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pen ink well goldA note from Dom  ...  Exclusive Charters

Every year, we offer special charters on dive liveaboards around the world in the finest dive destinations  ...  at the best time to be there ...  on our favorite liveaboards.  Here's what's on offer in the upcoming months & years .....

Dive with Mantas ... Stare Down a Great White

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Giant Mantas & Great White Sharks
a 15-night diving extravaganza
November 20 - December 5, 2022


Imagine your delight when a huge Pacific Manta Ray approaches wanting to engage you in "play" underwater.  Suppose you're a photographer & multiple mantas are floating past, as if on clouds. Then add the rush of cage-diving with Guadalupe's Great White sharks.  All in ONE trip !


 Electrifying encounters at Socorro


The majestic Pacific mantas, the type you'll encounter at Socorro, are the largest of the ray family.   They swim by moving their wing-like pectoral fins, which can grow up to 7 meters wide, but usually average about 5 - 6 meters.  The interaction divers experience in their presence is initiated by the mantas.  For 25 years they have been exposed to the strange creatures in rubber suits who lumber off boats ... and the animals seemingly have become attached to our antics. The mantas come in very close - often less than 1 meter from a diver.  They will make eye contact with you, then swim along beside you. 

Of course, it's totally on their terms. We don't approach .... they do.  But, they choose to do so year after year after year ... with group after group.


Mantas, dolphins, sharks & whale sharks in crystal waters


What is perhaps even more extraordinary is that the local population of bottlenose dolphins has learned to mimic the behavior of the giant mantas.  It is very likely that these wild dolphins will also move in close and intimate to divers during your trip.   Sort of Two for the Price of One !

November and December boast the warmest water temps of the year in the low 80's so our charter puts you at Socorro at an ideal time.   And, in addition to the usual interaction with mantas, dolphins and 10 kinds of sharks .... this is the best time of year to see whale sharks in blue blue water, most often with excellent visibility. 

Steep walls and rock formations characterize the dive sites on these volcanic islands. The vegetation is usually very sparse, but the manta rays, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, silvertip sharks, silk sharks, etc. make up enough for the barren underwater world.


San Benito Islands ... wonderland of Pacific kelp


The San Benito Islands are located south of the island of Guadalupe and 25 km west of the island of Cedros off the Pacific coast of Mexico. The three islands are uninhabited except for a few fishermen and surrounded by steep rock cliffs and huge kelp forests.  The underwater world in the large kelp forests and on the reefs around the islands is still wild and original. If you dive in kelp or along the rocks, it only takes a few minutes before the sea lions join you. They look curious and playful and whiz wildly between the kelp fronds. The longer you stay with them, the more curious they become.

There are also numerous types of rays and fish and crabs in kelp. The deeper waters around the islands and seamounts are home to several species of sharks, such as the mako shark and the fox shark. Marine mammals such as humpback whales, blue whales or dolphins can be observed almost all year round.

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The Great Whites ..... a special thrill


Until just a few short years ago, anyone would have thought you absolutely daft if you had said that you were going to dive with Great White sharks.   Today, Great White shark diving is high on most any diver’s list and we do highly recommend Guadalupe Island, off the west coast of the Baja peninsula, 165 miles west of Ensenada. With visibility up to 100' and water temperatures between 65° and 70° F, the situation is perfect for both viewing and photography.

In the waters around the island you can find different types of whales, dolphins and shark species, such as the Makohai or the Great White Shark. These waters are also very rich in fish and huge schools of tuna pass by the island. A cold current flows around Guadalupe.  The annual water temperatures are between 16 and 19 degrees and the air temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees. The large numbers of fish & marine mammals ... and the moderate water temperatures ... would seem to be the reason the Great White Shark feels at home here.


How it works .....


Diving is done in cages supplied by a hookah, rather than with oxygen tanks.  There are surface cages, in which divers and non-divers alike are allowed to observe the sharks and your access to time in the water in the surface cages is virtually all day long.

All certified divers will have the opportunity for a minimum of three dives per day in the submersible cages—and your trip includes the opportunity for unlimited time in the surface cages. Divemasters are in the water during every submersible-cage dive to ensure your safety.   Note that the surface cages open at 6:30 a.m., and diving in the submersible cages begins at 8 a.m. Both are available until dusk.

The submersible cages, which are lowered to roughly 30 feet, require diving certification. This, however, is where you can get maximum shark action, as you are in the territory they actually live in. Photo ops are simply incredible!


Nautilus Explorer ... purpose-built & ideal


116 feet in length, with a 27-foot beam, Nautilus Explorer is an ocean-going dive boat.  This beautiful, tough, small ship carries the same certificates as the largest cruise ships in the world.  She accommodates 25 guests in 13 cabins ... including one triple cabin and one single cabin.

Plenty of space and comfort here for diving and relaxing.  There's lots of room on the top sun deck for sun loungers.  On the top deck, behind the bridge, you'll find one premium suite and three superior suites ... and the hot tub on the aft deck.   Down one deck, and you have the dining room & salon ... plus Nautilus Explorer's large dive deck.  The remaining 8 cabins are located on the lower deck 8 staterooms plus one affordable triple occupancy stateroom on the lower deck.

Nautilus Explorer details

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Itinerary and trip details


Cruise aboard the sturdy but elegant Nautilus Explorer to the enchanting waters of Mexico's Revillagigedo Islands. For general itinerary, rates, what's included and what's extra, continue reading here .....

Rates:

16 days / 15 nights liveaboard on board the Nautilus Explorer
Double cabin / stateroom lower deck:  € 5690 (euros)
Double cabin / superior suite upper deck: € 6590 (euros)

Sample itinerary ... based on previous years and always subject to change :

Embark at: Ensenada
Disembark at: Cabo San Lucas
Diving includes: Guadalupe, Benitos, Socorro

The following diving program depends on the weather

  • 3 days cage diving off Guadalupe
  • 2 days diving off San Benitos at 2 - 4 dives days per day
  • 5 days diving off Socorro, San Benedicto & Roca Partida at 2-4 dives days per day

Arriving & departing

Best international airport is San Diego where Nautilus offers a hospitality suite free of charge.  You will depart from here at approximately 7pm for the 2-hour coach transfer to where your ship will be waiting for you in Ensenada, Mexico.  Alternatively, you may also meet us directly in Ensenada, Mexico.

Disembarkation will take place at Cabo San Lucas Marina at approximately 8am on December 5.  The transfer to San Diego airport takes roughly 30 minutes and is $30 - $40

Trip includes:

  • accommodation with 3 meals per day
  • non-alcoholic beverages, snacks
  • hot tub
  • full diving program with tank, weights & belts, air fills
  • 3/4 dives per day
  • Nautilus Explorer is rebreather friendly (let us know if you require rebreather support)

Extras:

  • transfers to & from the airport (approximately $30 - $40 each way)
  • beers, wines & spirits
  • nitrox & re-breather support
  • rental gear
  • port fee $65.00 per person (payable in cash onboard please)
  • possible fuel surcharge
  • Wi-Fi
  • dive insurance (required)

Miscellaneous details:

Water temperatures in Guadalupe:  approx. 19 to 22 degrees

Air temperatures Guadalupe:  approx. 23 - 28 degrees

Water temperatures in Socorro: approx. 24 to 27 degrees

Air temperatures Socorro: approx. 25 - 30 degrees

DIN & INT valves available

Electricity on board: US flat plug 110 volt

Payment on board: USD cash or credit card Master / Visa

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