Posts Tagged ‘silver tip reef shark’

You call that a clasper??? – Guadalupe, October 23rd 2012

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

I was so pleased that Captain Mike had installed a deck head on the Nautilus Explorer and was using it for the first time.   The picture window was 30″ x 40″ and so big that I was concerned that somebody could walk by and look in.  And then I realized that there was walkway outside.   So there I was doing my business when I looked out the window face-to-face with a huge smiling great white shark with remnants of her last meal hanging out her lower jaw.  I thought she was going to come right through the window. She was at most mid-air and 10 feet off the side of the boat.  fortunately I was able to finish my business and stay on target.  Dan Stetson.  note from Captain Mike.  We have the video backing up this amazing breach!!   I was on the back deck opposite side of the boat and got splashed by this breach!!

An encounter with 50 silky sharks within inches of my camera lens. CLIPPERTON ATOLL APRIL 2010

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

 

We enjoyed having David aboard the Nautilus as much as he appreciated our efforts to provide a first class diving expedition. David was on our Clipperton Atoll Trip in April 2010 but we felt his story was worth sharing with you today. Enjoy his beautiful images as well!

31 dives / 31 hours underwater….15 days plus / 361 hours and a few minutes aboard the Nautilus Explorer….Diving the Revillagigedo islands and Clipperton Atoll…..All of it PRICELESS!!!

What a wonderful adventure! Allow me to reminisce about the 2010 Clipperton Atoll trip. Boarding the spacious Nautilus Explorer on the morning of April 10, I was greeted like a long lost friend. After stowing my gear, I began to relax and let the superb crew do their excellent job of assuring my safety, comfort, and gustatory needs.

After a day at sea heading south, we were greeted by a pod of dolphins in our bow wake as we arrived at San Benedicto island. Viewing the ‘Boiler’ dive site from the dive deck, we were treated to a mother humpback whale and her newborn, breaching close to the island. Underwater, the sounds of the humpback whale songs were absolutely awe inspiring! No giant Pacific mantas today, but there was a layer of krill on which the mantas feed. Sightings of a couple hammerheads were noted off in the ‘blue’. After diving the ‘Boiler’, we made our way to Socorro Island to check in/out with the Mexican authorities before departing for the two day journey to Clipperton Atoll.

Humpback-mother

Beautiful following seas and a stable platform (the Nautilus Explorer) insured that everyone was comfortable. This allowed for lots of R&R and a chance to get to know the other passengers. Dolphins played in our wake making for some great photo opportunities during the transit.

Dolphins-Clipperton

Arrival at Clipperton Atoll was with an unplanned fanfare of a fish bait ball undergoing predation by hundreds of boobie birds, dolphins, and sharks! A decision was made to attempt an in-water close-up of the bait ball action, but unfortunately the feeding frenzy was over before we could get in the water. However, lots of photos were obtained of the above water action!

Bait-Ball

Diving Clipperton Atoll on both the leeward and windward sides was punctuated by beautiful sunrises and sunsets. It is truly fantastic arising to experience the day’s first light with your new friends and have a crew member deliver refills of the morning java on the top deck…Thanks Katharine!!!

Clipperton-Sunrise

The dives around Clipperton revealed pristine coral, interesting night dives, lots of free swimming morays, endemic fish such as the Clipperton Angelfish, leather bass that could eat steel, yellow-fin tuna, schools of curious jacks, dolphins that accompanied dives, an extended open water freedive with 50-60 dolphins, schools of hammerhead sharks that numbered between 20-30 sharks, an encounter with 50 silky sharks within inches of my camera lens, lots of juvenile silvertip sharks, a huge ‘mama’ silvertip, Galapagos sharks, and a shark that even our shark expert Mauricio Hoyos wasn’t sure about (maybe we discovered a new shark species found exclusively around Clipperton Atoll???)! Mauricio was going to work on the correct identification once he got back to the mainland. A brief sighting of a large Tiger shark was reported as well. The guests had several encounters with the spines of the local urchins as well as some interesting action from the morays….right, Harry???

