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Mantas of Revillagigedos Islands


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#1 bmyates

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 08:36 PM

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Just returned from a great trip to Socorro and the other Revillagigedos islands aboard Solmar V. A full gallery can be found at http://www.seattleya... 2007/index.htm but I thought I'd post a few here with a brief trip report.

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This was my second trip to Socorro aboard Solmar V. The first time was about 10 years ago, and on that trip we saw so many mantas that I we actually got tired of them (I know, hard to believe), so I had a "been there, done that" attitude about going back (or to Yap). I only decided to go on this trip because some good friends (that I met on that trip 10 years ago, in fact!) wanted to go during "humpback whale season." Although the chance of seeing whales underwater is slim (we didn't see any), they wanted to see them on the surface and at least HEAR them uw (which we did!).

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I didn't realize how much I had missed diving with mantas - and how amazingly graceful and beautiful they are - until I was back in the water with them! If there is anything cooler than having a giant manta (or two...or three) calmly circle back around to swim through your bubbles, I'm not sure what it is! I'm guessing we saw a total of a dozen different mantas altogether (some several times I'm sure), with several instances of "friendly" ones that stayed with us for 5-30 minutes.

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In addition to mantas, we actually saw a lot of sharks on this trip - one site has a group of "resident" silvertips that hang around one particular seamount, and on several sites we saw groups of hammerheads (especially below 100 feet in the "dim" water, presumably at the edges of bigger schools just out of sight), quite a few big Galapagos sharks, and several silkies. I only remember seeing one small shark on the entire previous trip, so that was a special treat (despite the fact that I didn't get close enough to get good shots of anything except the silvertips)!

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Solmar is a pretty nice boat IF you get one of the superior cabins. I booked late, and so was in a solo cabin (really more of a cubby-hole) in the bow, and I've never had such a cramped cabin in all my years of liveaboards. The food was fantastic, and the dive operation worked amazingly well considering there were 22 divers.

The good news is that Cabo is pretty easy to get to from most parts of the U.S. (1 non-stop flight each way from Seattle were a real luxury!)

The toughest part of the trip was the long and sometimes quite rough crossings (24 hrs each way from Cabo to get there, and then 4-8 hours between the three islands). Even with my special motion sickness drug "cocktail" I felt slightly queasy for much of the trip. If you're prone to seasickness (like I am), be sure to bring your best meds (scopolamine, meclizine, Tigan, etc.).

All in all, I highly recommend this trip!

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Oh, not that I would have accepted the offer this time (either), but I'm sad to say I didn't get propositioned by a hooker on the boardwalk in Cabo this trip..............then again, I AM 10 years older <sigh>...

Bruce Yates
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Canon 5DMkII in Aquatica, 1DsMkII in Seacam, G15 in RecSea...Inon Z240's...too many lenses
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields


#2 MikeVeitch

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 09:06 PM

great shots Bruce!

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#3 ulcs

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 09:32 PM

Wonderful shots Bruce, thanks for sharing. There is something magical about diving with
the mantas.
Terry