Location: San Benedicto
After an amazing final 3 days with the White Sharks of Guadalupe and a quick 3-dive stopover in San Benitos we set out on the 600 nautical mile run south back to the magical islas of the Revillagigedos, also known as Socorro. With the prevailing NW’ly swell supplying us with a gentle push from behind we had an incredibly smooth transit all the way to our first stop at San Benedicto. As we approached the volcanic island our old friends the dolphins came out to play in our bow wave, greeting us faithfully as they always have in the past, to welcome us back for another season. We first dropped anchor in the sheltered bay at the south end of the isla, at a dive site known as the Canyon, and the first thing I saw as the anchor was going down was a Manta at the surface, a great sign! The Canyon has always been one of the best spots for observing schooling hammerheads as they come in to get cleaned at one of the cleaning stations along the underwater ridge there. As we were suiting up for the first dive several dolphins could be seen near-by, waiting patiently for us to jump in (we hoped!).
Dive one proved to be a great success for most, with lots of hammerheads spotted and several dolphins did come by to say hello and show off their agility as we lumbered along in our Scuba. The only downside was the poor visibility this morning, at around 5 metres it was much lower than normal. After one dive at the Canyon we decided to seek out clearer water and headed around the corner to the well known site, the Boiler. Unfortunately today the visibility at the Boiler was not much better and the seas a bit choppy. We still managed to get a very good dive in and once again enjoyed dolphin encounters and more hammerheads.
For day 2 we returned to the Boiler for 3 dives, and today one of our favorite dive sites would deliver! Visibility was improved but still patchy with thick clouds of plankton in the water. One thing we noticed different from our last season here were the number of white-tipped reef sharks up on one of the ledges around the pinnacle, with many more present than we had been used to seeing. The hammerheads also were here again today, this time unusually shallow and numerous, with a huge school cruising by on the west side of the rock at around 12 metres depth. And of course the animal we had all hoped to see, our friends the giant Mantas, showed up today and did what these mantas are known for: great interaction! We had a couple of the friendly giants with us hovering over head and eying us curiously as they circled closely. Not to be outdone, several dolphins also showed up again to show off their moves and delight us with their dolphin songs as they danced around us. An amazing place!
A successful start to our Socorro season to say the least, and more to come as we weighed anchor and headed for our next stop, Roca Partida, always a crowd-pleaser! Roca Partida report to come in a couple days, talk to you then!
Water: visibility 5-12 metres (15 – 40 ft), temp 26-27C, 79F
Surface: 78-83F, Skies mostly sunny, winds 5-15kts, swell 4-6ft.
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