Silky-school

Clipperton-Silvertip

Dolphin-school

After completing 22 dives around Clipperton, we said good-bye to the atoll and headed back north towards the Revillagigedo islands. After two days transit we arrived to dive Roca Partida. Upon surfacing from a dive punctuated by seeing two 10 foot Galapagos sharks, scalloped hammerhead sharks, and my first giant Pacific manta ray of the trip, we were informed that there was a humpback whale and its calf that were literally hanging out at the swim platform of the Nautilus Explorer! Into snorkel mode we all went, and the mother/calf humpback pair allowed us a special treat with an in-water encounter that lasted over an hour!!!! Thanks to Captain Gordon for knowing exactly where to anchor the Nautilus Explorer!

Humpback-and-calf

Humpback-calf

After reluctantly weighing anchor, we made our way to San Benedicto Island to hopefully have more underwater excitement. The next morning dawned with us at the ‘Canyon’ dive site. Anticipation was high for giant Pacific manta ray encounters and we were not to be disappointed. As many as four manta rays played with us allowing for photo ops as well as gentle encounters with them. I always love peering into their eyes and hope for that special wink!

A glorious sunset with the Nautilus Explorer in the background was the perfect way to end the day and the diving on this trip. We all enjoyed the beauty from the skiff as well as drinks delivered especially for the sunset cruise.

Nautilus-at-Sunset

We were fortunate to have some “special” passengers aboard that were doing scientific research. Dr. Jeff Bozanic, Dr. Mauricio Hoyos, and Nicole Crane were all conducting different research on the trip. We were treated to presentations regarding their past and present research where we had the opportunity to gain insight into Great white sharks / Guadalupe Island, cave diving and finding new species of cave life (Remipedia), an excellent manta ray biology talk, a presentation on Antarctica diving, as well as findings regarding the fish surveys done while we were at Clipperton!

Clipperton-Silky

There was even a physician on board (me) that was able to extract a rather large hook from a sportfishing boat crewman’s hand that resulted in the largest ‘catch’ of tuna on the Nautilus Explorer (the fisherman ‘paid’ in freshly caught tuna!!!)…much to the chagrin of the other fishermen on board…sorry Harry and Sten!

All in all this was a GREAT adventure that was only possible because someone had the foresight to design, build, and staff the Nautilus Explorer for what is arguably the best liveaboard in the Pacific!

Thanks to Captain Gordon and first mate Sandy for a safe voyage with their excellent navigation skills and ensuring our safe voyage aboard the Nautilus Explorer. The hostesses, Kate and Katharine worked tirelessly to make sure that we never wanted for any creature comforts. Larry, the engineer, made sure that all things mechanical stayed that way. Bayu always greeted us with a smile and never forgot to pick us up in the zodiac after we surfaced from a dive. Divemasters, Polly and Grant, were pleasant, professional, and a pleasure to have in the water during the dives. How do you possibly not repeat a recipe with all the meals served over a 15 day voyage?….The answer is you ask Enrique the chef! The food he prepared was unbelievably delicious!!! And Sten…the Swede…What can I say?….Top divemaster….Guide Extraordinaire….My third time on the Nautilus Explorer with his expert divemastering…..I’d follow him to all the ends of the earth diving!!!!!!! Sten, you have my address!
My only regret is that I haven’t been able to accompany the Nautilus Explorer to her ‘home’ waters in Canada.
Again thank you and your staff for the privilege to be aboard for another fantastic, almost indescribable, and wonderful ADVENTURE…..a unique, rare opportunity to EXPLORE the planet in a way few people will ever experience!!!

David Massey, M.D.
Virginia, USA

Captain’s Blog – Three beautiful dives on pristine coral reef – Clipperton – 10th April 2011

Monday, April 11th, 2011

 

7am – up early and there it was – Clipperton on the horizon – the edge of the circular atoll a wider expanse than expected between the groups of coconut palms – by 8 am we were there escorted by schools of dolphins and diving Boobies! (It is lucky to get pooped on by a Boobie isn’t it?) We cruised around the southwest of the island – the deserted flagpole, the coconut palm grove where the settlement had been, the wrecked boat – the rocky outcrop who knows if Clipperton’s treasure is still there? But then it was dive time – three beautiful dives on pristine coral reef with reef fish – the unique blue Clipperton Angelfish was spotted straight away, morays came to check us out and White Tip and Galapagos sharks skirted the edge of the reef. On the last dive of the day a Tiger shark was reported – now 6.45pm and just waiting to see the photos.
Nadine

