The Rocio Del Mar (Mist of the Sea) is a beautiful and well equipped custom built boat designed by divers. Upon boarding, it was immediately apparent that the owners; Captain Lolo and Dora Sandoval, run a tight ship focusing on the safety, comfort, and well-being of their customers.

Every diver was issued a submersible GPS device (Nautilus Lifeline) which could be used to hail the boat in an emergency situation. The device was also capable of summoning the Mexican navy, and in a dire emergency, the US Coast Guard. This was a very nice thing to have considering the swift currents and challenging dive conditions encountered in the Revillagigedos Archipelago (Socorro Islands). This was well above and beyond my expectations of any dive boat.

The Crew was amazing. I’m not good with names so I wont name anyone specifically because I don’t want to leave anyone out. These folks worked very hard to make everyone’s vacation easy and enjoyable. During the day, they worked the dive operations and/or cleaning the boat, and at meal times they worked the kitchen/dining room etc. They also assisted with luggage and anything else they could find to do to help you with.

The Food was very well prepared and plentiful. Each day started out with a continental breakfast before the first dive. Then after the first dive, we ate another breakfast usually consisting of eggs prepared to order or oatmeal, french toast or pancakes, along with the usual breakfast fixings. Then after a couple more dives with snacks in between, we had a late lunch, and then another dive before dinner. Lunches and dinners varied from American to Mexican cuisine. The food was very tasty and well presented. As you can see, we were very well fed.

The diving was absolutely incredible. There were some currents and upwelling to deal with but it was well worth the effort. I did 19 out of 21 dives.

The highlights for me were the Manta Rays. We had so many encounters that I couldn‘t keep track of them anymore. It was absolutely an amazing experience to swim so close to them. At one point I was ascending and a manta was descending and we met in the middle. I put my hand out to avoid a collision and rubbed my hand down most of the length of her underside as she swam by. It was an incredible experience. If felt like slimy burlap. She quivered a little and swam on. According to one of the behavioral experts on the boat, she enjoyed the experience as much as I did.

There were also dolphins, sharks, and many other species of fish, some indigenous to the area. As far as shark species, we saw White tips, Grey Tips, Galapagos, Silky, Hammerheads. Others on the boat also encountered Tigers and there was even a Whale shark encounter.

The dives at San Benedicto and Socorro were made from the boat. Those at Roca Partida were made from inflatables. On all dives, there were two inflatables on the water at all times to pick up divers so if the current changed, or you just didn’t want to swim back to the boat, an inflatable would come by and pick you up.

We were very fortunate regarding the company on the boat. Unbeknown to us, many of the other passengers where very experienced and well-known photo and video experts. It was truly a learning experience and an honor to be with people of that caliber. They were all down to earth. It was very enjoyable to hear them tell stories of their experiences.

Overall this was the best dive trip I’ve ever been on and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for large pelagic encounters. The photo opportunities are endless. Here are about 300 of my favorites: