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el-gee

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Hi all.
I have 24 to make a difficult decision!!
I have vacation time in November after a hard year, and want to go with my wife to either Galapagos or Socorro. I'm pre booked on two live aboards, and have 24 hours to choose one. I would like to go to Galapagos maximizing the chance to see the great hammerhead schools and it seems they are mostly there in January to May. Or am I wrong? And whale sharks, so they leave in October or are still around in November?
Regarding Socorro, mantas and dolphins seem guaranteed, but seems the sharks only get there with colder water from January onwards. Pelagic sharks would be my priority.
The question being: November is the month I have, and both will cost a lot so I want to maximize my choice and go to the place that is best at that time. Which would you recommend??
Thanks a lot!!
 

Hoag

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If it is any help, I went to Socorro Islands in November 2008. Keep in mind that although it is the same time of year, it is a big ocean and the is no guarantee that you will see the same things I saw.

First of all, I was on the Solmar V. It is a beautiful boat with mahogany walls, and brass hardware with frosted glass accents. The cabins, however are tiny! There is not enough room for two people to stand up in the cabins at the same time, so one person would have to get up and get dressed before the other person could.

As for what I saw, the first day or so, was pretty barren with not really that much life but beautiful volcanic seascapes. That all changed when we got to Roca Partida. On a typical dive at Roca Partida, we would see a Manta Ray or two and up to 5 different species of sharks (a mix of White Tip Reef Sharks, Silver Tip Sharks, Galapagos Sharks, Dusky Sharks and maybe a Hammerhead or two). There were two dives that really stood out. On the first one, we rolled off of the Zodiac, and "landed" right on top of a school of 30-50 Hammerheads. They were pretty shy and formed a big "do-nut" around us too far away to get any pics of them. At lunch, after the dive, we were all joking about how amazing that was and that we might as well go home now because there is no way that we were going to have a better experience than that. (WOW! Were we wrong!) On the very next dive, we rolled off the Zodiac and passing underneath us at about 30 feet was a Whaleshark. It was very friendly and stayed with us the entire dive. It even followed us back to the Solmar V and did a couple laps around the boat as if to say "Good Bye" before it left and went on it way. The next day, we were at a different island (I forget which one) and there were a lot of Manta Rays. Because there were so many, we dove at the same spot the rest of the day. A note about the Manta Rays in the Socorros (I don't know if it is true in other places) but it is almost as if the Ray will decide if it likes you and it will stay with the same diver for the duration of the dive and then it will come back to you if you do another dive. At times the one that "hung out" with me was so close that even with a 10-17mm fisheye lens I could barely get the whole ray in the shot.
 

Hoag

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I am curious. What was your final decision?
 

DiveTheGalapagos

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Sorry I missed your deadline, but to answer your questions: Large schools of scalloped (not great) hammerheads are most abundant June - Jan. They typically migrate late Feb - mid April when populations are diminished, but it's still probably more than you'll see elsewhere. Whale sharks are usually there until mid Nov.
 
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el-gee

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thanks a lot for the replies! I eventually decided on Socorro with the Rocio del Mar, mid November!!!
 
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