We caught our first glimpse of the historic Clipperton Atoll this morning around 0700, after a transit south by east from Socorro Island. We had a very comfortable ride down the entire transit, despite a breeze kicking up late last night and overnight. On arrival at Clipperton we were greeted by a big pod of very energetic bottlenose dolphins performing acrobatics on the bow and along both sides of the ship. If the dolphins were impressive with their performance, the booby birds overwhelmed the vessel with their sheer numbers. Huge flocks, or maybe it was just one enormous flock, of brown and masked boobies blanketed the skies, dive bombing the waters around us and following us on our semi-circumnavigation of the atoll. We started our diving this morning at 1030 on the south side of the island, sheltered from the wind and seas for our first taste of Clipperton this year. The results: sharky!
Juvenile silver-tips and young galapagos and silky sharks accompanied the divers in big numbers on all three dives. Anywhere from 10 – 20 could usually be counted at any given time during the dive. A few hammerheads and even a "smallish" 3 meter Tiger shark were spotted as well.  If a dozen sharks following you around doesn’t perk your interest, how about free-swimming morays in almost any direction you look, swimming curiously towards
you, displaying none of the natural caution that morays usually display. Often times you could look up and see 3 morays swimming directly towards you from different directions, very unusual and a little disconcerting! Also very fishy, with blue trevally jacks and leather bass here in big numbers, hundreds of rainbow runners, and dozens of other species that I will have to first educate myself about in our fish id books. A really nice start to our Clipperton expedition this year, and very promising and encouraging to see the sharks and fish here in such numbers.
Captain Gordon Kipp
Surface conditions: Air temp 30-32C, partly cloudy with a stiff breeze
Diving conditions: Water temp 28-29C, visibility 60-80ft, current mild to moderate

Captain and guest blog – Along with some lively action on the surface was some equally live action below with sharks of all kinds lurking about – Roca partida – 17 Mar 2011

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

 

Roca Partida woke up this afternoon!  Along with some lively action on the surface was some equally live action below with sharks of all kinds lurking about.  Duskies, Silkies, Galapagos, White tips, Silver tips and Hammerheads were converging on the Rock today in a shark convention it seemed.  While the Nautilus held fast in a building sea and the crew scrambled in and out of the dive boats grabbing gear and dodging cresting waves, the divers were treated to a exhilarating experience that added to the days excitement.  As one diver said "As I descended I almost sat on the shark like a rodeo rider as it swam by!"  It was an awesome 2 days at Roca Partida with breaching whales, calling frigates and boobies, the most amazing sunrises and sunsets, and wonderful company.  Boats now safely loaded and ship secure for sea we will hoist the anchor and sail for Socorro, seeking new adventures and great diving.
Captain Kevin

Roca Partida zeigt seine Zaehne. Und nicht nur mit den Haien!
Stroemung links, rechts, oben und runter, da fuehlt man sich ja wie in der Waschmachine. Am Felsen langrobben, und warten scheint die beste Methode zum Haischauen zu sein. Nach ein paar Minuten, kommt dann auch die Belohnung. Ein gutes Dutzend von den vielgeruehmten Glapagoshaien haben ihren Auftritt. Einer quetscht sich zwichen mir und den Felsen keinen Meter entfernt. Den grossen Jacks in der Stroemung ist das eh alles egal, aber mein Herzschlag macht auf jeden Fall einen Sprung. So ein Kaltblueter zu sein hat halt auch seine Vorteile (Vor allen bein 22 Grad Wasser Temperatur).
Jens, NYC

We saw 3 silver tip and 3 Galapagos sharks just after the divemaster left us. It was nice!
Volker and Jens. Konstanz and New York,

Another amazing day aboard the Nautilus Explorer, we left San Benidicto Islands with the hopes of good weather for Roca Partida, and we got it. The visibility was not so good due to some cold currents moving through the area, but along with those came the hammerheads. Today was the first time i have seen a Hammerhead shark and only about 10 to 15 feet away. Life is good!
Chief Engineer Cody

When we arrived at Roca Partida the weather was beautiful,  took some divers out on the skiff and before they jumped in we saw two humbacks breach the water 6 times it was amazing and then finished the night with a sunset that ended with a green flash!! can`t get that back home in rainy vancouver!
Deckhand Robbie

Wow, was fuer Tauchgaenge an diesem Spot. Ganz schoen anstrengend … Aber es lohnt sich!
Neben den vielen Jungen Whitetips in den Felsspalten (immer wieder kam einer zum Patrollieren  raus) wurden wir mit Silvertips und mehreren Galaspagos-Haien belohnt. Andere Felsspalten sind von Trompetenfischen oder Moraenen bevoelkert. Und zwischen den Tauchgaengen immer wieder Wale, die wir von der Nautilus Explorer beobachten koennen -:)
Tanja, Germany

4 dives at Roca, 2 days in a row!!!!  It was so great!  Everyone wants to see sharks but I loved seeing the huge schools of fish in the blue water.  Now time for dinner and bed!!!
Margarit, Switzerland

Sharks sharks sharks!!

