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Diver's Guide to the Socorro Islands

A Divers Guide to the Socorro Islands


The Revillagigedo Archipelago is made up of four islands: Socorro, Roca Partida, San Benedicto, and Clarion. Due to the popularity of the largest island, the archipelago is often referred to as the Socorro Islands. All of the islands are volcanic. The islands were declared as a marine reserve and a Mexican national park in 2017. The waters typically reach a low of 68 F (21 C) and a high of 82 F (28 C), and the weather is typically warm and sunny.  



Socorro Island rises abruptly from the sea to 1,050 meters (3,440 feet) in elevation at its summit. The island is the emerged summit of a massive, predominately submarine shield volcano. The island is part of the northern Mathematicians Ridge, a mid-ocean ridge that became largely inactive 3.5 million years ago when activity moved to the East Pacific Rise. All four islands along with the many seamounts on the ridge are post-abandonment alkaline volcanoes. Socorro Island is unusual in that it is the only dominantly silicic peralkaline volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean. It most recently erupted in late January-early February 1993, which was a submarine eruption off the coast from Punta Tosca. An earlier eruption was on May 21, 1951. Earlier eruptions probably occurred in 1905, 1896 and 1848. The island's surface is broken by furrows, small craters, and numerous ravines, and covered in lava domes, lava flows and cinder cones. 



There is a naval station, established in 1957, with a population of 250 staff and families living in a village with a church. The village stands on the western side of Bahia Vargas Lozano, a small cove with a rocky beach, about 800 meters east of Cabo Regla, the southernmost point of the island. The station is served by a dock, a local helipad and Isla Socorro airport, located six kilometers to the north. There is a freshwater spring about 5 km northwest of Cabo Regla, at the shoreline of Ensenada Grayson. This is brackish and sometimes covered by the sea at high tide. In the 1950s, a small freshwater seep was known to exist some 45 meters (49 yards) inland at Bahia Lucio Gallardo Pavon, about 800 meters NW of the naval station. 



The islands are located nearly 400 km (250 miles) from the Baja California peninsula. Due to the isolated location, the only way to visit Socorro is through liveaboard. Most visitors begin their trips by arriving at Los Cabos International Airport in Mexico. Then, divers travel 45 minutes to Cabo San Lucas where they take off on a liveaboard. It usually takes about a day for the liveaboard to arrive at the islands. 

 

The diving season lasts from November to May as that is when the often-rough waters are at their calmest. However, even the calmer waters have strong currents, making this trip best for advanced divers.


                                                    

Although the Socorro’s waters are not filled with the colorful reefs many divers look out for, the marine life more than makes up for it. Manta rays, dolphins, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, are just a few of the common sights in these waters. Humpback whales can even be seen on their migration path through the months of January and February, and the dolphins are known for coming into close contact with divers, most commonly from January to March.  





When divers first arrive at the islands, they often begin their scuba adventure at El Fondeadero. This dive site is located in San Benedicto’s shallower waters where there are three pinnacles and sightings of lobster and eels. The famous sightings of humpback whales are east of Socorro island at the Cabo Pearce dive site. Abundant pelagic life can be seen at the isolated Roca Partida dive site. This site is over 80 miles from San Benedicto and has a pinnacle peaking up out of the water. This site is best suited for advanced divers and has over 100 feet of visibility. 

 

When planning your next dive trip, make sure the Socorro Islands are at the top of your list. The close encounters with dolphins, sharks, and manta rays at this location are unmatched, and the humpback whale sightings are one of a kind. 







