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February 14th, 2020 – February 22nd, 2020 (Socorro Islands) #TripReport

February 14th, 2020 – February 22nd, 2020 (Socorro Islands) #TripReport

Bottlenose dolphins, hammerheads and a BIG Surprise in San Benedicto!

Feb 15, 2020
Dive day 1: San Benedicto
Site: El Cañon
Visibility: Good, 20m/60ft
Current: Moderate
Water Temp: 23C/72F
After a long crossing of 28 hours to San Benedicto we woke to calm seas and clear skies. Eager with anticipation we got in the pangas and dropped in at El Cañon. Throughout the day we were met by the usual guests including close interactions with dancing manta rays, hunting bottlenose dolphins, occasional hammerheads, even a tiger shark passing off the wall. Later in the day the cleaning station was in full steam with over a baker’s dozen of silvertip sharks.

Feb 16, 2020
Dive day 2: Roca Partida
Visibility: Excellent, 30m/100ft
Current: Mild
Water Temp: 24C/74F
With luck on our side and whales in the distance, we entered the water to a sea full of fish hoping to hit the jackpot. Whilst reading the currents and navigating the rock we were greeted by a humongous school of yellowfin tuna. The school was so large when they turned on their sides and looked to the surface they shone up like a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, like the ocean was full of stars. With greeting of manta rays and scalloped hammerheads alongside the usual suspects of cottonmouth jacks, bigeye trevallies, and caves full of white tip reef sharks. The first two dives put a smile on everyone’s faces. After lunch, the pangas left for dive 3. We dropped on the north side and were instantly met by larger silvertips and Galapagos sharks whilst listening to close range whales singing. Again the big school of yellowfin tunas came by and led to a once in a lifetime experience for all.

Feb 17, 2020
Dive day 3: Socorro Island
Site: Punta Tosca & Cabo Pearce
Visibility: Punta Tosca: 15m/50ft, Cabo Pearce 10m/30ft
Current: Strong
Water Temp: 24C/74F
Current was strong and the visibility was poor. One group was greeted by a single bottlenose dolphin, and we had a few hammerhead sightings in the blue. We then went for the naval base check in, and then headed to Cabo Pearce for two afternoon dives. Visibility was not at its best, but we had great manta interactions around the cleaning station.

Feb 18, 2020
Dive day 4: Socorro Island
Site: Cabo Pearce
Visibility: Variable, 10m/30ft-30m/100ft
Current: Mild to Strong
Water Temp: 23C/72F
The conditions changed throughout the day, but one thing that didn’t were the manta sightings. They were consistently playful getting cleaned by the clarion angelfish, and were accompanied by sightings of occasional hammerheads and silvertips and even a large tiger shark.

Feb 19, 2020
Dive day 5: San Benedicto
Site: El Boiler
Visibility: 20m/65ft
Current: Mild to moderate
Water Temp: 22C/70F
The final day upon us and we went all in for four dives at the Boiler. The water had reached a new low of 22 degrees, but the action did not fail to disappoint. The mantas were at their usual behavior, dancing and interacting with all the divers. However the true stars of the show were the bottlenose dolphins that turned up towards the end of the dive, and a humpback whale that surprised us all by swimming under us as we were ascending. The rest of the day continued with great manta interactions and good hammerhead sightings. A good end to a great trip.

Sarah Pulitzer
PADI IDCS Instructor #292791
IANTD Full Cave Diver #137698


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