Saturday, December 10, 2005

Reveling in the Revelligegedos

I went to the Revillagigedo Islands (only gringos call them the Soccoros) in Mexico in November, leaving from Cabo San Lucas and going 250+ miles out to sea. I went on the Solmar V an aging, but luxurious, liveaboard dive boat, around 112’ long. Club members have re-christened me Juan El Rocha de la Mar.

The 4 islands (we went to 3) are very remote and are called Mexico's Galapagos. They are volcanic and one volcano last erupted in 1952 on San Benedicto. One is nothing more than a rock way out to sea, but the diving there is great!

The Solmar V was very nice, but had very small cabins, 2 people couldn't stand up at the same time. But we only slept in them. Pretty noisy with the engines or generator running. Beautiful woodwork and most amenities, wide screen TV and DVD, bar, etc.

But 5 star meals (totally gourmet, steaks, fresh mahi-mahi, etc) and great crew, fantastic diving in very remote locations. One divemaster I knew from La Paz; mi amigo Nelson.

We did 4 dives a day (no nitrox either) in rough seas out of an inflatable. Long 27 hour run back to Cabo.

By in large we had very good conditions, fairly calm, only the last two days back at San Benedicto Isd was windy and rough (3-5' seas). Couldn't get back to El Boiler. Warm days and 80F water. We went out to Rocha Partida, an additional 73 miles from there for 3 dives on one day, traveling at night.

Saw several schools of hammerhead sharks, but always at a distance, some silkys, lots of white tips, etc. But they tended to be shy, except when we were snorkeling, which was disconcerting (whales left, sharks moved in), amazing how fast you can get back in a panga! Lots of small and larger fish like jacks and tuna, reef fishes, lobsters everywhere. Few invertebrates. We sang the whale shark song, but didn't see any. Snorkeled with a large pod of false killer whales and took video with the F810. See: False Killer Whales Video (requires Quicktime 7).

Highlight of the trip was diving with a 20' manta ray and a large pod of dolphins vying for our attention at the same time. One dolphin swooped the manta out of frustration!

My trip photos are at: Revillagigedo Islands trip photos