Posted 19 July 2018
A manta ray called Mathilde was just one big reason why SIMON MORLEY will never forget his recent trip to Socorro, San Benedicto and Roca Partida – the main Revillagigedo islands
Posted 19 July 2018
A manta ray called Mathilde was just one big reason why SIMON MORLEY will never forget his recent trip to Socorro, San Benedicto and Roca Partida – the main Revillagigedo islands

“WHAT BEER DO YOU WANT TO DRINK?” is not a question you commonly get asked when you get back on a RIB after finishing your diving for the day, but in this instance it was a welcome one. It’s little things like having a cold beer or a hot chocolate waiting for you that makes diving from a liveaboard such a pleasure.

Also making this trip a pleasure were the encounters to be had with the local wildlife, in this instance some of the most spectacular I’ve had anywhere in the world.

The Revillagigedo Archipelago is a group of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, known for their unique eco-system and sometimes referred to as Mexico’s “little Galapagos”– and with very good reason.

We were visiting the remote area aboard Belle Amie, the largest boat in the Nautilus fleet, with spacious cabins, large dive-decks, dedicated camera-tables and several excellent, freshly prepared meals each day to make up for the calories that are bound to be burnt off during multiple daily dives.

Our big-animal encounters had commenced before reaching the Revillagigedos, however, with a short boat-ride out of the departure point of San Jose del Cabo for several dives with the sea-lion colony at Los Islotes.

As you prepare to roll off the RIB, the sound of the sea-lions barking to one another is deafening, and you go on hearing it quite clearly once under the water. It wasn’t long before we were joined by our pinniped friends, speeding past us in a blur like torpedoes, getting a feel for us and what we were up to.

Stay shallow, wait patiently and they will come to you. Once they were comfortable with our presence, they were more than happy to play with us, performing barrel rolls and loops around us and chasing each other.

A game of hide and seek was consistently their favourite, sneaking up behind us to tug on a fin or a camera strobe. It’s always an amazing experience to dive with these curious critters, but this was just a warm-up for the main event.

Travelling 235 nautical miles south, we arrived at San Benedicto and our first stop, the Boiler. This site comprises two undersea pinnacles, one large and one small, some 50m apart and with multiple strong currents seemingly coming in from all angles.

As soon as we rolled into the water we could hear the dolphins chatting and laughing around us, but unfortunately they chose to stay in the blue, just out of camera range.

At around 18m there are a few balconies on which you can see whitetip sharks piled on top of each other, observing you as you pass, with the occasional giant moray undulating up the rock face, looking for its next meal. The tension was palpable. Would we see mantas? How many? Where were they?

As we made the passage between the pinnacles, being pushed every which way as we went, it wasn't long before the big boys turned up to join the party. I was so busy keeping an eye out in the distance that it took a few seconds to register the massive shadow soaring directly and just a few inches overhead. Mantas ahoy!

The first one was quickly joined by another, and soon they were taking it in turns to glide around us and play in our stream of exhaled bubbles in an exquisitely choreographed ballet.

It was a magical sight and we delighted in watching the swoops, turns and rolls as they displayed more grace and poise than we clumsy divers could ever hope to have.

To Read the full article, Login here or Register for a free account

For more great articles like this get the AUGUST 2018 issue of DIVER below or subscribe and save.


5 Stars
(3  Customer Reviews)
12 Issues per year
DIVER is Britain's best-selling scuba diving magazine – regularly out-performing all its competitors combined on the open market.

Select your version

Digital Edition
SAVE 44%
Single Issue
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $1.67 per issue
SAVE 44%
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $2.00 per issue
SAVE 33%
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $1.99 per issue
SAVE 33%
Payment Options


Very exciting
Full of great articles
5 Stars   
Reviewed 24 July 2019
One of the best
Great for new and experienced divers
5 Stars   
Reviewed 18 July 2019
Best diving mag
This is by far the best diving mag. Great features and amazing photos
5 Stars   
Reviewed 25 November 2012

More great content like this...

For more great articles like this get the AUGUST 2018 issue of DIVER below.

AUGUST 2018 | Buy for $2.99


There are currently no comments for this post
Be the first to leave your feedback

More Articles

More than two million US service personnel were successfully transported across the Atlantic to England and France during World War One, and for the USA the sinking of HMS Otranto was the worst troop-transport disaster of that conflict. PETER KENDRICK reports on the recent Otranto 100 expedition to the wreck, which lies off Scotland near Islay More...
You don’t have to stay on a Greek island to enjoy Greek diving with all the trimmings, and ‘best-kept secret’ Epidavros offers its own argument for a mainland base. STEVE WEINMAN reports More...
A manta ray called Mathilde was just one big reason why SIMON MORLEY will never forget his recent trip to Socorro, San Benedicto and Roca Partida – the main Revillagigedo islands More...
The WW1 U-boats at Pendennis have been dived for many years, by many people. The site is probably the second most popular shore-dive in Cornwall. Thousands of trainees did their first open-water dives there, most seeing the remains of one or two of the U-boats. Not sure what to write into their log-books, other than 'Silver Steps’ or ‘Pendennis’, what were these subs? MARK MILBURN investigates, and believes he can now paint a clearer picture of what lies where and why More...
When she took up scuba 40 years ago, Alexandra Hildred had no idea that her life would become inextricably linked with a Tudor warship. Now the Mary Rose Trust’s Head of Research and Curator of Ordnance & Human Remains, she tells STEVE WEINMAN about the lead-up to the raising of the iconic wreck, still one of the biggest such operations ever attempted. More...
Not all ‘pro’ photo workshops are the same – on some you just pay and hope. But what’s it like learning to get the best from your camera under water from a recognised master? HENLEY SPIERS studies at the school of Mustard More...
In February IAN PEACH and his buddies went through a nightmarish boat-separation experience off Mozambique. In a DIVER exclusive he explains what happened – and how to avoid it happening to you. More...
Nautilus Lifeline Marine Rescue GPS
You don’t think you need a PLB – until you do. If there have always been reasons not to invest in one, a new product looks set to sweep them away. NIGEL WADE tests it. More...
Like a knight of yore on a sacred quest, NIGEL WADE finally faces the prospect of bringing an epic journey to a stirring conclusion – at a Balinese location he has already visited four times before! Can his quarry live up to the weight of expectation? More...
It’s a diver’s dream, and Vince Thurkettle is the underwater prospector who came across the biggest gold nugget ever found in British waters. He talks to STEVE WEINMAN More...
Powered by
Powered by Pocketmags
Diver is owned and operated by:
Eaton Publications, Suite B, 74 Oldfield Road, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 2HR
© Copyright 2015 |