A 35' Humpback crashes back into the sea after breaching. Whale Season in Socorro is from mid January through early April. Photo by Melanie Moore.

The Solmar V, currently enjoying the best ever Great White Shark Diving season at the volcanic island of Isla Guadalupe will soon set her compass south and west as we return to the Socorro Islands (the Revillagigedos Archipelago) starting on October 31st.

This will be our 15th year visiting the three most popular diving areas in the volcanic Archipelago; the large islands of Socorro and San Benedicto, and the tiny pelagic rock known as "Roca Partida". The fourth island in the group, Isla Clarion, is a bit too far to reach comfortably on our 9 day cruises as it adds two additional days of ocean cruising to the trip. Having been to Clarion several times, we've found the diving exciting , but not measurably more so than Socorro, San Benedicto, and Roca.

For those that do not know the Socorro Islands well, they are uninhabited except for a Mexican Navy base. Far removed from land (250 miles), the islands are the year long home to Giant Mantas, groups of curious wild dolphins, schools of large tuna and other pelagics along with at least seven different species of sharks. The diving is high-voltage, water clarity is usually very clear, and big-animal encounters rule, including schooling Hammerheads.

These islands also get seasonal visitors such as Whale Sharks and Humpback Whales. While the average water temperature in the Socorro Islands is around 76-80 degrees, it does cool down in mid January through early April to about 72-74 degrees. This cooler water is "Humpback Season" and the area plays host to a large population of Humpbacks from southern Alaska and western Canada that return to the area to breed and calve each year.

Our crew looks forward to Humpback Season each year! Their plaintive whale song accompanies us on nearly every dive (and scientists tell us that each year it is a different song, but no rap beat as yet), topside encounters are frequent, and underwater SCUBA encounters are growing every year. Our dive guides and naturalists are also exploring how to interact with Humpbacks using snorkeling gear, but obviously we have no intention to "intrude" on the whales. But this area of exploration looks very promising.

This article is from the Solmar V eNEWS Article Archive

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