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Location: Roca Partida, Nov. 17/18

We are back to our dear rock Roca Partida after been taking nautilus Explorer the 70 Nautical miles from San Benedicto.  Our Anchor landed on 245 ft of water and we started to get the skiffs in the water and at 7:45 we started to launch our first divers.

Finally back here again! We where decending down in to the current side and met a therma cline at around 90 ft of water defenitely colder then the 24- 26 C we had above us. This therma cline has this a bit green water and we just hoovered a few feet above it in the warmer blue water and meet up with one ..two ..three …No several silvertips mixed together with galapagos sharks swing in a big group together. there are about 30 to 50 sharks in the biggest groups that we see and a bit outside of them we see smaller groups of scalloped hammerheads, more shy and alone or in 3-6 to 7 individuals, and just in this spot. It is very impressive and this repeats its self during our two days. Why the silver tips and the Galapagos goes together we dont know an din groups like this is making lots of questions if it is time of mating , food  or day rest swimming.

Swimming slowly against the current maintaning your position among the thousands of creolfish can give good results. Suddenly we hear a sound like thunder on a distance. It is the panicing creolfish in thousands trying to escape Yellowfin Tunas or huge and I say HUGE! Black Jacks. After been watching the Tunas swimming buy in the shark cages in Guadalupe and now see the tunas here this are monsters! Some up to 7ft and must way around a 200 pounds at least. They rush through the schools of bait fish like rockets.

Sometimes we manage to by making a sound imitating this thunder of bait fish, we manage to get school of black jack and big eyed jacks excited , often with that comes sharks. It does not works all the time but the last day some of us where lucky and started to get in hammerheads first three then a few more and then everywhere. Under, over , in front and behind us! You dont know where to look and try to photograph or film it never gives the images that what you really see. It was more then 50, was it more then 100 or 200?  we cant say just all over us and as soon as they appeared they disappeared. It is far to short time every time when you see them and it is time to ascend to avoid deco and get up towards the rock and spend the rest of the time on watching lobsters and octupus and white tips sharks….You think! thats when this whale shark turnes up and pulse and breathing goes up and she comes nicely towards several of the divers and I(who was working this time on the dive deck) have to watch waving arms and listen to the story about the whale shark when the skiffs are returning home to Nautilus. The size of the shark was from 8 m to 15m, depending of who you asked. We kind of decided it was big and somewhere around 10-11m Big still.

So two really good sharking days! But not one single manta. We will see tomorrow when we reach Socorro.

Surface conditions, Sunny with a very few clouds. ca 30 C. 4-5 ft waves both days

UW conditions, Viz from 25m to 8m (in the strong therma cline) Temp 25- 26 surface and 22 C in the Therma cline. Both days just mild current.and a little surge.

Sten

Guest Blog – Nov.19/09

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

This day will stay in our memories forever; We saw a real huge and curious whale shark at Roca Partida. It came really close by and returned twice, which offers me the great opportunity to take photos as well. Awesome!!! Next to that we saw a big school of hammerheads and silvertips almost on every dive. The ocean here is so full of life that I sometimes see nothing else behind the wall of fish. I saw a big group of jackfish hunting and forcing themselves through an uncountable number of fishes. I would love to have a view of 360 degree to ensure not to miss anything. Big lobsters are moving like freeclimbers on that endless rock and morays are almost everywhere. I saw probably hundreds of white tipped sharks of any possible size at my last dive here. I also enjoyed my last sunset here from the skip, illuminating the Nautilus in all colors from yellow to red. What a great goodbye, even if we are sad to leave this fantastic place now. Anyway, the great moments we had here burned a big smile on my face, when we now head towards Socorro, our final diving destination. This tour is so spectacular and offers me more than I could ever expect and I enjoy every second of it. Thousands of thanks to the incredible crew, who use every second of the day to make this tour unforgettable.
Britta