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Socorro Island revisited on the Nautilus Explorer
29 February - 9 March 2012 Trip Report

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Socorro Island - February 29-March 9 2012 Trip Report

It has been 6 years since my last visit to Socorro, I was in need of my Manta, Humpback whale and shark fix! It did not disappoint, we had everything on our wish lists except for the dancing Dolphins! The seas a bit wonky on the way there, some fellow passengers not too happy! The Mexican government had closed diving to Socorro Island again; this was the case the last visit. No bother only 2 dive sites and the animals move around anyhow, so it was not a problem.

We had some wind for 2 days which made us hide on the back side of San Benedicto Island, unable to dive the boiler where the manta cleaning station is. We dove the Canyon and the side portion of San Benedicto, midway between the Canyon & the Boiler, which proved to be AWESOME!!! Unfortunately the vis was pretty poor, a bit green and murky, full of the wonderful nutrients that feed this area and hence why the Mantas are here all the time, whale sharks and a plethora of sharks! Without the plankton and major nutrient's we would not continue to be amazed at the amount of Mantas and marine live this area holds!

What we did need was some current that would help to move some of the plankton out away from the rocks, however we only got a wee bit of current at Roca Partida at the end. For those of you concerned about current, you must realize that current is our friend for many reasons. It helps to bunch up the fish and bring them together which is a magnificent site to see! It also creates a happy playground for the sharks, mantas and all marine life!! It moves the plankton around and feeds the reefs to produce the abundance of marine life we love! Dive masters of course know how to dive the sites with current and expertly advise on how to dive each site so we all know what to do, where we may end up and how to successfully enjoy each dive! Currents are our friends!

Socorro Island - February 29-March 9 2012 Trip ReportWe had 2 zodiaks and one would go to one site and the other zodiac to another site. Our first dive in my boat was already wonderful with 3 mantas, a whale shark sighting (not by me, does that count?) and Galapagos sharks! Well I am home, thank you very much!!! Ok so since I was on the Nautilus Explorer six years prior, captain Mike himself (yes Mike Lever, owner) told me, Cin the Mantas love to be fondled! WHAT?? Yes that is right, we of course not allowed to ride mantas, thank God I have been diving a long time since back in the old days I got to ride many Mantas ! And it was FUN!!! Now we are all very courteous and look after our marine life, since not everyone has the gentleness needed and also too many divers now.

Anyhow I speak to the mantas underwater (all marine life such as whale sharks, mantas and whales), I am pretty fit so I can swim and talk at the same time and not lose all my air! They are very curious to hear noise and sound and girly chatting coming from this thing that blows bubbles! They slow right down and I can swim and talk eyeball to eyeball with them. This is a glorious feeling like none other!!! They see me, hear me and hang in there and I can swim a great distance with them! Now there is a small problem, new rule …. I was crushed. NO TOUCHING … wait - none? I mean I cannot swim under them after I have hypnotized them with my words of love and devotion and slip under like a remora and softly touch and fondle them lovingly like they love?? But they come back to me over and over???!!!! Well harrumph. I did get in trouble cuz I simply could not help myself! This is why I come here!!! They love me!!! Ok so I learned that when I get separated from the group, and I am alone and with a very special gorgeous, giant Manta that loves my words of endearment,,, I can touch and fondle and stay with her or him for a very longgggggg time!

Socorro Island - February 29-March 9 2012 Trip ReportThere is something most incredibly special about being alone in the sea with 1 or 2 or 3 giant pacific mantas chatting to them, seeing them slow way down, bank around and come back eyeball to eyeball to see what I am on about! There is a special sincere bonding that takes place, and I get a mask full of tears every time. I easily, slowly swim under the big white mottled underbelly and lovingly, gently stroke the skin. On one dive I was alone; I had the most incredible experience with a female, she slowed wayyyy down so I could swim slowly under her with both hands gently caressing her belly, I could actually feel the internal elements that made her alive and living! These mantas are the giant pacific mantas of the world; they reach wing spans up to 21 ft across! They are big! I could feel the subtle pulsing of her belly under my hands as I just put both flat on her belly resting them there and swimming as one oh so slowly and gently thru the sea. The gentle tenderness she allowed me was more than I could have ever dreamed of, we swam on and on like for what seemed like 30 min, it very well could have been. I do believe we communicated in the most ethereal way. I love my babies of the sea. I am blessed!

Just like humans, the Mantas show a fondness for us and want that magic interaction, or they don't. There are so many to try your charms on, sometimes on each dive we would have 2 to 4 different Mantas to try my charms on . I never fail!

Now for shark stuff! We had some AMAZING shark encounters, I am here to say I am so pleased to know that not ALL sharks have been found and finned! At the Canyon on the ridge, the hammerhead schools come right at you! This is very very exciting to see, perched on the ridge you wait. Like clockwork, there they were, many,,,, I happened to be at the very edge where they came right up and around, hammerheads in my face! Many of them, well of course I have a new lens on my camera and no idea that I had to set the camera on Macro, Ok I knew it, I forgot to set it as they arrived just as soon as I got settled, ugggg. So all the hammerheads that came to my face and smiled big,, are all blurry in my pics, ho hum. Luckily I have a good memory and log book! WE saw many hammerheads this trip in this channel and at the Canyon, but that was my best chance to get up close and personal pics. Next time.

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