Our voyage started on the 3rd of March in Mazatlan, Mexico. It was here that MV Argo and crew teamed up with our dear and long time friend, Manuel Lazcano.
Our mission in Mexico is to explore the 3 islands of the Revillagigedo Archipelago to a depth of 400m using our custom built submersible, the DeepSee. This marks the first time ever that these islands have ever been explored at these depths. Manuel has been working for the last few years documenting and filming for a variety of Mexican television shows.
The footage from this expedition will air on a new Nature series called Por El Planeta (www.noticierostelevisa.com). The series aims to increase awareness about the benefits of conserving and protecting this unique archipelago.
Manuel and his film crew from Televisa were excited about the exploration and the documentation of an area that has never been dived below scuba depth. During the last 10 days we have visited all 3 islands and have executed more than 10 dives with the sub down to 400m.
On one occasion we found and documented an intact skeleton of a Humpback whale, which was resting on the sand at 377m. While the sub explores the unknown depths, the scuba divers captured the action happening in the shallow water. Manta rays, silky sharks, Galapagos sharks and even hammerheads can be seen in these crystal clear waters.
Adding to the excitement, were the humpback whales that became a common sight. This protected area serves as a nursery for young humpback whales until they reach maturity. Not only are they a joy to see, but we also get to listen to their beautiful songs as it echos in the water during our dives.
One of the highlights so far has been the manta rays of San Benedicto Island. These giant Pacific Mantas can been seen circling rock formations in groups as large as 10. It is also common to see small endemic angelfish, called Clarion Angelfish, venturing out from the rock to clean parasites from the mantas skin. The Mantas, appearing almost oblivious to our presence, allow the divers and the sub to approach for a closer look.
Tomorrow we are heading to the main island of Socorro, where we will meet with our second group of guests to join us for Part II of the expedition.
Utilizing the experience gained from our first go around the islands, we begin Part II with even more knowledge and expertise. We hope to learn as much as we can about the mysteries that lie in the depths....
Expedition Highlights and Photos
Manuel and the DeepSee Submersible
We have been working on a very famous program in Mexico called POR EL PLANETA (For the Planet), where we are supporting the filming of three islands: Socorro Island, Roca Partida and San Benedicto, which make up the Archipielago de Revillagigedo. All the islands are volcanic formations and the waters surrounding these isolated islands act as a perfect sanctuary for humpback whales and other pelagics. It is also one of the few places in the world where there are a large number of Pacific Mantas. The mantas congregate in cleaning stations where eager cleaner fish, called Clarion Angelfish, wait to feed on the pesky parasites that irritate the body of the mantas.
While these islands have been made famous by the mantas, there are also extremely friendly dolphins who manage to attract equal attention from divers. These dolphins were so incredibly friendly, curious, and unafraid to interact with divers. At times they even came close enough to touch. This is just remarkable, especially considering how few interactions with humans they have.
While the film crews and divers never actually saw a humpback whale while under the water, we did hear them throughout our dives. We also captured some incredible photos and video of these giants breaching the surface.
We can't wait to see the final film and we will post news of it's airing on social media and right here on our website.