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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.

An average size manta here has a wing span measuring approximately 14 ft, with the largest close to 18 ft across.

January 22, 2013 Written by

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We have completed dive day 1 of our current Socorro Islands expedition and are now on an overnight transit to Roca Partida.

Today had us diving at Isla San Benedicto, one of the three islands of the Islas Revillagigedo that we dive from November until June each year. We started the morning at the Canyon, our usual checkout dive location offering a sheltered bay and a flat sandy bottom leading to a rocky ridge and drop-off. Several shark cleaning stations are found along this rocky ridge of the Canyon which offer us a good chance to encounter scalloped hammerheads on any given dive. This morning most divers were lucky enough to spot several hammerheads on their  check-out dive.  Dive 2 at the same location offered lots of fish but no big animals, so at lunch time we weighed anchor and set off for the north end of the island and The Boiler.

The Boiler is one of the most well known and popular dive sites at the islands, infamous for its Giant Pacific Manta Rays and particularly the interaction divers can experience with these gentle giants. An average size manta here has a wing span measuring approximately 14 ft, with the largest close to 18 ft across. Today on our first dive of the afternoon at The Boiler we had two giant mantas spending most of the dive circling, hovering and generally seeming to enjoy the company of the divers. A common behavior of these mantas is to slowly glide into position directly above the head of a diver and then stopping it’s forward motion so that it slowly descends until it is right on top of the diver, often times making physical contact with the diver. On more than one occasion I’ve been startled out of a moment of observing macro by a 15 ft giant manta descending on top of my head.

Tomorrow we will be diving around the lava plug of a 10,000 ft underwater volcano, known as Roca Partida. Roca Partida is a pelagic lovers heaven and my personal favorite divesite.

Talk again soon.

Captain Gordon Kipp

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