Solmar V Trip report • Socorro Islands • 19-27 May 2019
We started our trip at the Cañón. The visibility was slightly below normal at about 50ft due to quite big swells and little current while water temperature was about 24°C/75°f. Weather conditions were slightly cloudy with mild winds, moderate swells and almost no current. As with the last few trips the sightings were fantastic! We saw many sharks including a Tiger and schooling Hammerheads. The cleaning station was full of Silvertip, Galapagos and even a couple of Blacktip sharks, who seem to be appearing more and more lately. We also encountered dolphins on the first dive and a few mantas but the first day was definitely all about the sharks.
From there we headed to Socorro Island to dive at Cabo Pearce. Again we were greeted by slightly below average visibility, water temperature of 24°C/75°f. Current was moderate and swells were small. Weather was partly cloudy with medium winds. We were visited by a pod of 30+ dolphins on the first dive of the day. They swam with us for almost 20 minutes, a highlight of the trip for sure! The rest of the day was a little quieter although one group did have a nice encounter with schooling hammerheads and there were one or two mantas around the site.
Our next stop was Roca Partida. There was almost no current and the water was extremely clear with 100ft+ visibility and water temperature ranging between 22-24°C/72-75f. The weather remained partly cloudy with light winds. The first two dives were relaxed. We swam amongst a gigantic school of Amberjacks and saw a few Galapagos, Silvertip and lone Hammerhead sharks. On the third and final dive of the day Roca came to life! The massive Yellowfin tuna arrived and were hunting around the rock. Another giant school of fish appeared, this time Cottonmouth jacks. And to top it all off a juvenile whale shark (about 5-6m/11-14ft in length) arrived and circled the rock in shallow water providing great viewing and photography opportunities for everyone!
After a day at Roca we moved back to San Benedicto to dive the Boiler. The water was clear and cool at 21-23°C/70-74°f. The swells were big but once again there was very little current. Weather was overcast and quite windy. We had an amazing time playing with Dolphins for most of the first dive while the mantas watched on. The rest of the dives were Manta madness with up to 9 or 10 of the archipelago’s most graceful residents surrounding us and everybody having ample opportunity to get up close and personal with them. As is often the case minds were blown, fists were bumped and we ended the day a bunch of very happy divers.
For our final day we split our time between the Canyon and our own ‘secret’ site Parientes rock. Conditions were partly cloudy with moderate winds. In the water we had small swells, good visibility and medium strength currents. Water temperature ranged between 22-24°C/72-75°f. Once again we were spoiled rotten. More friendly dolphins, amazing manta action and loads of sharks including some big solo Hammerheads and two Tiger sharks at one time on the cleaning station at the Canyon.
Overall it was one of those trips that had it all. Consistently great sightings, a few surprises and tons of fun with a great group of people!
Report by Brendon Cammell (Solmar V Videographer/Instructor)