MARCH 2018 TRIP REPORT
Socorro March 2018 in a
nutshell: Great conditions, World class Manta action, plenty of sharks,
friendly dolphins and rivers of yellowfin tuna.
San Benedicto Island
As usual, our first dives were at the The
Canyon; a sharky dive site off San Benedicto Island. San Benedicto is
the closest of the three islands that we visit so its a good
first dive if you just want to get there and get wet.
The highlights on our first day included getting buzzed by silky sharks,
our first manta fly-by and an encounter with an enormous longtail stingray that was surrounded
by whitetip reef sharks.
After the dives we snorkelled off the back of
the liveaboard with around a dozen silky sharks. This led to
some excellent photography opportunities as the sun sank into the
We knew the weather was supposed to
deteriorate as the week went on on, so we sailed overnight
towards Roca Partida; an exposed pinnacle that is great for
pelagics but not so great when the seas pick up.
The action around the rock was pretty good;
quite a few Galapagos and Silky Sharks and scores of
resident whitetip reef sharks that swarmed the pinnacle.
Whitetips are very social sharks. When not hunting, they settled onto
small rock ledges and took naps together.
We often see large yellowfin tuna hunting at
Roca Partida. This year was no different except that there
were enormous individuals chasing schools of jacks and
a monster school of smaller yellowfin tuna that swum in a
river of fish at the edge of visibility. It was a refreshing spectacle to see so many tuna in one place. Hope
for the future!
While I was chasing tuna the DM took the
group out into the blue to look for schooling hammerheads.
The hammers were there but stayed deeper than usual, perhaps
in response to warmer water which they are not fond of.
Close to the surface, I found a layer of
large wahoo hunting in small groups. Other than the hammers,
it felt as though everything was a bit easier to approach on
When the sun was low, I also tried my hand at
blackwater photography. This is the art of shooting critters
that rise from the depths every evening. This nightly event
is considered the largest migration of animals on earth. It
wasn't actually dark so I was limited towards what I could shoot but
these salps made for some fun photo subjects.
After two days at The Rock, we moved
on to Socorro Island; the largest landmass in the
Revillagigedo Archipelago. We dropped anchor at Cabo Pearce;
a famous spot with multiple manta cleaning stations. It is
great place to bump into friendly bottlenose dolphins.
Neither species disappointed us :)
After two dives with the mantas and dolphins
we relocated to Punta Tosca. Exploring a new site in the
shallows, we came across some large silkies and a few very
cute baby Galapagos Sharks.
While exploring the area, I also stumbled on
a couple of giant electric rays. Although they are called ‘giants‘
most are only 50cm long.
As the sun sank into the sea, we jumped in
again with the silkies. This time, I concentrated on seeing
how many sharks I could fit in a single shot.
That night we made our way back to San
Benedicto. The following day we dove with lots of giant mantas at
The Boiler rarely dissappoints. It is a large flat topped
pinnacle that invariably attracts giant manta rays.
Officially the rays are there to get their parasites removed
by the resident cleaner fishes but the mantas seem to spend
more time playing with divers that actually getting
It was a great day. So good in fact, that on our last dive
day we decided to stay at the boiler and squeeze in another
three manta dives.
After the final dive, the crew spotted some humpbacks and
the guests scrambled into the zodiacs and caught up with
them. After a quick dip with the humpies, everyone retired
to the liveaboard, happily exhausted, ready to relax on
the way back to Cabo.
The Best of the Rest
there was plenty more to see while we dove if
you could drag your eyes away from the big animals. There
were far too many to include in one trip report but here are
a few that I managed to get snaps of:
Another great trip to Socorro!
Without exception, it was a great trip. That
is the beauty of Socorro; every trip is different but the
encounters are always world class. I am looking forward to
leading our next trip. Sadly that will not be until March
2020. I hope you can join us there:
Socorro Manta Diving
OF THE PROCEEDS FROM BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS FUNDS
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