Damai I Liveaboard - Raja Ampat & Cenderawasih Bay - June 30-July 12, 2023

Damai I Liveaboard

Raja Ampat & Cenderawasih Bay

June 30-July 12, 2023

$500 Agent Discount 

Featuring U/W Photography Pro Brandi Mueller

 

* *  6 Cabins Available  * *

The ship has seven staterooms with a choice of single cabins, twins, doubles or two spacious master cabins. All cabins are furnished with either queen or king-sized beds, and ensuite toilets with showers. The ship has been designed with three large deck areas for relaxing in both the sun or shade and for enjoying relaxing massage and spa treatments. Specifically designed for divers, the vessel offers large dive stations with individual rinse tanks and a camera room with separate camera work stations. Damai offers three local dive guides and one Instructor on board throughout your trip. With only twelve guests, this is a good 4:1 guest to dive guide ratio. The ship has two custom-designed high-speed tenders to get all guests to dive sites comfortably. The signature service includes personalized dive station and rinse tank, camera room and storage space for equipment, ala-carte dining catering to all food requirements, laundry and massage service on board, and the ship has an 18-member crew.

 

 This trip will be featuring underwater photography pro Brandi Mueller to offer photo tips and sessions between dives. Bring your camera and be ready to shoot and learn..!


  


This trip departs Sorong and disembarks in Nabire. Start your trip in Raja Ampat, center of marine biodiversity in the world. Pass through Mapia, which sits closeby to a military base and contains underwater world that is pristine and untouched; no fisherman or tourism. Finish the trip in Cenderawasih Bay, famous for its resident population of whalesharks but there is also WWII history, beautiful reefs and endemic fish.


This 13 day, 12 night adventure embarks at Sorong and disembarks at Nabire, and includes stateroom accommodation, 3 meals a day, complimentary wine with dinner, nitrox for certified divers, unlimited diving with the dive day built around four daily dives, laundry service, airport transfers.


Cost: Stateroom Cabin - $5,550 per person double occupancy including taxes and a $500 DISCOUNT

FULL TRIP ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive Sorong

Guests will arrive in Sorong and have time to get comfortable on the boat. Damai will travel west to Matan for a check-out dive.

No. of Dives: 1

 

Day 2: Penemu

The signature sites in Penemu are Barracuda Point; a seamount on the north point; Melissa's Garden; a beautiful example of a hard-coral plateau and Keruo Channel; drift along this colorful slope watching the seascape go by. The highlight of Penemu is a lagoon tour in the tender boats amongst these turquoise waters and limestone bays. For the energetic there is a short walk to the top of one the hills to be rewarded with an amazing view over the lagoon with Damai moored in the distance. Long Crossing to Farondi.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 3: Manta Sandy & Arborek

Manta Sandy is a signature site for experiencing the grace of Reef Mantas. They are frequent visitors to the cleaning stations dotted along this sandy channel. Feel free to explore the sand for small critters while you are waiting for an appearance. Arborek Jetty is part of a sloping reef in front of the island. There are schools of fish, excellent wide-angle photo opportunities under the jetty itself and good critter hunting to be done along the slopes. In the late afternoon take a stroll around the village on the island and maybe join in one of their soccer matches or buy a locally made sunhat.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 4: Kri & Dampier Straits

At the eastern end of the famous Dampier Strait there are many signature dive sites. Cape Kri is a sloping reef on the eastern end of the island of Kri; Blue Magic and Sardine reef are seamounts covered in schooling fish and cruising sharks and rays; Mioskon is a great spot for the endemic Wobbegong shark and Pontohi pygmy seahorses.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 5: Pulau Dua

Half-way between Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih bay we will make a stop in these small islands where remains of the Second World War were thrown into the sea making a small, but superb reefs where life concentrates in large numbers. Big school of yellow grunt, large napoleon fish or barramundis find shelter. In the evening, if the conditions so consider, we will go to the beach to see the leatherback turtle nesting.

No. of Dives: 2 or 3


Day 6 and 7: Mapia

The last atoll in Indonesian waters, very close to the border with Palau, too remote for fisherman to go, and protected by a small navy post. The combination of all these factors mean only one thing: superb diving: pristine waters, hard corals and drop-offs and a tremendous amount of fish. Rare opportunity to see reefs in the way they were many years ago, and a delight to all our senses.

