec | 1
November 23rd – December 1st, 2019

Socorro Islands #vortexliveaboard

Dive day 1
Location: Las cuevas
Visibility: poor, less than 10m/33ft
Water temperature: 26C/ 79F
Here we did check dive and encountered multiple big turtles who circled around us, juvenile silvertip sharks came close as well.

Dive day 2
Location: El Boiler
Visibility: good, more or less 20m/70ft
Water temperature: 26C/ 79F
We did 4 dives, amazing dolphin encounters combined with mantas around. Came to say hi to our guest multiple times. Around the mini boiler we found a tiger shark. We also had silver tips, Galapagos white tips and oceanic black tips. Mantas are and will always be the rockstars of the boiler.

Dive day 3
Location: El Canon
Visibility: good, more or less 20m/70ft
Water temperature: 26C/ 79F
We did 4 dives, on three of the dives we had great dolphin interactions. More dolphins then we usually find there and really curious. The cleaning station had various silvertip and some big Galapagos sharks that were always there. On the reef plenty of lobsters, octopus and more. In the blue we encountered various hammerheads. Some say we saw a great hammerhead shark, exciting times!

Dive day 4
Location: punta tosca
Visibility: good, more or less 20m/70ft
Water temperature: 26C/ 79F
Weather conditions were less than perfect, however we managed to get 1 dive completed. Visibility was good, we spent time enjoying the rock formations accompanied by a Manta Ray, octopus, white and silver tip shark.

Dive day 5 and 6
Location: Roca Partida
Visibility: good, more or less 20m/70ft
Water temperature: 26C/ 79F
We had 2 excellent dive days. The amount of life we had around the rock was why we stayed 2days. Big schools of jacks, tunas. Some lobsters crawling on the wall are almost the size of a small white tip shark. Various of the tunas are bigger than the silvertip sharks. In the currents a combo of silvertip sharks, big Galapagos sharks and plenty of white tip sharks coming up close to divers. At the end of the dives we found hammerhead sharks in the blue.
Conclusion;
Great guest combined with excellent diving made for a blast of a week. Thank you, Socorro islands!

Nov | 10
NOVEMBER 2nd – NOVEMBER 10th, 2019

SOCORRO ISLANDS #TRIPREPORT

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

June | 16
JUNE 3RD – JUNE 13TH, 2019

(SOCORRO ISLANDS) #TRIPREPORT

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

June | 9
MAY 13TH – MAY 23RD, 2019

SOCORRO ISLANDS | #TRIPREPORT

Islas Revillagigedo!
We arrived at Isla San Benedicto after an easy 18h crossing, we went to do our first and second day at “El Cañon”. We were fortunate to get a wide variety of wildlife, seeing hammerheads dolphins, silvertips, Galapagos, blacktip sharks. Encountering tiger sharks on dives is awesome, almost as good as having two days of false killer whale encounters. We followed a school hunting on our zodiac and entered the water with them successfully multiple times. One in particular was as curious in us as we in them. Very close intense encounter! “El Boiler” here we come!
Starting our boiler adventure with an excellent dolphin dive. Around 8 dolphins kept returning for almost the whole dive, this combined with 3 mantas makes everyone in a great mood. In the next three dives we are seeing 5 different mantas who are enjoying our company. Last dive we did we even saw a whale shark passing by. Unfortunately he wasn’t very interested in us. Lovely day, big smiles, ready for Cabo Pearce.
Starting our day with dolphins swimming around the boat. Once in the water, Visibility was not excellent, but the wildlife was. Getting dolphins on 2 out of 3 dives, playing with divers. On all dives we encountered a school of bonitos, to big to put a number on it. Around the school we saw a lot of silkies. Out in the blue at the end of Cabo Pearce we found a big bait ball of jacks also followed by silky sharks and a few hammerheads. Time for our check at Socorro marine base and then set sail to Roca Partida.
Our first dive at Roca is one to remember. We entered the water and encountered a pod of dolphins from the start. As there was almost no current we managed to stay with them for the whole dive. I estimate we had over 20 dolphins and most of them wanted to play as much as we did. Followed them out into the blue and saw big schools of tuna passing in the background, followed by multiple silkies and silvertip sharks. Next two dives we had time to enjoy the whitetips resting in the caves, big schools of skip jacks to swim through and of course plenty of sharks to admire. Another dolphin encounter to remember!
To finish our trip, we went back to “El Boiler”. As usual vortex gets the first dive of the day, two other boats in the area. Dive one started really slowly. In the first 30 minutes we saw a manta passing by who showed no interest in us and a black tip shark. As people started getting ready to go do safety stop, a little bit of “El Boiler” magic happened. A pod of 6 dolphins showed up followed by 3 mantas to give us 20 minutes that more then make up for the first 30. Our last dive was manta heaven, with as good as no current and having only 14 guest on board. I think we almost had a manta a diver. Very peaceful amazing dive to finish. If you think I exaggerate please ask any of our divers and you’ll see a big smile appearing that confirms everything above.
Cheers Islas Revillagigedo!

