The Nautilus Explorer voyages out to Socorro Island to dive and interact with the friendliest giant mantas in the world. This is by no means a trivial goal. Our highly experienced crew have spent many years diving these waters which gives you the edge needed for a truly spectacular experience. These are true giant mantas, Manta birostris (aka manta ray), and should not be confused with the regular and smaller Mobula species, which can be seen far more often and practically everywhere. The giant Pacific mantas which you will meet at Socorro are the largest of the rays and we believe they are the most majestic creatures in the ocean. They swim by moving their wing-like pectoral fins, which can grow up to 7 meters wide, but usually average about 5 – 6 meters. At Socorro, these giants choose to interact with divers! They come in very close – less than 1 meter! – make eye contact with you and then swim along beside you – totally on their terms. What is even more extraordinary is that the local population of bottlenose dolphins have learned to mimic the behaviour of the giant mantas. It is very likely that these wild dolphins will also move in close and intimate to divers during your trip.
Shark sightings are also very good at Socorro Island with common sightings of silky, galapagos, hammerhead, white tip and silver tip sharks. Whale sharks are usually spotted at the beginning of and the latter part of our season. A population of 1200 humpbacks moves into the island’s waters in January and chances are excellent that you will have encounters with these mighty giants. You may even hear them singing through the hull of the ship at night as you lie in your bunk. Schooling hammerhead sharks may be seen at any time but the best chance to see large schools up close is April – June.