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      February 15 – February 25, 2017 #TripReport

      Giant Manta Solmar V - Socorro Island

      February 15 – February 25, 2017 #TripReport

      Hi everyone !!

      We left from Cabo San Lucas on February 15th and we arrived to do our check dive in Las Cuevitas the next day at San Benedicto island. The first dive was very easy and relaxing and everyone enjoyed their first contact with this area ,specially once into the small cave plenty of tropical fishes. For the second day of diving we anchor near to the Boiler, spectacular dive site which seems as an underwater plateau with several cleaning stations for mantas .we saw a manta chevron coming from the blue and moving to the eastern corner of the site to stay around us! After two dives we moved to Cabo Pearce for another two dives. In Cabo Pearce was amazing to watch all the geography of the site with big rock formations and pinnacles. A manta Chevron was going down while passing in front of us and once close to the ascent line a curious silky shark was turning under the Solmar V. We cross to Roca Partida an isolated island in the Pacific, and once there our trip becomes a blast!! Bottle nose dolphins swimming straight to us, 8 to 10 of them passing in front of us, another swimming up and down, and a very curious dolphin come to check us and meantime a Chevron Manta was swimming with them and a Galapagos shark circling around. We had action with the mantas for the next two dives of the day. Mantas everywhere, circling and interacting with the divers, enjoying the divers bubbles at their bellies. Black Mantas mixed with chevron mantas, 4 mantas coming from everywhere in all directions. Big yellowfin tunas, big school of cottonmouth jacks, big eye jacks, whitetips sharks resting on the ledges and with more current at the northern corner of the rock big and beautiful silvertip sharks and 3 to 4 Galapagos sharks in between an school of skip jacks. The sea was turning rough then was the right time to leave from Roca Partida, to come back in the next days.

      We moved to the main island and once in Socorro we dove at Cabo Pearce where we notice about the strong current, and we saw 3 Chevron Mantas and 1 black manta during the 4 dives of the day!! We saw few hammerheads and a big Galapagos shark patrolling the area!! The next stop was Punta Tosca, a long reef which has two bars. The conditions weren’t the better as we could have, we had surge, but when we went trough a passage which allow to be in between the two bars, we saw lot of tropical fishes as pacific trigger fish, parrot fish, morish idols and lots of hard corals and at last of the dive we found a mobula ray! We had the Mexican Navy check which always is a good time to share time with the sailors which protect the area and for the next to dives of the day we come back to Cabo Pearce where always is good place for mantas and hammerheads! We leave Socorro island and we headed back to San Benedicto Island. Once there we dove at the canyon spectacular site to see Pacific giant mantas and hammerheads.

      The first dive was truly amazing, we had two Chevron mantas the entire dive and a black manta come to check us from the depth, and the rest of the dives gave us a wonderful experience. In the blue we saw a big school of amber jacks, and a big hammerhead was around at the limit of the visibility and meantime the silvertips sharks were around, we had more action with the mantas and for the last dive of the day a 2 groups went to tres hermanos a site close to the canyon and another group repeat the canyon ,but this time we dove in different way to recognize the rock called the submarine or years before was called the manta rock.we saw lots of tropical fishes, morish idols ,clarion angel fish waiting for the mantas to come to clean them up ,lots of pacific trigger fish , lobsters ,moray eels ,trevalley jacks ,pacific trigger fish and in the previous dives and specially in the last dive of the day we had a good action with the silky sharks under the belly of the Solmar V, 4 silky sharks circling around ,looking the big and spectacular school of amber jacks which was very active under the ship .The divers loved to see this sharks coming straight to them and circling very close and very curious , was a perfect time for pictures and videos with all this curious sharks around .The people at diving at Tres Hermanos they have a relaxing dive in an area with hard corals and tropical fish and a manta passing by. After dinner was the perfect time to return one more time to Roca Partida where more action was waiting for us !! This time the conditions were better!! During the day we saw big Galapagos sharks, 3 to 4 of them at the 90 ft / 27 m. All the area was a massive explosion of marine life. Schools of skip jacks, amber jacks, big eye jacks everywhere, trumpet fish and we saw 4 to 5 different mantas, one of them a black one. They were around all the time and they liked to stay at the 50 ft / 15 m to the surface. Every diver felt the kindness of this magnificent creature of the ocean. This gentile animal is unique in its type and Roca Partida gave us the chance to interact with them. Everybody is happy. After the 3rd dive of the day we seen humpbacks whales in the area, then we took the chance to snorkeling with them. We got in the dingy just with snorkeling gear and cameras. The whales went down and took a long time to see them again, but suddenly a whale was blowing and immediately we went to them. The first try was very good, we watched a humpback whale below us. We appreciate a big shade and two white pectoral fins. We saw it for a short time, but the emotion was in the air and we got in the dingy for the second try. We needed to wait because the whales went down for a long time, but when they surface at the distance Andres our boat captain maneuver fast and when we saw the mark in the water like a mirror we enter in the water and bellow as like at 35 ft / 10 m we saw 2 beautiful humpback whales. One of them was big, static and horizontal and the other whale was upside down, and moving slowly. The cool thing is that they stayed in the same place without moving and the divers took very nice pictures. Wonderful time!! We had the time to watch for the last time the whales showing us the tale and the pectoral fin saying bye!!

      And to see some more we went to El Boiler one more time in San Benedicto Island. Today February 23th was our last day of diving and was a great day. A gorgeous way to close this trip! During the day we saw 4 to 6 different Mantas swimming all together, up and down, at depth at the 90 ft / 27 m while a big hammerhead was around. The Mantas stayed at the 50 ft / 15 to the surface ,swimming and coming straight to our face, showing us their belly and turning all the way to the surface to come down and disappear in the blue. All was about enjoyment and excitement. Every diver is taking home all this memories of Socorro Island and a good memory of our vessel the Solmar V, taking us safe back home to arrive tomorrow February 24th to Cabo San Lucas!! See you next trip!!

      Ignacio Hernan Leyro
      Scuba instructor
      Solmar V

      Dive conditions:

      Current : mild to strong currents
      Visibility : 40 ft / 12 m to 80 ft / 24 m
      Water temperature : 73 f º / 23 ºC to 72º / 22 º C
      Sunny except 2 days cloudy and raining

      sea :
      Rough sea in Roca Partida and Punta Tosca ,and in the boiler the last day – Most of the trip calm sea

      Crossing :
      1st crossing from San Benedicto to Roca Partida : 9 hours 30 minutes
      2nd crossing from San Benedicto to Socorro Island : 11 hours
      3rd crossing from Socorro Island to San Benedicto : 4 hours 30 minutes
      4th crossing from San Benedicto to Roca Partida : 9 hours 30 minutes
      5th crossing from Roca to San Benedicto : 9 hours 30 minutes


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