We reached Socorro Island having done some truly amazing dives, encountering giant mantas, white tip reef sharks and dolphins along the way. The great diving continued and we had much better visibility at 'The Point', a honeycomb lava tube running from high on the mainland far out to sea. Again the currents were strong and we clawed with the very tips of our fingers, like Spiderman, at various points of the dives.
One late-evening we snorkelled with Silkies
After throwing a few fish heads from the stern-platform and with the yacht's floodlights focused on the surface, the silky sharks arrived. In numbers. We donned wetsuits, masks and fins and with a camera and torch I hopped into the shark-infested darkness. Maybe slightly dramatic, but essentially that's what was happening and there was a real rush as they inquisitively bumped into you from all angles.
The following morning we reached Roca Partida, the third and smallest island of the main trio: essentially a tiny rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. That first early-morning dive was one of my most magical dives to date. A pod of dolphins chased us to the site. They followed us as we backwards-rolled from the rib and descended. The sun was beaming through the crystal-clear ocean, radiating off this Cathedral-like rock, bringing everything into perfect focus. Wahoo whizzed by in the blue, yellow-fin accompanying and white tip reef sharks were out patrolling in large packs. A few silky and galapagos sharks were keeping watch slightly further into the blue.
The diving got better and better
It was an amazing moment rolling off the rib to find a 55 foot juvenile whale shark about 25 metres below the surface. Another highlight was the moment we swam away from the reef into the blue at depth and found ourselves surrounded by hundreds of schooling hammerheads.
A quick word on the accommodation
The Nautilus Belle Amie itself is an extremely spacious and well run liveaboard. The crew are very friendly and helpful and nothing is too much trouble. The food onboard never stopped flowing and was varied and delicious. When we discovered a second hurricane had formed and that Hurricane Carlos was heading our way, the captain and crew made perfect decisions and luckily we didn't have to miss out on any diving.
An adventure to Socorro is truly that
Socorro promises and delivers. We were amongst some of the unfortunate cruises due to the fact that we were between two rather large storms at the very end of the Socorro season. Despite this, I experienced some of the most exciting diving to date and was very impressed with the crew and ship for their ability to handle anything Mother Nature threw their way. I can only imagine that when conditions are only slightly better, let alone at their best, the islands of Socorro are some of the most exhilarating places to dive on Earth.