Socorro, Baja California, Mexico
Cities (Information regarding airports, airlines, hotels, things to do.)
What is the Water Temp?
77 degrees F (25 degrees C) - May 2013
78-82 degrees F (26-28 degrees C) - November 8, 2010
74 degrees F (23 degrees C) - January 23, 2007.
69 degrees F (20 degrees C) - February 12, 2006.
73 degrees F (23 degrees C) - January 9, 2006.
What is included with my trip?
- On an 8-night / 6 days of diving trip you can expect 22 dives plus 1 night snorkel with the silkies. If diving Roca Partida on the last day of your trip (due to weather conditions), you can expect 21 dives plus 1 night snorkel with the silkies.
- Marine id slideshows.
- Meals with a mix of western and mexican menu items, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages including sodas.
- Daily room makeup and evening turndown.
- Linen, towels and bathrobes.
- Use of dedicated PC with smart card reader and DVD burner.
- Onboard kayaks.
What else is available but not included?
- Alcoholic beverages (we stock over 30 micro brews and a great selection of wines and single malt scotches).
- Rebreather support including zorb, steel and specialized tank rentals.
- Drysuit and and wetsuits.
- Gift shop purchases.
- Crew gratuities.
Taxes & Port Fees:
Booking confirmations include all taxes except for port fees which are payable by cash on board.
What should I bring?
A sense of humor, dive gear and a camera as well as casual clothing, shorts, t-shirts and some bathing suits. You definitely won't need rain gear on these trips and one sweatshirt or sweater will be ample. We strive to create a very relaxing atmosphere onboard, free of the irritants of every day life. You are welcome to bring your favorite CDs for quiet enjoyment during meals and in the evening. However, please leave your videos and boom boxes at home. Evening entertainment may include slide shows & limited video showings. Relax. Have a great time. We hope that you will forget all about "real life".
Can I bring my own alcohol?
Please don't. Guests are kindly requested not to bring alcohol on board. We have a comprehensive selection of beer, wine and hard liquor at reasonable prices.
What kind of water temp and surface weather can I expect?
Water temps range from the low '80s in November to mid '70s in February before climbing back up in April. The consolation to lower water temps is that is when the humpback whales and their babies show up! Surface temperatures range from 70 to 85 degrees and it is sunny and beautiful almost all winter long. A drysuit will work or a 7 mil wetsuit. Fyi, most of our crew wear diveskins or shorties through the end of January. Water temps will start rising again by March. There is a hot shower on the dive deck and in all the cabins. There is also a hot tub to soak in after the day's diving.
What kind of visibility can I expect?
Visibility from 60 to 150 feet plus in blue, blue, blue water.
Will I get seasick?
You should be aware that we will be making a 24 hour open ocean crossing each way. Sea conditions are usually mild on the southbound downhill leg while the return leg can be rougher if not well timed. Our vessel is equipped with dual Inmarsat satellite transceivers and we monitor the weather forecasts continuously. Generally, the seas only get rough one day before, and two days following, the passage of the occasional North Pacific weather front that has drifted down the coast. We promise to watch the weather "like a hawk" and time the return trip to best avoid any uncomfortable seas.
The Nautilus Explorer is a heavy stabilized steel vessel and has a very smooth ride in a 3 to 4' sea and is still quite comfortable in a 6 to 8' head sea. It is very rare for guests not to find their sea legs after Day 1 or 2.
If you are worried about getting sea sick we suggest you talk to your pharmacist about getting "The Patch" Scopolamine. The patch has opened up the world of liveaboard diving to guests who are prone to sea sickness.
Will I feel crowded or that I have no personal space?
No. Our vessel was designed with a separate dining room and spacious lounge as well as a large dive deck and 2 separate sun decks. Clients often comment on just how much space there is for everybody. There is always a corner or deck chair available as a quiet place and we leave the stereo off during the day to enhance that quiet time. Of course, you are also welcome to take a kayak off for your own private expedition.
What kind of tanks do you supply?
Aluminum 80's. Guests are welcome to bring their own tanks as long as they have a current VIP and hydro. See "Terms and Conditions" for restrictions. 100 cu. ft. 3180 psi steel tanks (DIN or regular tank valves) are available for rent (and 16 pounds more negative than an aluminum 80) as are rebreather and bailout bottles.