No. of Dives: 3 or 4

 

Day 8: Pulau Manim

Manim is home to calm waters and 7 sunken landing craft left behind after WWII. These are in a variety of depths from 5 to 25m and are covered in a variety of hard and soft corals.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 9: Outer Atolls

The outer atolls of Cenderawasih Bay are some of fishiest sites of the area, located inside the National Park. Wild Fish Ridge and Spag point are two paricular favourites. It is here that we can view so many of the endemic species that led this to be called the Galapagos of the East.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 10: Tanjung Manguar / Pulau Nusir

Tanjung Mangguar is an extensive dive site with a wall on one side and a plateau of hard corals on the other. There are some magnificant sponges and lots of plump soft corals to add some colour to the reef. This is a good chance to see some of the endemic fish species and there is a school of resident blackfin barracuda.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 11 and 12: Teluk Wororomi

This is the Whale Shark bay and the local fishing platforms attract many of the ocean's largest fish. After local reporting is complete divers will be offered an open dive deck so that they may spend as much time as possible in the water with these amazing creatures. The Whale Sharks here are a resident population of pre-adolescents, mainly males, who are come to the platforms to feed on the small bait fish that sit in the nets that hang beneath. They are apparently unconcerned by divers and tirelessly circle back again and again to feed upon morsels of fish hand-fed to them by the fishermen who regard them as good luck.

No. of Dives: Unlimited dives / snorkelling

 

Day 13: Departure

Guests will be escorted to the airport in Nabire and assisted with check-in procedures, no doubt full of talk about the wonders of the most popular dive destination in the world.


    

7 Awesome Reasons to Dive Curacao

7 Awesome Reasons to Dive Curacao 

85 Superb Dive Sites

Curaçao is a small Caribbean island that neighbours Bonaire and Aruba and forms part of the ABC Islands in the Dutch Caribbean. Here divers can enjoy magnificent healthy reefs, great topography, walls and shipwrecks.




Hurricane Free Zone - Curaçao sits below the hurricane belt making it appealing for travelers who can do without potential weather delays during the Atlantic hurricane season.


85 Dive Sites - Most of the 85 or so dive sites here are located on the southwest of the island, but there are some in the northern parts, which are more suited for advanced divers. There’s a wealth of variety in Curaçao’s dive sites, despite its size. Offering amazing walls, reefs and wrecks accessible by shore or boat, there’s something for everyone no matter your level of experience.




Clear Blue Water - Teeming underwater life is best enjoyed with great visibility, which is huge bonus to diving Curaçao. Visibility is often 70 feet and on calm days, of which there are many, the visibility can be up to 100 feet. Visibility is excellent thanks to minimal river runoff from the island.




Marine Biodiversity - Curaçao’s reefs are among the healthiest in the region, especially the reefs of Eastern Curaçao. The absence of substantial hills and year-round rainfall likely contributes to the healthy reefs. Large schools of tarpons, sharks, eagle rays, large barracuda, eels, and turtles all populate the healthy and pristine reefs.


Easy Shore Access - The majority of the diving can be done from the shore, and to top it off, the dive sites are mostly protected from strong currents, meaning diving is very easy and relaxing, and perfect for beginner divers. Boat diving is also an option here, with most dive operators choosing to do so. Most all oceanfront resorts have amazing house reefs right at their doorsteps. Photo courtesy of oceanencounters.com




Dive All Year - Diving in Curaçao is great all year thanks to good weather and a warm ocean averaging around 25°C (78°F) in winter and 27°C (82°F) in summer. Marine life is mostly unaffected by the slight seasonal changes, so divers can benefit from fantastic dives no matter the season. April to November is the dry season, during which April to June experiences the calmest weather. The island has minimal rain and enjoys plenty of sun during this season. December to March is the rainy season, when the island experiences a slight drop in temperature, with air temperatures lowering to 29°C (85°F) and water temperatures dropping to 26°C (79°F). Rain occurs more, however, showers are only brief and quite refreshing. And this is the low season when deals on diving and hotels can be found. There’s a brief windy period in Curaçao due to trade winds, which occur from January to April.


After-Dive Activities – Curaçao offers a myriad of activities after you day of diving. The island offers arts and culture, beautiful beaches, unique restaurants, museums, nature parks, and great night life clubs for your wild side.