MAY | 23
MAY 13TH – MAY 23RD, 2019

SOCORRO ISLANDS | #TRIPREPORT

Revillagigedo Archipelago
From the very beginning the islands showed us the power they had. Our check dive in Las Cuevas had calm surface conditions but as soon as we descended the strong current took hold. We found protection among the large boulders of the site and spotted many oceanic stingrays buried in the sandy bottom with plenty of small electric rays gliding by. As we passed through the caves nobody knew to take first photos of the 6 white tips resting on the bottom or the group of huge lobsters hanging from the ceiling. A fast paced dive set the tone for the following morning.
Again with ideal conditions we started the first full day of diving still at San Benedicto Island diving the Boiler. The morning was dominated by playful dolphins showing us how to handle the fast current. As always these ever smiling animals were curios of our small groups of divers and delighted in teasing us with there graceful moves. As the day went on, Oceanic, Chevron and Black Mantas showed up in force and totally stole the show. For some time we had 5 mantas slowly circling our group, it really doesn’t get much better for a first day.
The 2nd and 3rd dive days were spent out at Roca Partida to make the most of the good weather window we had a available. During both days the current was changing directions so often that we never knew where the next sharks would arrive from! The Silver Tip and large Galápagos sharks were constantly soaring through the massive schools of Jacks forcing them to continually to change their pattern in the water which made for a wonderful display. On most dives we saw large schools of smaller Tuna passing by in the blue, sometimes for up to 10 minutes they just kept on passing by. The huge Tuna ‘Big Sam’ was patrolling the shallow areas on the second day and giving us some real close passes. We had seen a few Hammerheads during the first day but it wasn’t until the second the schools of them came out of the distance and allowed us a closer look. After these close up encounters everybody on board said goodbye to Roca with happy smiles on their faces.
Day 4 and we were at Socorro Island and at Cabo Pearce for 3 dives before the check in at the Naval Base. Beginning the day we were checked out by a small pod of dolphins, they were very tentative and kept some distance as they had 1 young they were protecting in the group. From then on the day was spent glimpsing Hammerheads passing by and waiting for that evasive large school to materialize out of the rushing current.
Another day and a different Island where we had El Canõn all to ourselves. Within the first 30 seconds of the first dive we were greeted by a large dolphin in the act of chasing down an Amber Jack. Dolphins again for the second dive and a graceful black manta. For the whole day the action at the cleaning station was great, Silver tips of all sizes circling over the rocks mixed with large Galápagos and a couple of large black tips out in the distance. The hammerheads were passing close to the wall itself but once we ventured into the blue we started to see the larger schools of 30+.
We spent the night at the Boiler and again had the site all to ourselves. Jumping in the water at 7am making our descent everybody was looking around for the dolphins we had already seen on the surface and could hear. While we were all looking out into the blue the first dolphin had snuck up behind us and was in a vertical position watching us! Once we saw him he began to come closer and play with the group right before the rest of the small pod arrived. After playing for 10 minutes the dolphins vanished in to the blue just as the mantas showed up to put on their show. That was exactly how the day continued, full of Mantas!
Finishing the trip we were back in El Canõn being protected from the strong wind that had picked up. Life underwater carried on as usual and we were treated to encounters with 6 different species of shark. A couple of Mantas flew by and even on one of the dives a dolphin was so busy hunting it swam right through one group and didn’t even give a second look as it relentlessly chased down a Jack.
Another great trip with a wonderful group, we had birthday celebrations and new friends made for life.
Jake Gibson