What's the diving like?
The Revillagigedo archipelago (of which Socorro is one island) is famous for very close and intimate interaction with giant mantas. We're talking "really close" interaction with mantas that can appear out of the blue anywhere in the islands. These are known as the friendliest mantas in the world and we put groups of only 10 - 11 divers in the water at a time to ensure the best possible encounter. You can also expect to see white tip reef sharks, silkys, Galapagos and hammerhead sharks and maybe even a tiger shark or whale shark. The best manta diving is at San Benedicto Island and we will spend 2 or 3 days there. The best shark diving is out at Roca Partida and we will endeavour to spend 2 days on site weather permitting. The diving at Socorro is very pleasant with large masses of fish, lobster, octopus, some macro life and, of course, mantas and sharks. We recommend that photographers bring their widest possible lens as well as a macro setup.
Will I be restricted in my diving?
Only by common sense. On the Nautilus, we cater to the more experienced diver. We treat guests the way we would like to be treated if we were on vacation and do not restrict divers to diving with a buddy, recreational dive limits of 130 feet, 30 minute dive times and the like. We will "turn you loose" as long as you are suitably experienced and are willing to take responsibility for your own actions. Please note that our Mexican permits prohibit divers from carrying lights or knives or wearing gloves anywhere in the Revillagigedo biosphere.
What do you do to ensure diver safety?
Your safety is our primary concern. With many years of operating experience, we have fine tuned our "safe diving practices" and average less than 1 DCI incident per 14,000 dives. We require that divers do a 3 - 5 minute "safety" stop on every dive, be on the surface at the "pool closed time" and arrive at 20 fsw with a minimum of 500 psi in their main tank. If you conceal important medical information from us or ignore any of the above "rules", we reserve the right to limit or cancel your diving privileges without reimbursement or credit. Our motto is "let's have a ton of fun but not have anybody get hurt". In the worst case situation, we always have at least 20 cubic metes of medical oxygen onboard and satellite phone communication as well as an AED and crew members trained as oxygen providers as well as marine first aid.
Can we bring along less experienced divers?
Diving out the Revillagigedo Islands is way cool, challenging, extremely beautiful and very rewarding. However, it may not be suitable for less experienced divers or those with poor physical conditioning or dive skills. Divers are required to be capable of swimming 50 - 100' on the surface (in a no wind or current situation). Please email us if you have any concerns.
Is divemastering available?
Yes, group divemastering and dive guiding is available on all dives and we will always provide you with a detailed briefing before every dive. In fact, we are famous for our briefings. Individual divemastering is usually only available by prior arrangement for which there may be an additional fee.
What is the largest group you will take?
We have 2 executive suites and 9 staterooms onboard which makes for really comfortable accommodation for 22 guests based on double occupancy. 2 dorm berths are also available and located adjacent to the crew's quarters. We carry 24 divers maximum and stagger the diving schedule to avoid any feeling of overcrowding the dive sites.
Can we bring kids along?
Maybe. Most trips are adult orientated with a minimum age of 14. However, some trips are more family orientated. If you charter the "whole boat", there is no restriction on the age or number of kids onboard.
Does every stateroom really have private facilities?
Yes with a head, shower, porthole or window as well as "real" beds side by side, shelf unit, excellent ventilation and air conditioning.
Do you allow fishing?
The Revillagigedo Archipelago is a marine protected area and therefore no fishing is allowed. We strongly support the conservation efforts for this area.
Can we kayak with dolphins and whales?
YES!! We have had some fantastic interaction between humpback whales and kayakers as well as snorkels and dolphins.
How much of a crew gratuity should I leave?
That depends strictly on what you thought of the service level onboard and if the crew went "above and beyond" for you. Most people leave a tip of USD200 to USD350 on these trips.
If you are staying in a hotel prior to boarding the vessel:
We kindly ask that guests remember to keep their suitcases zipped closed when not in use. We have found that even the nicest hotels have cucarachas and they would probably love to jump in for a free ride to the Nautilus! Please do not bring any food products or corrugated cardboard onboard.