Socorro Aggressor in April

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mcohen1021

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I had the opportunity to get in on a last minute reservation on the April 24 Socorro Aggressor…

So, I have a million questions… I’d like to know from those of you who have been there and done that:

1. Did you really need a 5 or 7 mil wetsuit in Late April or would a 3/2 do it…? I was thinking to take my 3/2 long and toss my 3/2 shorty over it if I am cold.

2. I’ve already read the seas can get rough. How does a liveaboard handle it? Will we get our insides scrambled while we sleep with the boat bouncing on big waves/swells?

3. How late have the humpbacks been seen?

4. Has anyone from here been on the Socorro Aggressor?

5. Do the other boats dive @ Clarion? Just curious why Aggressor does not.

The opportunity to see chevron mantas, Galapagos and tiger sharks has me ready to pack up tonight… My trip last year Red Sea Aggressor I last year has me hooked on the liveaboard experience.

Thanks in Advance guys
 

Cali_diver

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Answers with questions below:
I had the opportunity to get in on a last minute reservation on the April 24 Socorro Aggressor…

So, I have a million questions… I’d like to know from those of you who have been there and done that:

1. Did you really need a 5 or 7 mil wetsuit in Late April or would a 3/2 do it…? I was thinking to take my 3/2 long and toss my 3/2 shorty over it if I am cold. I was there in February and a 5mil was plenty for me who has a tendency to be very cold. You move around quite a bit so I think it keeps you warmer.

2. I’ve already read the seas can get rough. How does a liveaboard handle it? Will we get our insides scrambled while we sleep with the boat bouncing on big waves/swells? Bring Meds and if you have a top bunk, bungie cords help keep you in bed or just roll a towel and put it under the edge of the mattress.

3. How late have the humpbacks been seen? They do not see humpbacks under the water very regularly even during the height of the season so do not get your hopes up.

4. Has anyone from here been on the Socorro Aggressor? I believe it is a new boat from Egypt. I think it used to be called the Cassiopeia. It just started there this fall.

5. Do the other boats dive @ Clarion? Just curious why Aggressor does not. It is quite far from the 3 islands that you dive so not regularly done. Some groups to charter to go there but not often.

The opportunity to see chevron mantas, Galapagos and tiger sharks has me ready to pack up tonight… My trip last year Red Sea Aggressor I last year has me hooked on the liveaboard experience.

Thanks in Advance guys
 
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mcohen1021

mcohen1021

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Thank you for the insight! I am finalizing things today, I can't wait - 3 months!
 

Manuel Sam

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1. In April 2018, I used a 5mm with a 2mm hooded vest. Everyone's tolerance is different. Myself, I'd rather put up with the hassle of putting on heavier neoprene than to be cold.

2. On the ride out and back, yes it can get rough, but once there, there are fairly calm anchorages, except at Roca Partida. The islet is so small that it provides no shelter. On most boats, if it is rough there, usually they only stay one day. If this is a concern, as was already mentioned by Cali_Diver, meds work - meclizine (Bonine) works pretty well for me and does not cause drowsiness.

3. I think that April is at the very tail end of the humpback season. We saw one from the boat quite a distance away, and we occasionally heard singing underwater. But seeing one underwater - also as has already been mentioned by Cali_Diver - is not common.

4. Not me. I've only been on the Solmar V (9X)

5. I think distance is why they don't - also already mentioned by Cali_Diver. I was looking at the websites of a couple of new boats recently - the Vortex and the Nautilus Gallant Lady - and at least one of them plans to offer Clarion in the future, but probably occasionally only. As I see it, I don't know what else you might see out there that you won't already see plenty of in the other 3 islands. Isolation and it being seldom dived might make it attractive, but the same had been said of Clipperton, which is even further away, and I have yet to hear any raving reviews about the diving there.

Have a great trip.
 
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mcohen1021

mcohen1021

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Thank you so much for your reply! I have a new Henderson thermoprene 5 mil I got on special on the way, but I do not think I’ll need a hood since I didn’t in Maui.

I think I read there’s no night diving? But yes to night snorkeling? Do you use a life preserver of some kind?
 

Manuel Sam

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On the Solmar V there is no night diving or night snorkeling.

I've only heard of the night snorkeling with Silkies offered by Nautilus boats. I don't know about the Aggressor.

Not sure what the life preserver would be for, other than to provide buoyancy. I would find wearing any kind of flotation device to make swimming more cumbersome. My wetsuit provides sufficient buoyancy.
 
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mcohen1021

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Thanks again for the reply! I received my Henderson thermoprene 5 mil wetsuit yesterday. At 194 shipped, I will probably keep it since it will probably work for early spring waterskiing. But man is it heavy/thick… I can’t imagine needing that much wetsuit for 75 deg water. Is there a thermocline?

“The park also requires that dive lights are attached to the cameras” – why would they require this…? I always attach to a D ring.
 

Manuel Sam

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The wetsuit being heavy and thick: that's what I meant by the hassle of putting a heavier wetsuit on....when it is wet, it becomes work. FWIW, call me a wimp if you wish, but I also use the hooded vest not just to stay warmer underwater but also because I hate the icy sensation you get when you put a wet wetsuit on. The fact is that your wetsuit is never going to dry in between dives. So I bring two of these hooded vests with me, thereby ensuring that one of them is already dry for the next dive. This way, I have the dry vest as a buffer between my body and the wet wetsuit when I am gearing up for the next dive.

I have seldom run into a thermocline but it doesn't mean it can't happen.

As I understand it, the use of dive lights is not allowed - perhaps because they do not want divers poking around in the rocks and walls and disturbing the animals living in the nooks and crannies. But if you are using the dive light as a modeling light or as a video light, then it is allowed. I think that a case could also be made for having a light in your BCD for safety/emergency purposes, as in let's suppose you are stranded and it starts getting dark. But to be holding a light in your hand and lighting this and that up - that would be considered a no-no. Yes, I know you are shaking your head - I plead the proverbial "don't shoot the messenger". Maybe others might have a better take on this.
 
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mcohen1021

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LOL, yeah, that’s my point entirely, I want to take the light as a safety item, not to light up an animal. I’ve been talking to a buddy that’s been a few times, he’s telling me I should have a reef hook, a retractable reel for my SPG and a pair of reef gloves in my pocket…

Did your feet ever get cold?
 

Dan

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I went there last December with Nautilus Undersea, not with Aggressor, so they may run the diving activities slightly different. Nautilus don’t allow divers to wear gloves.

The water temperature in December was 75F and their table, below, says 78F. So, my guess is the water temperature in April could be even lower than 75F.

854E25EC-5142-4105-9109-DC70386F1460.jpeg


I wore 5mm Henderson full wetsuit with 2mm hood & still got cold at the end of the 5th day of diving.

I post my trip report here: Socorro 22-30 December, 2018 Trip Report

Hopefully some of the info there answers some of your questions.
 

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