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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Mexico (Western)

Nautilus Explorer: "Mantas, sharks, and dolphins...oh my!", Dec, 2022,

by Marcia Pedersen, WA, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 12315.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 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 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Great trip—people, critters, and accommodations!

We arrived two days before the boat left and did two boat dives near the arch. Fun to play with the seals and nice to get in the water—crazy busy area though. We recommend Casa Dorada on Medano Beach. The Tesoro was closer with good food but overall not as nice. We HIGHLY recommend The Italian Job on Av. del Pescador near Medano Beach for dinner!

On the first day of the charter, we checked in at SeeCreatures dive shop in Cabo around lunch and left our luggage there. We rented some gear and a GoPro from the shop and got a great Go Pro tutorial from the staff. Hung out in Cabo til trip briefing at 7 p.m. Boarded boat, safety briefing, snacks, and sleep while the boat headed south. Day 2 was a travel day to get the full 260 miles south of Cabo. Calm waters, time to set up gear, crew presentations, hanging out, and meeting our fellow travelers from the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Australia. Each diver was issued an SMB, alert horn, and a Lifeline emergency beacon.

Crew was amazing! Great presentations for identifying critters, showing respect for the sea, and dive briefings. I loved watching how they worked as a team whether it was diving, running the skiffs, hauling tanks, cleaning, working the bar, or washing dishes—even Captain Julio! The food was too good; I had to consciously think about how much I was eating. Typical day: continental breakfast, dive 1, hot breakfast, dive 2, lunch, dive 3, snack, dive 4, happy hour, dinner…then some much-needed sleep!

The boat. Nice galley and lounge area. Huge camera table with 24-hour charging and serious rules about charging elsewhere—thankfully! Area to hang suits. Small hot tub but comfy temp. Sun deck with nice lounge chairs. Our lower state room had super comfy beds with plenty of storage, good airflow, our own hot shower, and “tight” toilet/sink area. Potable water throughout the boat. Room service daily.

The diving. Good gear station with basket for stuff. Fresh deck towel every day hanging at my station. Nitrox every dive—consistent 32% tank mix. About six steps to dive deck. Getting on the skiffs was awkward the first time, but then it was no big deal. Crew was always there to assist. Short skiff ride to site; back roll entry (positive or negative entry was fine but hanging out on the surface too long is not recommended). Most dives were 60-90 feet. No navigation skills necessary. Could follow DM or just wander on our own. Surface individually or in groups with requested 700 psi. Fresh rinse buckets, hot showers and beverages on the dive deck after every dive. I wore a ScubaPro PyroFlex 2mm, no booties, and no hood. Most divers wore 5mm suits with booties.

The critters! MANTAS EVERY DIVE. Saw both black and chevron—bigger than my truck! So many sharks! Saw big schools of Silvertips, big schools of Hammerheads, and one quick glimpse of a huge Tiger Shark! Had three dives with visits from bottle-nosed dolphins. Saw huge yellow fin tunas, jacks, morays, HUGE lobsters, and even octopus. Sadly, no whale sharks; but the mantas more than made up for it. They danced and circled forever!

Highly recommended trip for advanced divers. New divers may not like the entry, quick descent, depth, or surfacing mid-water with an SMB. The Explorer accommodates 24 divers—three groups of 8. We were with the same group of experienced divers with rotating DMs. The Undersea accommodates 18 and was recommended by a crew member due to its size and refurbished rooms. I recommend checking the schedules of all three (Explorer, Undersea, and Belle Amie) and choosing the one that will be first on site. We were first on site and had the ocean to ourselves!

Finally, I was very appreciative of the crew’s handling of my Type 1 Diabetes. This was my first liveaboard after being diagnosed. My Dexcom G6 worked all week. The crew put a glucose shot on each skiff, and I had one in my BC pocket and one in the basket at my station—just in case. I burned about 100 mg each dive. No problems!

We will likely travel with this organization again—possibly La Paz or Cabo Pulmo trip to see whale sharks and mobula rays.
Websites Nautilus Explorer   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island, Hawaii, Thailand, Australia, Mexico, Honduras, Bonaire, Dominica, Turkey, Caymans, Bimini
Closest Airport Los Cabos Intl Airport SJD Getting There Bellingham to Seattle to SJD on Alaska; no issues.
40-minute shuttle from SJD to Cabo, about $22pp.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 75-78°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Surface with 700 psi
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars 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 [None]
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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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