Posts Tagged ‘liveaboard diving’

I’ve been to Roca Partida before but the first dive of the day was one of those dives that are simply magic. Leaving you with that special feeling only a few dives over the years will give you to remember forever. Roca Partida, Baja California, Mexico.

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Giant Manta Diving Socorro Island

I’ve been to Roca Partida before but the first dive of the day was one of these dives that are simply magic. Leaving you with that special feel only a few dives over the years will give you to remember forever.

We dove in only two of us and had the ocean all to ourselves. Water was clear and visibility being the best of this Socorro trip giving us instant view of all the whitetips cuddling in the three crevices on the east side of the rock. Moving on from there we made it to the north point just in time to watch a school of sixteen-seventeen silvertips passing by slowly and effortlessly. No more than a couple of minutes after they’d passed we heard the dolphins and saw them moving in as well. Mimicking them, and vice versa, we spent quite some time with the largest of them, clearly in play mood, and so close by that I felt hugging him: an epic moment.

Li from California/Sweden.

Giant Manta Diving Socorro

As you’ve heard, we arrived at Roca Partida this morning about 7AM. The weather is excellent and the seas calm with 2-4 ft rollers. Very manageable.  Roca Partida did not disappoint and presented the usual variety of pelagic critters such as Galapagos, silvertip and hammerhead sharks, tuna and wahoo. The rock itself was also full of life with the biggest lobster I have ever seen nestled in with a bunch of snoozing whitetip sharks. Moray eels were always yawning right about where you want to put your hand to take a photo of some other critter. It is a very hard dive to beat. Some folks were lucky enough to cavort with dolphins as well.

None of this would be possible without the wonder organization and attention of the excellent multinational crew and the very able luxury live-a-board dive boat NAUTILUS EXPLORER. The cook, Juan Carlo spoils us with hearty food and the hostesses Mundie and Sylvia as constantly waiting us, sending us off well hydrated and greeting us after each dive with warm drinks and towels. Our dive masters, Belinda and the Juan and only, show us all the good stuff and Capt Gordon, Chief Mate Karl and Engineer Marv make sure that the ship is where we left it when we return. Hernan is Herculean as he pulls us aboard the inflatables and ferries us back to the boat. The water temp is a comfortable 71-72 F. and finally I am with the best group of divers, ever!

If you have not done this trip be sure to put it on your list..soon!

Jim Smith, Maine, USA

We just could sit, hover and watch how the mantas stopped and slowly sank. Socorro Island, Pacific Ocean, Mexico. Jan 10, 2012.

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Routine check in with the Navy base. A happy meeting and New Years hugs in between the navy guys and us. After the years here we have established a good relationship. They are also the guys that has been helping us in medical emergencies or have responded when we have reported illegal fishing activities. (Though today they just have two small pangas…)

We chose Cabo Pierce and we did not need to get out far on the lava arm until we spotted a good group of Clarion Angelfish. So we thought we would stop here and just see what happens. Well two full dives with mantas on 5-10 m 15-30 ft coming from all direction and getting cleaned by the Clarions. We just could sit and hover and watch how the mantas stopped and slowly sank and had to move to not sinking to much or stall and getting swarmed by the clarions. Over and over again. In one moment we could count 7!

It become a manta day and we did not even reach the shark cleaning station cause this was just too good! Right now we are heading to Punta Tosca to snorkel with the silkie sharks.

Surface conditions a bit windy in the morning that slowed down towards the after noon. Temp 25 C.

UW conditions Viz from 15-22 m 50-70 ft. Temp 24-26C 74-76 F.

Dive guide, Sten Johansson

The action was most intense at the cleaning station with 3 – 4 giant mantas circling in and around. Socorro Island, Mexico.

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

manta socorro

Socorro Island. One-two-three, Go! We all backroll together and begin to descend onto the dive site, as I clear the bubbles off my lens and adjust my strobe, I see the dark manta shaped shadow out of the corner of my eye. Quickly I take a test shot to check my exposure and start lining up the approaching manta. After I get down to the dive site the action just keeps on going. Two or three mantas going around in circles – it was fantastic! Moving up the ridge I found a big canyon which allowed me to get out of the current as I waited there for several minutes I snapped some Peacock Flounder, Spanish Hogfish, and a variety of puffers. Then the first manta swam overhead and began to circle. Then several more joined in for a total of three!! I was in manta heaven and taking pics as fast as my camera would recycle. Then a school of about 100 large Tuna swam thru and made several passes. After about 15 minutes I worked my way down the ridge back to the down line. The action there was even more intense with 3-4 mantas circling in and out of the cleaning station. Even on our safety stop on the line, we were buzzed by the mantas up to when we got back on the Zodiak!

The only time I had a more intense dive with mantas was the day before at The Boiler!

Dave Kinney, Vienna, VA USA

The schools of jacks were so dense that I couldn’t see through the wall of fish. Roca Partida, Socorro Island, Mexico.

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Giant Manta Socorro Diving

Hammerhead sharks, huge schools of yellow fin tuna, a pack of 17 stacked silvertip sharks, napping white tips. A great day of diving around the rock.

Derek Bamonte, Denver, Colorado USA


As one of the dive masters on the boat I am used to having great dives at all our dive sites around Socorro, however, the second dive we did at Roca Partida was simply phenomenal. We hung out at the North Point, where we waited patiently for things to swim in to view. Hanging out in the midst of all the Creole fish we waited. First we saw a big school of black jacks (I have never seen them school before) after which we moved slowly away, keeping the rock in sight. We had a school (yes, a school, which I have never seen before as they are usually in small numbers) of Black jacks. Then, wham 20 Galapagos sharks swam past in formation. We were looking at them when we saw the hammerhead school just behind them. Not too bad. After that we drifted down the East wall, surrounded by fish whilst 4 large Silvertip sharks swam around us. Wow! It was like being in a fish bowl. I could go on and on about what we saw and how fabulous it was, however it would take several pages. The only thing left to say is that at 40 feet we saw another school of hammerheads! Oh, yeah What a dive. Enough sharks for now and we are off to San Benedicto tomorrow for another manta fix.

Belinda – Dive Master


What a rock. Saw Silvertip, Galapagos , Hammerhead, and Whitetip sharks on most dives. Swam and played with Dolphins on 3 different dives. They wanted to interact and on one dive stayed and played for over 5 minutes. The jacks schools where dense and the Tuna was plentiful. We had a wall of Galapagos sharks on one dive that had 20 plus sharks in view at one time. Again, what a Rock.

John Reading Mount Laurel, NJ


Schools of hammerheads, silvertips,  Galapagos and whitetip sharks, dolphins providing entertainment at safety stops. What a dive site! Sharks on every dive the schools of jacks were so dense that I couldn’t see past the wall of fish at times. Whitetips resting on the ledges piled on top of one another, perfect photo op! Trumpetfish and eels swimming up the crevices of the rock. Nonstop entertainment!

Eriko T. of Tokyo, Japan