Season Openers Rock
SOLMAR V has just returned from our first two "season opening" cruises
to the Socorro Islands (officially called the Revillagigedos Archipelago,
but since no one we know can pronounce this, we call them the Socorro
This was the 14th year we‚ve made this return voyage, and even with the
remarkable conditions we‚ve seen over the years, this year topped the all-time
list of Socorro "season opening" diving adventures.
started, as it often does, with fabulous encounters with Giant Mantas at
"the Boiler" on
San Benedicto Island (one of the three islands we usually visit on Socorro
trips). The mantas were out in force, bigger and more curious
than ever. The giant mantas,
for those who have not been to Socorro, come to shallow water spots to be
parasites by colorful adult Clarion Angels and other fish.
Somewhere along the way, the Giant Mantas just came to accept that
divers were a part of the landscape, and started approaching
us in open water. They
by, then approach closely, and flare their wingtips right over us, just
as they do at the cleaning station. This is NOT an "on your knees, don‚t move" type
of manta encounter. These are open blue water encounters with free swimming
mantas. The photo ops are incredible, but the feeling is even better. Up close
and personal on the manta‚s terms in blue water.
after a couple of dives, we departed for Roca Partida (Split Rock) the
second island we visit. Roca
is really just a giant rock sticking up out of the ocean. Sometimes
it rocks with big animal marine life, and other times
it ‚s quiet and only home to giant schools of fish
and the resident friendly dolphins.
on this trip, we might as well have thrown away our log books, since
no one will believe us anyway. The shark activity was phenomenal. We saw many
different species of sharks (galapagos, hammerhead, silvertips, whitetips, silkies,
and more), and the activity was exciting and intense. But, we might have been
able to sneak that one into our log books since we‚ve seen this type of
activity at Roca on many other trips.
it was the seven whale shark encounters in two days that tipped the scales
toward "lies, damn lies, and statistics". But it was true. Now mantas
and sharks we‚ve come to expect on every trip, but whale sharks are
not seen on every trip! Seven in two days, even for Socorro, was exceptional,
the divers had smiles as wide as the crossing from Cabo to Socorro!
logbooks in tatters, these 2006 "Season Openers" to Socorro" stretched
even the crew‚s ability to take every day "one big animal encounter
at a time". The final straw was donning snorkels to swim with
what appeared to be (from the surface) giant dolphins. And, in a way, they
These were False Killer Whales (large cousins of the dolphins), measuring
feet in length. A school of about 25 or so.
While we have seen False Killer Whales before
in Socorro, it has been rare, but even our most experienced and
jaded Socorro passengers
have come to expect
the "unexpected" when
cruising in the Revillagidedos. "Wilderness is The Ultimate Luxury",
and the Socorro Islands certainly did not disappoint us this year on our inaugural
season openers. Please join us for some fantastic wilderness diving on
board the luxury Solmar V this year.
This article is from the Solmar
V eNEWS Article Archive