Read Part 1 here.
The island of Socorro is a part of the volcanic Revillagigedo Archipelago, and is inhabited by a small Mexican Navy presence (staff and families) 800 meters from one of the very few fresh water sources on the island. They protect the area from illegal fishing activities and perform rescue operations when needed. Our boat checked in there to register the dive boat’s presence in the area. These islands are located 600km offshore of Mexico, and it takes the Solmar V 24 hours to get to the first island.
Socorro is a shield volcano (not that I completely understand what that means). Divers love these volcanic islands because of the rich underwater life that inhabits them. There is no fishing allowed, and it is always lovely to dive with animals that haven’t been injured by hooks and lines and nets. As far as I know, there is no other place in the world where you can actually interact with dolphins and mantas in the wild. They are the ones who begin the interactions.
Cabo Pearce, a dive site off of Socorro, was the first place we decided to dive. Our daily schedule went like this:
06.15: Manolo, one of the staff, wakes us up by calling out “breakfast time!”
06.30: Breakfast…whatever you desire! Pancakes, French toast, eggs, bacon, yogurt…. well, you get the idea!
07.20: Get suited up and gear ready.
07.45: Dive briefing. The dive master goes over the dive site, tells you where the formations are, what the currents are like, and where, on the site, you are likely to find certain animals. These dive masters are out here for most of the year, and they know these islands and dive sites.
08.00: in the water! There were 3 groups, and the groups rotate as in who goes in first, second, third. After the first dive, hot chocolate was served and it is delicious. I looked forward to it every day.
12.00/13.00: Lunch…always a soup first. Divers are always hungry.
13.30/14.00: Dive! Then a snack. A different snack daily, from sushi to salami!
19.00: Dinner. I barely made it until 8.30pm and my eyes were drooping. Four dives a day in strong current is tiring, I can tell you. As the trip goes on you handle it better, but the first few days for me are always exhausting. I was Diver 9.
Taking photos in this location is a completely different experience from taking photos in the Caribbean, where the backgrounds are very colorful with coral. There is not much coral here, it is mostly rock, but there are advantages to that. Coral Reefs can seem like deserts when compared to the number of fish in the Revillagigedoes. I started out not using a strobe, and took photos by adjusting my White Balance underwater. The photos have a sort of “soft” or “cloudy” look, I think.
My next blog will be on San Benedicto Island… and Manta Rays!
For more from Tam, visit www.travelswithtam.com.