Socorro now finds itself firmly (and quite rightly) set as a bonafide bucket-list destination with many referring to it as the Galapagos of Mexico. Encounters with a very special animal has placed Socorro on the diving map, the animals are large and the encounters close…very close! Those ‘in the know’ will already be aware that it is of course the giant Pacific manta that can be spotted here in the depths, and the shallows for that matter. Reaching an astonishing seven metres from wing tip to wing tip, these gentle giants really are a sight to behold.
During my trip aboard the stunning Nautilus Belle Amie I saw giant mantas on almost every single dive. If you have ever wondered what it must feel like to soar above the clouds with griffin sized eagles, then you should definitely try cruising through the blue with a fish that could be mistaken for a living stealth bomber. You will see them turn in the distance, clearly marking you out as their target as they approach you. It’s possible to get incredibly close to these amazing rays (thought to be the world’s smartest fish!) and literally fly alongside them or even right underneath them. It’s your bubbles that they are after; the feeling of them on their belly creates a satisfying tickle but when you look into their eyes there is an undeniable intelligence staring back. It’s hard not to feel as though you are sharing a moment.
Socorro offers more than giant mantas and on the eve of day four our dive leader preps us for our day at Roca Partida. “Tomorrow is the big one…this is where anything can happen” he would tell us. This deep water site is a magnet for marine life and has been known to attract everything from humpbacks to orca. We were fortunate enough to see countless white-tip sharks as they huddle together around the rock, along with a school of around 20 scalloped hammerheads; the highlight for me was spotting my first tiger shark!