ISLAND 2015 TRIP REPORT
After four years in Socorro, I have learned
two things: firstly, every trip delivers completely
different encounters. And secondly, although it always feels
like it couldn't possibly get any better than last time, it
This year, the humpback whales stole the show.
There were humpies everywhere we went. In fact, it was rare
to look around from the deck of the liveaboard and not be
able to spot a whale or two swimming by or breaching or tail
slapping. More importantly, we were lucky enough to have
multiple underwater encounters.
A couple of times, our divers saw humpies
randomly swimming past the dive sites that we were
exploring, twice mothers brought their calves over to see
our divers on their safety stops, and on a number of
occasions we managed to slip in on snorkel to capture images
of families of humpbacks on the move. Each encounter was an
This year's trip started as usual with a
quick dive at the Canyon on San Benedicto with a small group
of scalloped hammerheads and a brief encounter with a tiger
shark. That night we sailed onward to Roca Partida; usually
the highlight of any trip to the Revillagigedo Archipelago
because of all the sharks that hunt there. This year the
action at the rock was relatively slow but the resident
whitetip sharks were still tightly packed on their volcanic
ledges, Galapagos sharks, silkies and giant tunas still made
random appearances and we saw huge schools of fish and some
sizable schools of scalloped hammerheads off in the blue. We
also had our first in-water humpy encounter there, but still
we decided to move on after one day at Roca to see what
Socorro Island had on offer.
Socorro was where we had our best humpback
encounters including a snorkel with two adult whales
escorting a very small calf along with two bottlenose
dolphins riding the pressure waves in front of the
adult whales. We also enjoyed some great reef diving at
Punta Tosca and Rock Oneil. The latter was a new site for me
with great topography, racing currents and our first giant
mantas of the trip.
Although there was much more we could have
explored around Socorro, we ran overnight back to San
Benedicto to rendezvous with another liveaboard because we
had a broken compressor - normally a showstopper on a
liveaboard but fortunately we were able to fill tanks with
the help of 3 other boats so we barely lost any dives during
the week. Moving to San Benedicto was a very
good decision because 'The Boiler' (a world famous
site for manta action) was on fire this year!
We had huge pods of
dolphins, we had 11 different mantas at the same time, we
had amazing visibility and we even saw a few hammerheads.
For three days we conducted dive after dive inside a huge
cloud of megafauna. We also managed to do a couple more
dives at the Canyon (including one dive that was very sharky)
but the boiler was just too good to leave alone for very
Way too soon it was all over. Will next year be even better than this year?
I cannot imagine that would be possible (again) but I'm
looking forward to coming back to find out!
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16 Happy Guests from this year's Socorro
Manta and Humpback Adventure.
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