As a jewelry designer, I draw inspiration from the beauty and wonder of the natural world. One of my greatest sources of inspiration is the ocean, and specifically, the diving experiences I've had. Recently I was able to take a trip to the Socorro Islands. There is so much I could say about this trip and what we did each day and to sum it up in one word it was mesmerizing.
240 miles south of Cabo San Lucas is Revillagigedo Archipelago or more commonly known as the Socorro Islands. They are a group of four volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean only accessible by boat. They are known for its stunningly clear waters and abundance of marine life. Diving in Socorro is like entering another world, where colorful schools of fish, massive manta rays, and playful dolphins swim around you in a magical, weightless dance.
I had been looking forward to this trip for a very long time as I kept hearing the magical stories from other divers that just got back from the Islands. I kept hearing that one of the best places to go scuba diving was right in my backyard. So I booked a birthday trip with Girls That Scuba.
It was a 36 hour boat ride to reach the remote Socorro Islands. We left early January and I was sure the trip might be canceled due to a massive swell that was making all the surfers stoked on life. However they assured us the crossing was clear. We had to endure incredibly unforgiving large, heaving swells that had our vessel constantly rising and falling in a slow constant rocking motion. It seemed as though the ocean itself was determined to remind us of its immense power. As the boat rocked and swayed in rhythm with the waves, many on board felt their stomach churn. This was the ultimate test for me to prove I do not get seasick. For me the feeling was like being rocked to sleep in a big cradle and I did nothing but sleep most the first day.
In the end, the challenging boat ride became a defining rite of passage. It was a reminder that sometimes, to reach the most extraordinary places, we must first weather the storm – both literally and figuratively. The discomfort of those 36 hours at sea was a small price to pay for the breathtaking underwater wonders that awaited us in the pristine marine ecosystems of Socorro.
Diving on these liveaboards have become one of my favorite ways to travel. The whole day is planned out to maximize the diving experience with safe surface intervals so the days are simple- wake up, eat first breakfast, dive, eat second breakfast, dive, eat lunch, dive, eat a snack, dive again, eat dinner, and sleep. Rinse and repeat.
Due to the rough swell we were only able to dive a few spots around the islands and for that reason I want to return. I also found the visibility probably due to the weather also not as majestic as I have seen from others photos. But each spot we dove was gorgeous and It was a magical way to spend my birthday week. Here are some locations we got to enjoy:
The Boiler: The Boiler is perhaps the most famous dive site in Socorro, known for its iconic rock formation that has frequent encounters with giant oceanic manta rays, sharks and dolphins. We saw mantas on every dive so this location didn't disappoint, we also saw a group of dolphins that were very curious about us and swam around our entire group in and out between us all.
Roca Partida: Roca Partida is a solitary rock pinnacle rising dramatically from the deep ocean. This dive site is famous for its sheer walls covered in vibrant coral and large schools of fish. It's also a great spot for encounters with hammerhead sharks, silky sharks, and other pelagic species. The strong currents and exposed location make Roca Partida an advanced dive site. I found this spot to be very challenging. There was an up and down current and most of us came out of the water not understanding why at first we suddenly turned into such bad divers with large fluctuations of sinking deeper or rising to the surface. I found out later it was because of the current there.
Cabo Pearce: Cabo Pearce is where we dove the most because it was the most protected from the large ocean swell hitting the other side of the island. The volcanic landscape is a striking contrast to the vibrant marine life that thrives here, making Cabo Pearce a favorite among underwater photographers. The site is known for its resident pod of playful bottlenose dolphins that often interact with divers, and they sure did! We had a dolphin come and literally play dead in the middle of the group like a dog that rolls over for a belly rub. I couldn't resist petting this dolphin when it locked eyes with me and went “YOU, you will scratch my itchy skin” and basically put its nose in my armpit. One of the most magical dives I've had to date.
It was the giant oceanic mantas that truly captured my attention on the dives in Socorro. As I dove deeper into their world, I found myself mesmerized by the intricate patterns and textures of these gentle giants.Their enormous bodies move with grace and purpose in the water, something that I strive for as a diver. Oh how I wish I could grow gills and live underwater with them. I learned that each manta has a unique belly pattern that is used to identify each one and then given a name. In each dive we saw many Mantas and I wondered what they were named and if we would meet a new manta unknown to us. In the end we found three new mantas that have new names: Ninja Kaito, Nero, and Chalchiuhtlicue.
Every dive brought a new and breathtaking encounter with remarkable marine creatures, leaving me with a deep appreciation for the fragile beauty of the underwater world and a sense of responsibility to protect it. Socorro gifted me with memories of encounters with dolphins, mantas, sharks, turtles, and octopus that will stay with me for a lifetime. Through my designs, I hope to inspire others to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the ocean, and to take action to protect it for future generations. The intricate patterns and textures of the underwater world have become a central theme in my work, and I strive to capture the wonder and beauty of the ocean in every piece I create. By using sustainable and eco-friendly materials, I hope to create not just beautiful jewelry, but also a positive impact on the world around us.