Socorro around Christmas/New Years - conditions etc.

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Liberty01

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Hi,
thinking about booking a trip to Socorro around Christmas. Has anyone been there at that time and can give advice? What is the water temperature around that time? Is there sheltered anchorage at Socorro?
I found a 13-day special trip on Rocio del Mar with 10days of diving at Socorro. Other options are the usual 9 day trips (Nautilus Explorer etc.) with 5 days of diving at Socorro which is not much considering the long travel time to Socorro. On the other hand, there are only a few dive sites there, thus 5 days might be enough. And I worry about rough sea conditions even while staying at Socorro.
With these few dive sites and several liveaboards, does it get crowded under water?
Thank you.
Cheers,
Liberty
 

Moray

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Hi,
thinking about booking a trip to Socorro around Christmas. Has anyone been there at that time and can give advice? What is the water temperature around that time? Is there sheltered anchorage at Socorro?
I found a 13-day special trip on Rocio del Mar with 10days of diving at Socorro. Other options are the usual 9 day trips (Nautilus Explorer etc.) with 5 days of diving at Socorro which is not much considering the long travel time to Socorro. On the other hand, there are only a few dive sites there, thus 5 days might be enough. And I worry about rough sea conditions even while staying at Socorro.
With these few dive sites and several liveaboards, does it get crowded under water?
Thank you.
Cheers,
Liberty
I'm going in 10 days. My liveaboard, the Valentina, reports 75 degree water temperature .
 

TheSaltySeaTurtle

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I went to the Socorros aboard the Rocio Del Mar a couple weeks ago. My trip departed December 27 and returned January 4. It was an awesome trip and I highly recommend it!

I arrived in San Jose Del Cabo the afternoon of Dec. 26 and we departed from the marina around 9 am on the 27th. The crossing to the Socorros is 26 hours in good weather. Luckily, we had good weather and I began taking Dramamine the day before departure, so I had no issues at all with seasickness. (The return crossing was a little rougher and a couple people felt queasy, but again, if you're prepared with Dramamine it really helps. I had zero issues.)

Our first stop was at San Benedicto. We arrived around noon on the 28th and we got 2 dives in that day. We spent the next day there as well diving "the Canyon," and then we moved on to Isla Socorro which is the only inhabited island (Mexican Navy base). We saw a lot of sharks, but my favorite part of Isla Socorro was the dolphin interactions. We saw dolphins at San Benedicto too, but these dolphins made repeated visits over our 2 days of diving there, and they got really, really close and stayed with us a good while. Morning dives were always the best for dolphins, so don't skip any of those! Here's a video I took of our dolphin interactions:
Rocio Del Mar did a good job communicating with the other liveaboards to make sure we all got a turn at the best sites. Roca Partida was the smallest island (really just a rock) so it can get crowded quick. There is no sheltered protection at Roca Partida, so they run over there as soon as they know the weather is good. If it's too windy, they have to wait. Luckily, we made it over there with great weather and we were the only liveaboard. Also, there are 20 divers on the boat but they are divided into 3 groups at slightly staggered times and slightly different drop-off locations (from a panga). We had some really awesome interactions with giant oceanic mantas at Roca Partida, along with white tip sharks, silky sharks, Galapagos shark, tuna, and more. One group on my boat saw a whale shark. Roca Partida: On the last day, we went back to San Benedicto but dove a different site, "The Boiler." Lots more mantas there, plus schooling hammerheads and dolphins.

Water temps ranged from 76 to 81 degrees. Some people wore 5 mil or even 7 mil wetsuits the whole time, but I wore a 3 mil with a hooded Lavacore and was fine. I only wore more than that on 2 or 3 dives (a 5 mil) and I was completely warm.

Except for the first day on our arrival when we had 2 dives, we had 4 dives every day except at Roca Partida where we had 3. We ended up with 20 dives for the trip. Night dives are not allowed in the Socorros.

Overall, I thought it was a great trip. You won't see beautiful corals, but you'll have amazing manta and dolphin interactions. Maybe even whales if you're lucky...we saw one in the distance but couldn't catch up to it.

Trip compilation video:
boiler manta 15.jpg
dolphins 5.jpg
RP manta 4.jpg
 
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Dan

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I went to the Socorros aboard the Rocio Del Mar a couple weeks ago. My trip departed December 27 and returned January 4. It was an awesome trip and I highly recommend it!

I arrived in San Jose Del Cabo the afternoon of Dec. 26 and we departed from the marina around 9 am on the 27th. The crossing to the Socorros is 26 hours in good weather. Luckily, we had good weather and I began taking Dramamine the day before departure, so I had no issues at all with seasickness. (The return crossing was a little rougher and a couple people felt queasy, but again, if you're prepared with Dramamine it really helps. I had zero issues.)

Our first stop was at San Benedicto. We arrived around noon on the 28th and we got 2 dives in that day. We spent the next day there as well diving "the Canyon," and then we moved on to Isla Socorro which is the only inhabited island (Mexican Navy base). We saw a lot of sharks, but my favorite part of Isla Socorro was the dolphin interactions. We saw dolphins at San Benedicto too, but these dolphins made repeated visits over our 2 days of diving there, and they got really, really close and stayed with us a good while. Morning dives were always the best for dolphins, so don't skip any of those! Here's a video I took of our dolphin interactions:
Rocio Del Mar did a good job communicating with the other liveaboards to make sure we all got a turn at the best sites. Roca Partida was the smallest island (really just a rock) so it can get crowded quick. There is no sheltered protection at Roca Partida, so they run over there as soon as they know the weather is good. If it's too windy, they have to wait. Luckily, we made it over there with great weather and we were the only liveaboard. Also, there are 20 divers on the boat but they are divided into 3 groups at slightly staggered times and slightly different drop-off locations (from a panga). We had some really awesome interactions with giant oceanic mantas at Roca Partida, along with white tip sharks, silky sharks, Galapagos shark, tuna, and more. One group on my boat saw a whale shark. Roca Partida: On the last day, we went back to San Benedicto but dove a different site, "The Boiler." Lots more mantas there, plus schooling hammerheads and dolphins.

Water temps ranged from 76 to 81 degrees. Some people wore 5 mil or even 7 mil wetsuits the whole time, but I wore a 3 mil with a hooded Lavacore and was fine. I only wore more than that on 2 or 3 dives (a 5 mil) and I was completely warm.

Except for the first day on our arrival when we had 2 dives, we had 4 dives every day except at Roca Partida where we had 3. We ended up with 20 dives for the trip. Night dives are not allowed in the Socorros.

Overall, I thought it was a great trip. You won't see beautiful corals, but you'll have amazing manta and dolphin interactions. Maybe even whales if you're lucky...we saw one in the distance but couldn't catch up to it.

Trip compilation video:
View attachment 390094 View attachment 390095 View attachment 390096

Thanks for sharing the videos & pictures of your Socorro trip. It's interesting to see those dolphins at one time swimming vertically as if they were imitating the divers postures while taking their pictures. Fun-loving animal. I never got a chance to take pictures of them underwater. I hope I could in my trip there over Christmas - New Year holiday period in 2018.
 
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