2013 Season Highlights- Action, Action, Action
WHALE SHARKS: Whale sharks start off our season in November every year. Activity has been particularly good this season, with noticeably more action than the last few years (which were pretty good to begin with). Then, there was a stunning dive when divers discovered an injured whale shark with a thick mooring line wrapped around it, cutting into her skin and threatening the pregnant female's life. Solmar V dive guide Daniel Zapata ("Danni") freed the whale shark in an unbelievable rescue. Watch Danni free the whale shark.
SHARKS: Silky, Hammerhead, and Galapagos shark action has been intense. The silkies began to school-up early this season in March, and the numbers were incredible. In general, the quantity and size of all sharks seen has been excellent. Roca Partida has been an underwater magnet for sharks for more than two decades, but the last three seasons have been simply amazing; this season being the best yet. Watch the trip report with schooling silkies.
HUMPBACK WHALES: Topside Humpback encounters have been a mainstay of Socorro trips since the beginning. In recent years, underwater encounters have become more common and are increasing in duration. This year topped the charts with multiple encounters including one of the most unusual ones of all time. We dove with a newly born calf and its mom from mid-January till early March - the same two on every trip. Here is the phenomenal video footage shot by our professional videographer, Adil Schindler - check out the video!
BAITBALLS: During the last two years, our crew has been fine tuning our protocol for exploring "baitballs" - tightly bunched schools of small baitfish that stay packed together in open water for protection. We're interested in the sharks and oceanic predators that are also attracted to these baitballs, and we have not been disappointed. Besides tons of sharks hitting the baitballs, we've also had sailfish, marlin, dolphins, and huge yellowfin tuna. Chasing baitballs has become a favorite among guests and crew alike, and the action has been consistent all year long. See the Baitball video.
Giant Mantas, one of Socorro's signature big animal encounters, started off great this year. Exceptionally strong through April, fell off a bit (which concerned our crew), and then back strong again in late May. Onboard biologist Eric Higuera believes a large plankton bloom that occurred at the islands may have been the reason why the mantas were not coming in as strongly to cleaning stations during this bloom - they were off gorging on plankton.
Wild Dolphin Encounters, another signature Socorro diving experience, continue to increase in duration and frequency. Extreme close-ups with these large, strong mammals just leaves you breathless!
So if that wasn't enough to make the entire season a memorable one, our guests and crew had to go all "science fiction" on us and find an underwater Vortex just in time for the new Star Trek Film... read below!
This article is from the Solmar
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