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Ken Kurtis

GREAT SOCORRO TRIP ON THE NAUTILUS UNDER SEA (MARCH 12-20, 2022)

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We had a really nice Socorro trip on the Nautilus Under Sea March 12-20. Aside from the usual mantas and sharks galore, we also got a Whale Shark and an incredible dolphin encounter - which still leaves me amazed - so how can you complain? Plus we had a fairly nice ride down and a nice ride back up to Cabo so everything worked out well. And we had a really good group of people and a wonderful crew so who could ask for more? I've got the trip report done, the pictures are posted, and I've also posted a copy of the Nautilus-created trip video (which used a lot of our stills). Here are the links to those if you'd like to peruse any or all:
 

SOC_3180(LR6).jpg

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Posted (edited)

Great report once again, thank you, Socorro on Nautilus is a fine combo that I have experienced. Question for inquiring minds is current stratus on Immigration/customs  'shake down' on incoming divers with "housings" at SJD?  It's kept me and many others away for at least 2 years. Didn't see a mention in trip report.

Edited by Eyematey

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On 3/28/2022 at 12:16 AM, Ken Kurtis said:

We had a really nice Socorro trip on the Nautilus Under Sea March 12-20. Aside from the usual mantas and sharks galore, we also got a Whale Shark and an incredible dolphin encounter - which still leaves me amazed - so how can you complain? Plus we had a fairly nice ride down and a nice ride back up to Cabo so everything worked out well. And we had a really good group of people and a wonderful crew so who could ask for more? I've got the trip report done, the pictures are posted, and I've also posted a copy of the Nautilus-created trip video (which used a lot of our stills). Here are the links to those if you'd like to peruse any or all:
 

SOC_3180(LR6).jpg

I am booked for a trip from May 1 - 9 on Solmar V and cannot wait to go.

(1) I am also curious on the immigration shakedown question. (2) Is there any point in carrying a telephoto lens? Do you get to see anything on the ocean surface?  (3) Can I shoot with ambient lights or do I need to buy some strobes?

Thanks in advance Ken..

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Good news and bad news about Customs (not Immigration - that part couldn't have been easier taking all of 10 seconds).

They don't seem to be actively "hunting" as they were the last time I was down there about a year ago. No one working the line asking what you had or if there was a big camera or anything like that.

I personally this time decided to chance it and took my D750 and housing, my D610 (land/surface cam), and my GoPro. I also keep a $100 bill and a couple of $50s handy thinking if push comes to shove, I slap it down and say, "Will this cover it? I don't need a receipt."

I got a green light and was waved on through. But one of our guys ahead of me got a red light so they directed him to put his bags through x-ray. They then had him open things up because he has a u-shaped handle/tray for his GoPro that they thought looked like a weapon. I'm unclear about how all of this went downhill but the short version is they were in animated discussion (I was watching) for a good half hour and then they took him through a door marked TAX COLLECTION and he ended up paying $50. It seems it was all about the GoPro.

IMHO, I'd consider the $50 to be a nuisance fee. Yes, it's not right. But from a practical standpoint, if you've spend $10K on your gear and maybe another $5K on your trip, isn't it worth $50 just to get this over with and get on your way? Yes, I know the stories about people being hit up for big bucks. But it seems to me most of what I've heard about are people paying under $100. Be polite, be co-operative, smile, joke, don't argue, say "No comprende" or "I didn't know a lot," be a dumb American, and go on your way.

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Excellent trip report. Going back in October, probably not diving this time. 

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On 4/7/2022 at 8:26 AM, Ken Kurtis said:

 

IMHO, I'd consider the $50 to be a nuisance fee. Yes, it's not right. But from a practical standpoint, if you've spend $10K on your gear and maybe another $5K on your trip, isn't it worth $50 just to get this over with and get on your way? Yes, I know the stories about people being hit up for big bucks. But it seems to me most of what I've heard about are people paying under $100. Be polite, be co-operative, smile, joke, don't argue, say "No comprende" or "I didn't know a lot," be a dumb American, and go on your way.

Ken - yes, it it were contained to less than $100, it would be easy to write off as a 3rd world nuisance fee.  But someone with 10k in gear (say a Nauticam housing for an R5 or worse that costs over 5k now) - the tax on that is 7 or 800 bucks!   Lots of people have reported paying in the hundreds.   Though having to pay $50 on a "professional" gopro rig seems equally offensive.  

If it were a legal, defined fee, people could make the assessment, just as they do with the various tourist taxes (Cocos is not cheap here).  Or if divers actually represented a real chunk of business in Cabo, the diving businesses could stop the shake down.    But neither is true.   I scratched my Socorro itch once and if I want to do the Baja gulf, I'll do one of those trips where you drive from Phoenix and then fly home from Cabo.   But otherwise, there are many options out there that actually respect our business.  

Jason

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