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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.

Something truly magical happened. a group of humpbacks ….. Captain and guest blog – 03 MAR 2011

March 4, 2011 Written by

Picture perfect was the scene as we cast lines and departed for Socorro Island.  The southbound journey of about 220 nautical miles was actually uneventful.  If a beautiful cruising day at sea with a lovely and gentle lapping of the water at our bow could be called uneventful.  These are the times a Captain truly enjoys his time at sea!  We approached San Benedicto Island in the morning, a peaceful looking island volcano off in the distance just forming on the horizon in the morning sun.  Not wanting to expect anything to happen because that would surely jinx us, I watched patiently to see if the happy dolphins that seem to inhabit the waters nearby would greet our arrival.  And they did!  With leaps and bounds, smiles on their faces and great aerobics for everyone on deck to watch, the dolphins cheerily led the way down the east side of San Benedicto.  We anchored at The Canyon and quickly broke out the dive gear.  At some point between the first and second dives something magical truly happened that was an experience of a lifetime for everyone – crew and guests alike.  A small group of humpbacks, large and small, began to slowly swim around the boat.  Quickly a few of us jumped in and were rewarded with something that was so enriching I can only describe as spiritual.  They were so close. The sound of their breathing seeming to talk to us.  They were awesome, powerful, and I wish they would have stayed for hours.  After 10 minutes or so, and with a flip of their tales they descended popping up half a mile away.  It was a day for me to remember.  I am finding this stretch of coast so incredibly nurturing and such a satisfying place to be. I look forward to sharing it with you all.
 
> Captain Kevin

February 24th, 2011
Yesterday I had the chance to dive with a manta ray at San Benedicto. I swam above the manta ray for about fifteen minutes, it was a beautiful experience. I also saw a group of hammerhead sharks but they did not stay around for long. The visibility was very clear and all in all I had a great time at the canyon. I hope my daughter can dive here someday.
– Holger
ps: Viele Gruesse an meine Tochter und meine Frau

February 25th, 2011
Today is the fifth dive day at San Benedicto. In the morning, we dove at the Canyon. We saw fifteen hammerheads, a school of dolphins swimming underwater, some Wahoos and after the dive we snorkelled with some dolphins. Before breakfast, I went in the hot tub and I saw whales from the hot tub. There was a mother with her calf swimming near the boat and the baby whale breached out of the water much to my enjoyment.
My next dive at the Boiler I saw one manta and he was so close I was able to make a video of him. I have noticed that the crew works very hard and I am impressed with their friendliness. The food and the service was excellent. I hope I can come back again to the Nautilus Explorer.
– Metzi
ps: Viele liebe Gruesse an mein Schatz Petra und Hasen

February 25th, 2011
Today I dove four times and each dive was amazing at the Boiler. I saw 25 hammerhead sharks, I flew underwater for 35 minutes with a manta ray and during my last dive I saw a striped marlin, I was very lucky and this was my best dive day on the whole trip. I also saw a group of dolphins and they were very friendly, playing around us as we swam. As I dove, I could hear the sound of humpback whales singing; a perfect ending for a dive trip. I have had fun on the Nautilus but I look forward to going home and seeing my daughter, Elisa Marie.
– Holger

February 25th, 2011
My dive at San Benedicto yesterday was very wonderful. The dive was beautiful, I saw many swarms of fish, two Wahoo and some tuna fish. Then I moved over to the reef where I saw in the deep water a big black wall. I traveled closer where I came upon a school of about 100 Hammerhead sharks, I was in awe and kept very still as they passed by me. After that, I ascended to about 29 metres where I found another school of Hammerhead sharks which were swimming on the surface. This is the first time in my life where I have had the chance to see so many Hammerhead sharks, it was awesome.
Metzi
ps: Viele Gruesse an mein Schatz Petra und Hasen

February 24th, 2011
After hearing Captain Kevin yell "whales off the starboard side!", Kate and I slipped into the water off the back deck and swam as quick as we could out toward the whales. There was a moment of stillness where we thought we might have missed them and we scanned the water unsure of where to swim next and then suddenly we heard the distinct sound of a whale exhaling as she reached the surface. The humpback whales, a mother and calf, could not have been farther than 2 or 3 metres from us and traveling at a fast rate. As one whale surfaced behind me, another whale surfaced in front of Kate, we were surrounded. I watched in awe as the mother raised her back out of the water and then descended beneath the water. "Watch out for the tail," someone yelled behind us. Being in the water so close to such giant prehistoric mammals was a thrilling experience and it’s hard to believe it actually happened– as quickly as they appeared, they were gone. Thanks Nautilus 🙂
-  Chris

Dive Day 7 at Roca Partida
First morning dive at Roca Partida after coming back from Clarion Island ,I jumped into the water and I started descending to a depth where I was able to see the bottom visibility was great and on that plateau I spotted 15 hammerheads, 2 Galapagos shark about 2.5 mts long both very close so I was able to film them. Then after half hour I met Pedro our guide He was swimming toward me pointing with his hand and I’m a clever diver so I look to my left shoulder and I saw mama humpback whale with her baby and I have the proof in my video. Second dive Galapagos again! I always feel I have good dives.
Metzi
P.S. This dive is dedicated to my lovely Petra and Hasen

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