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We swim with the friendliest giant mantas in the world, and go face to face with great white sharks. Read about our experiences, guest comments and more here at the Nautilus at Sea blog! Plus special editorials by Captain Mike.

Great video freediving with giant mantas at San Benedicto Island – 26 Jan 2011 – guest blogs

February 4, 2011 Written by

Today we visited  “The Boiler”, a pinnacle off the coast of San Benedicto Island.  The day started with continental breakfast which always consists of absolutely delicious fresh breads and baked goods, fruit, cold cereal and oatmeal.  After grabbing a cup of coffee and a quick bite, we attended a dive briefing, doned our wetsuits and went for a dive.  The first dive  found the pinnacle teaming with schools of jacks, lots of different butterfly fishes, a patrolling white tip reef shark and a really huge green moray. Right at the end of the dive a giant manta appeared in the depths while we were doing our safety stop.

Once out of the water, we had to eat again.  The liveaboard motto is “when you are dry you dive, when you are wet you eat.”  Boy is that motto ever true for this boat where food is in incredible luscious abundance.   As we were finishing our “made to order breakfast” a humpback spouted in front of the boat which lead to a day of scanning the horizons for blows and looking for tail flukes.  The second dive was filled with an acrobatic show of amazing proportions as beautiful giant mantas graced us with their presence.  We all watched in awe as these beautiful animals cruised by, eyeing each of us, with their remora passengers hitching a ride on what has to be one of the most amazing creatures on earth.  Dive trips like this make me wish that everyone was as lucky as I am to be able to experience the absolutely unbelieveable beauty of the marine world.  Everyone on the Nautilus Explorer is so privileged to witness these gifts.

First  dive day on the Nautilus Explorer after a very smooth trip to San Benedicto, this ship rides the waves better  than any liveaboard that I have been on. We could not dive at Sorcorro Island because of Mexican Navy excerices but no loss. Our check out dive at the Canyon yielded lots of Hammerheads sharks, octopus, moray eels and a giant manta. Now that is my type of check out dive.

Our second dive brought out the “Players”. Four large mantas that did not want to leave and neither did we. The mantas would let us get up close and personal and they seem to enjoy the interaction and would visit everybody again and again. One of my top dives in 33 years of diving. Water temperature is about 73 degrees with about 60 ft vis. If you got a little chilled, there was always a dip in the hot tub to warm up. Nice touch Nautilus Explorer! The food has been excellent but I don’t think I can keep having two breakfasts ( I am not a Hobbit after all). I would recommend saving yourself for the Eggs Benidict which was worth the extra calories. After all, you only live once.

If this was the first day, I can’t imagine how I am going to feel by the end of the trip…..perhaps I am a Hobbit!!

Ray

Victoria, Canada

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