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Just Back From Revillagigedo Islands

Discussion in 'SeaLife' started by Phil, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Phil

    Phil Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Portland Oregon
    Revillagigedo Islands on the Nautilus Explorer
    8 nights from Los Cabos Mexico
    5 m/m suit in 73 75 degree water
    Steel 100 tank available on board

    The adventure started out in Portland Oregon with a morning flight down to Los Cabos at the tip of Baja California. Cabo is a Americanized Mexican tourist town, with beautiful blue skies and soft sandy beaches on one side and Red Lobster, SamÃÔ Club, Costco and Planet Hollywood on the other.

    We spent the night right in town at the El Tesoro Hotel, so our embarkation would be painless. The Nautilus Explorer is moored right in the middle of the Los Cabos harbor about as convenient as it can get. We boarded at 9:00am and our luggage was waiting for us in our designated room. Patricia had most of our gear unpacked and stowed within 15 minutes and all of our dive gear was taken out to the dive deck one flight up. The staterooms are small but adequate with toilet and sink in one area and shower separate. We had one single bed and one double. At 6? 230lbs I was a bit tight, but having been this size for most my 58 years, IÃ×e learned to adapt. The towels were fresh if you asked for them and our room was made up and turned down each day and night, with a chocolate on each pillow.

    We were introduced to the staff up in the lounge and given a boat and safety briefing along with a mock fire drill life vests and all. Sten, the main man and Sylvia the diva of the dinning room were obviously in charge. Sten a Swedish born country boy was as visually impressive with his strong accent, long flowing sun bleached blond hair and tattoos, and Sylvia with her strong Mexican pronunciation commanded attention. They let us know the daily routine of the boat and the doÃÔ and donÃÕs for the next 8 nights.
    We ate our first of 4 meals a day as the ship motored out of the harbor heading south.

    Getting into and out of your dive gear was a not the easiest. There are no benches to sit on and all your gear is stored in a trough that runs down the middle of the dive deck. If you are short or tall it becomes a problem slipping into your BCD and getting your fins on without help, especially if the boat is rocking. Most but not all of the diving was done out of zodiacs, with no ladder to get back on. You remove your BCD and the staff pulls it up for you, and then you kick real hard and they pull you up over the zodiacs sides. A strong upper body is definitely an advantage. I will say that the crew was more than helpful if you needed assistance. The tanks are filled as they sit in the trough so you never take you BCD off the tank the entire week.

    Knowing that the ship spent half its life in the Alaskan north, it was not so unusual that I saw snow in the distance covering the rocks of Roca Partida at first sight. As we approached it dawned on me that it was 86 degrees outside and that the snow was in reality bird poop from the massive amounts of Boobies and Frigates that made their nest on this impressive rock sticking out of the middle of nowhere. The water was as smooth as glass with the morning bright blue sky, and no wind. It was as impressive as you can imagine.

    We did four dives, two days in a row at Roca Partida, and I would have liked even more. This is where we had our first encounter with the mantas, hammerheads, dolphins, and even a whale shark (that I missed) and that was all on the first dive. On the rock itself, we saw mammoth moray eels some 8 feet long, a variety of fish along with many octopuses. The abundance of big stuff is unbelievable. We would hear and see humpback and their calves 24/7, some coming within swimming distance to our boat. There was something very electrifying about lying in bed at night and hearing the whales singing in the distance.

    Next stop was St. Bernedicto, a very strange looking island like the top of a muffin sitting out of the sea. The rock was formed after the volcano pushed its lava up, leaving what looked like grooves, made from a garden rake, down its sides. Beneath the surface the water was as tumultuous and active as any we have been in. The currents were moving in all directions at the same time. Sten would say ÅÊf you want the big guys, you need cooler water and currents. Another 8 dives over two days gave everyone a chance to spend time with all the pelagic.

    Next was Socorro, an island that if often named for the entire trip. It is as poignant as the other islands. Covered with birds and sticking out of the ocean like a huge ice cream sundae. The diving was similar to the other spots, with some currents and with chances to engage with huge schools of jacks, tunas and sharks. Sometimes Pedro, another outstanding dive master, would take his group out into the blue away from the rocks and sure enough there would be as many as 200 sharks just cruising the ocean. Over the six days of diving we did such sights as Cabo Pierce, Punta Tosca, The Boiler, and The Canyon.

    As with all sightings, an element of luck plays into the equation. We missed the whale shark and most of the manta encounters. We were either already out of the water or at the wrong spot at the wrong time. We felt slightly cheated, but we must say it was not for the lack of the crew trying to accommodate us. In our nine live aboard, in seven years of diving and 500 dives each, we have never had a crew that has worked as hard and were as diligent and delightful as this group. Both Sten and Pedro were the best two dive masters we have ever had both in and out of the water. The food was borderline outstanding, nutritious as well as plentiful. The kitchen staff answered to our every need. The ship was in great condition, spotless and organized. Our real only complaint was that there was no covered place on the top deck to sit in the shade between dives to read or relax, even in March it gets warm in the afternoon.

    We met a wide assortment of divers some whom had been on this trip before. Of the twenty two divers, three were from Italy, two from Liechtenstein, two from Germany, and one from Canada and the rest from the US. All were very experienced divers. It is my opinion that this is not a dive trip for the inexperienced diver. One must be both physically and mentally able to deal with strong currents and choppy seas. We loved our adventure and are talking about returning again.
  2. Stichus III

    Stichus III Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Aruba
    Thanks for posting this report.
  3. treywilly

    treywilly Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Long Branch, NJ
    Great Report, made me feel i was along for the dive.......Thanks for my experience through your eyes!!!

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