MAY | 2
APRIL 23RD – MAY 1ST, 2019

SOCORRO ISLANDS | #TRIPREPORT

Socorro Islands, second trip for the Vortex!
After an easy 18-hour crossing, we arrive at Isla Benedicto, ready for a check out dive in El Canon. We had a radio check from Solmar V and talked about promising wildlife encounters. Not even 5 minutes in a manta started circling our group and was kind enough to guide us to another one. This manta action along with silvertip- and Galapagos sharks, made our check out dive like we hoped it would be.
Next morning ready for 4 dives in “El Canon”. Finding schooling hammerhead sharks on 2 out of 4 dives, friendly mantas from the day before still guiding us around and plenty of Galapagos, silvertip and black tip sharks posing for the cameras made our day epic. All happy faces at the dinner table and off to Roca Partida.
We dived Roca Partida for 2 days. On the first day, galapagos- silvertip-hammerhead- sharks being spotted all around the rock and schools of jacks started gathering. Then our last dive of the day a bit of Roca magic. As we jump in 4 big Galapagos started swimming in between dive groups, silvertips swimming through big schools of blackjacks, couple of playful hammerheads and massive tunas from beginning to the end. As we plan to do our safety stop, I turn to my group and a Chevron manta comes from Deep straight towards us. Beautiful Roca sunset and like expected all happy faces at the dinner table. Second day, on all three dives encountered schooling hammerheads. Groups of jacks on both sides of the rock accompanied by multiple sharks. The shy manta from day before gained some confidence and joined us for 2 dives. Oh, did I mention yet that schooling yellowfin tunas in all sizes kept on blocking our view several times? Thank you, Roca Partida.
Dive site “Cabo Pearce” was next on our list. Seeing before our dives big pod of dolphins with around 4 calf’s that couldn’t properly swim yet was a Good start of our day. Through the day we all got a lot of manta encounters and at our last dive we managed to push towards the end of the canon and encountered big school of hammerhead sharks.
We had such a good time in “San Benedicto” and still having the boiler waiting for us, so we returned for our last days there. Starting with a fantastic dolphin encounter in “El Canon”. Seeing pod with calf very playful. During the whole dive they came and went. The best part was the safety stop. Having a big school of jacks looking for shelter under the boat, that are very easy to approach, makes our safety stop very enjoyable. But if you add hunting dolphins too it, well it doesn’t get much better. As we just got out of the water, our eagle eye guest “Allan” spots 2 humpback whales and we managed to approach closely to the mother and her calf. During the rest of our dives we enjoyed the attention of 3 mantas and blacktip- hammerhead- silvertip- and Galapagos sharks.
Good morning “El Boiler”! heading out in the zodiac accompanied by pod of dolphins, puts smiles on everyone’s faces straight away. In about 5 minutes of waiting at the boiler we encountered a pod of around 10 dolphins that entertained us for almost half an hour. Last 20 minutes 3 mantas took over so very good start. Next 3 dives everybody getting all the manta love you can get. We even encountered schooling hammerhead sharks on one dive. Lucky us, next day we get very similar experience. Dolphins in the morning and up to 5 mantas a dive circling our dives. Thank you “El Boiler”
Thank you, “Islas Revillagigedo”

April | 29
APRIL 13TH – APRIL 22ND, 2019

SOCORRO ISLANDS | #TRIPREPORT

Socorro Vortex!
For our first trip we had a full boat, 14 passengers eager and excited to explore the Revillagigedo Archipelago on the newest boat to the islands. By @xavivo By @xavivo We had a smooth quick crossing allowing us to leave Cabo San Lucas in the evening and arrive for our check out dive in Las Cuevas at the Island of San Benedicto in the early afternoon. The island gave us the reception we couldn’t have dreamed of. As we were lowering the pangas into the water, off in the distance we saw a Humpback calf splashing and playing on the surface while the mother kept a close eye from a short distance away. After watching the whales for a short time they dropped down in to the deeper water in search of a new area to play in. The check dive itself was pleasantly calm, great conditions to get everybody back in the water and test new gear and camera configuration. There were a couple of huge loggerhead turtles relaxing on top of the reef in the shallower areas above the swim throughs that were filled with sleeping white tip sharks. Some juvenile silver tip sharks checked out the groups just as we began the ascent to the safety stop. The following day was the first full day of diving and we stayed at the same island but moved to El Boiler. Good surface conditions with mild current and good visibility made for a great day of diving. The dolphins were making loops around the boat before we were even ready and they came to find us to play once we got in the water! Close passes by giant black mantas with dolphins in the background and you have a great first day. We stayed the night in San Benedicto and had an incredible early morning dive in El Cañón with Dolphins, Mantas, Hammerheads, Silver tips, Silky and Galápagos sharks. Smiles all around the group and an amazing energy kept us happy all day. For the final dive the current had almost completely calmed and we managed to spend almost the entire dive in the same spot being circled by up to 4 mantas. Day 3 and we awoke in Cabo Pearce on Socorro Island after making the journey during the night. We had the dive site to ourselves so made a leisurely 3 dives before the check in at the naval base in the afternoon. Again the dolphins made an appearance first teasing us towards the end of the dive and then at the surface playing for a good 20 minutes. The definite highlight of the day for everybody was the school of hammerheads we managed to get close up with on the 3rd dive. All the way out at the point of the dive site as the reef began to drop away below us we were entranced by the wall of beautiful sharks. Roca Partida had all the guests in awe, the sheer remoteness of this tiny islet paired with an unforgettable sunrise and the excitement levels were through the roof. The cotton mouth jacks were in abundance and there was no lack of Galápagos and Silky sharks drifting in and out of the large school. Later in the afternoon as we were taking photos of the 30 white tips all stacked up on top of each other resting on the ledge when we were lucky to catch sight of the huge Tuna passing us by in the shallow water. To finish the trip we made our way back to San Benedicto and there was no question of which site to finish with, El Cañón! Strong currents made it possible to have hammerhead sightings on every dive. Down at the beacon we could hide out from the current and have the juvenile Silver tips and large Galápagos sharks passing within a few feet of us. It was a memorable trip for everybody on board, both guests and crew, to be a part of the first trip on Socorro Vortex. This is just the beginning of our adventure!

TAGS

BOOK NOW!