Very early on the first Friday of February, a group of divers from Weaver’s left the frigid temps of Winter behind as they flew to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Upon arrival, the group boarded the Nautilus Explorer Live-aboard and began the trip of a lifetime.
The next 20 hours were spent motoring almost 240 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas to the Revillagigedo Islands, often referred to as “The Galapagos of Mexico”. The crossing was smooth, and as the group spent the day relaxing, they were treated to sightings of large pods of dolphins and migrating humpback whales…a sign of things to come.
The first dive stop was at San Benedicto Island, an Island famous for dive-sites like “The Boiler” and “El Canyon”. Our dives there did not disappoint as we encountered Hammer Head Sharks, Silky Sharks, Silver Tip Sharks, Galapagos Sharks, Dusky Sharks, White Tip Reef Sharks and had our first taste of diving with the creature that has made these islands so famous…the Giant Pacific Manta.
The Mantas in these waters are incredibly “friendly”; meaning that they are actually quite curious about divers in the water. They seem to enjoy the divers’ bubbles, and make repeated close passes over divers’ heads between their bouts of “barrel-rolling” which can at times look like an intricate dance.
Next up was a visit to Socorro Island, the largest island in the chain. The group spent two days diving sites like “Cabo Pierce”, “Punta Tusca” and “Old Man of the Rock”. Besides more amazing diving with sharks and giant mantas, our group was lucky enough to encounter an inquisitive pod of dolphins that swam amongst us, visiting each diver within inches of their face, as if to say “hello” to each of us before slowly swimming into the blue. Several of the divers in the group would say later that this experience was one of the top animal encounters of their lives..they did not know it was about to get even better.
Our final destination was Roca Partida, an eroded Volcanic Neck surrounded by waters teeming in life. Besides the ever present sharks and giant mantas, we were greeted by large schools of Jacks and Yellow Fin Tuna. White tip reef sharks were especially plentiful, sleeping in large groups on the underwater shelves of the volcanic plug. The highlight of our time at Roca Partida, and our trip, came during our last day at the Island. Our group had several in water encounters with a female Humpback Whale and her calf. The mother was very calm and let her curious calf repeatedly approach our group. It was a life-changing experience for many and there were tears of joy from several of the group.
It was now time to make the long motor back to the mainland and we were once again blessed with very calm conditions. No one seemed to mind the 20 hour journey back to Cabo as all of us had shared some of the best diving of our lives.
Thank you to the outstanding crew of the Nautilus Explorer for the trip of a life-time!
Jeffry Jones, Manager, Weaver’s Dive & Travel