Socorro Season Review
Solmar V has just finished its last spring cruise to the Socorro
Islands, marking our 14th consecutive year of exploring the underwater
and topside wilderness of the Revillagigedos Archipelago.
Mantas continued to soar through
photo by Kevin Moore
'06 Photo Contest Winner
Each year we learn more about the islands, add new dive sites,
and explore exciting alternatives to offer our guests on future cruises.
The marine encounters, like the tide, ebb and flow from year to year.
Our crew logs the diving highlights of each trip, and at the end
of each season we review them to get an idea of how to plan for next
Topping the list of new encounters this
past season was a noticeable increase in the amount of Tiger sharks
we saw underwater, followed
by an unusual amount of schooling hammerhead action earlier in the
year. Tigers are rare, and while we can not say they were common
this year, they were spotted on more trips than ever before. Usually
in the company of other sharks (Hammerheads and Galapagos Sharks,
typically) so maybe we‚re just getting better in our Field
ID of these magnificent big animals!
Hammerheads are common in the Revillagigedos, but large schooling action is
often a hit and miss proposition. This year we hit more than we missed, but
looking back over our many years of exploring we see certain years are better
for schooling than others. This pattern will likely continue over future years.
Mantas continue to be a consistent standout
in the all star cast of marine encounters in Socorro. Our best Manta hotspot, The
Boiler, is usually as close to a guarantee as you can get in the
underwater world, and when we found mantas at the Boiler we usually
saw more than usual (4,5 or more at one time).
There were, however, several trips when there were no mantas at the
Boiler! But, we checked our logs, and found giant mantas at alternate
used over the years, and we‚re happy to report the manta population in
Socorro appears to be very healthy and growing.
Wild dolphin encounters continue to increase
in frequency (nearly every trip, several encounters) AND duration,
with the dolphins coming
closer and staying longer. Not only at Roca Partida, but also at
San Benedicto and Socorro.
Plus, and this is amazing and new, even
to us after our 14th season, the dolphins are mixing with the mantas
on many occasions! Where
do you point the camera? Many guests this year got images of mantas
and dolphins in a single shot, and we certainly hope to see some
of them in this year's photo and video contests (details below).
This was high voltage wilderness diving at its best.
Humpback season was notable for our topside
encounters, which were frequent. Underwater, with SCUBA, it was "light" by previous
season standards. We're still exploring our snorkeling opportunities
with humpbacks, and we will continue to proceed slowly and with caution
when interacting with the mating and calving whales. Whale Season
continues to be popular with our guests and runs from late
January through early April.
Ending our 14th season on a high note, our Whale Shark encounters
were also up this year, and we had a better than average year of
diving with the largest fish in the sea! All of our November and
December trips (except New Year's) had whale shark encounters!
This article is from the Solmar
V eNEWS Article Archive