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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Mexico (Western)/Socorro

Nautilus Explorer: "Manta Palooza!", May, 2021,

by Eric Eckes, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 11825 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The trip down to Cabo San Lucas from LAX is an easy 2.5 hour flight. A word of caution, however, when traveling with camera gear. Customs in Cabo is corrupt and will charge you 19% of the value of your camera housing. My buddy and I spent 2.5 hours arguing with Customs and ultimately paid $95 on a value of $500. Much less than the value of my D850 housing. One member in our group was charged in excess of $700! Since we live in Southern California we will opt to drive to the California/Mexico border and fly domestic from Tijuana to Cabo, thus avoiding Cabo Customs.

We spent eight nights on the Nautilus UnderSea. We had the top cabin which provided spacious accommodations. The trip to Socorro took 24 hours so we had plenty of time to get our camera gear ready. We visited three of the four islands: San Benedicto, Roca Partida and Socorro.

The Manta action at the Boiler off San Benedicto was amazing. Several mantas on most every dive and aside from one clueless rebreather diver appearing in everyone's photos, there were plenty of opportunities to get great manta shots. Also on one dive we saw a pod of dolphins but couldn't get close as they were escorting juvenile dolphins.

We went in May because Socorro is famous for bait ball season. We saw large schools of fish, particularly at Roca Partida, although they didn't bunch up like one would expect bait balls to look like. The current at Roca Partida was ripping. We had heard rumors of whale shark sightings at Roca Partida but were unfortunate in that we did not encounter these marvelous animals. Socorro does not allow night diving, aside from a snorkel with Silky Sharks which was fun.

The crew were great and the food was good and plentiful. They offer a good selection of beer and wine at reasonable prices. Looking forward to traveling with Nautilus again in the near future as Mike Lever runs a first class operation. Mike takes safety seriously and the UnderSea crew ran a complete fire drill one day.

Websites Nautilus Explorer   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Malaysia, Philippines, Truk Lagoon, Palau, Yap, Mexico, Galapagos, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Red Sea, Cocos Island, Cuba, So Cal Local, Canada, Tonga, Mexico
Closest Airport Cabo San Lucas Getting There LAX to Cabo. Easy

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 72-76°F / 22-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Plenty of camera space, electrical outlets, and compressed air was available.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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