Trip Report and Photos
Clipperton Island - April 10 - 25, 2010

Trip Report and Photos © Elaine Jobin. May not be reproduced in part or whole without advance written permission.
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Clipperton Trip, Day 1
Clipperton Trip, Day 2
Clipperton Trip, Day 3
Clipperton Trip, Day 4
Clipperton Trip, Day 3
Clipperton Trip, Day 6
Clipperton Trip, Dap 7
Clipperton Trip, Day 8
Clipperton Trip, Day 9
Clipperton Trip, Day 10
Clipperton Trip, Day 11
Clipperton Trip, Day 12
Clipperton Trip, Day 13
Clipperton Trip, Day 14
Clipperton Trip, Day 15
Clipperton Trip, Day 16

Our second day at sea had an early start. Jeff Bozanic was up working on his trip log and Harry Donenfeld was up working on his videos.

Jeff Bozanic works on his trip log, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Jeff Bozanic
Tracy DeCoursey and Harry Donnenfeld, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Tracy DeCoursey
Harry Donenfeld

Our Chef, Enrique, was checking out something through the cabin glass.

Enrique, our Chef
Chef Enrique

We were arriving at San Benedicto Island. San Benedicto Island is one of the four islands (San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca partida, and Clarion) that comprise the Revillagigedos Archipelago, more commonly known as the Socorro's. We would spend part of today diving at San Benedicto.

Harry Donenfeld poses in front of San Benedicto Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Harry Donenfeld
in front of San Benedicto Island

As we motored in a closer to the island, we saw humpback whales breaching. I've seen lots of "whale tails" and "whale spouts" and had an occasional sighting of an entire whale from a boats in Southern California. This was the first time I've ever seen one breach, and caught it with a camera. It was an awesome sight. Even more awesome was the thought that we might see the whales during our dive. Unfortunately, we watched them beach and then travel out to sea.

Humpback Whales Breaching at San Benedicto Island
San Benedicto Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Whale Breaching at San Benedicto Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin

Sten gathered everyone in the galley for the dive briefing. We would be exiting off the back of the Nautilus Explorer, swimming to the surface marker, then descending to do our dive.

Our First Dive Briefing
Sten Johansson gives the dive briefing, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Sten Presents
the Dive Briefing
Harry Donefeld videotapes the briefing, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Harry Videotapes
Scott Davis attentive at the dive briefing, Photo  Elaine Jobin
Scott Davis
at the briefing

Now it was time to get dressed for diving. I wore a 5ml wetsuit with a 3ml vest and a 5ml hood. I found it to be just about right to stay comfortable in the 75 degree water. Many dressed in about this thickness of neoprene, a few wore a little less.

I couldn't help but notice that four shipmates were diving rebreathers; Heidi Kneller used a Drager Dolphin, Cameron Etezadi used an Evolution in a modified travel pack, Randi Eisen was on a PRISM Topaz, and Jeff Bozanic dove the new Titan Rebreather.

Some of the Rebreathers
Heidi Kneller with her Drager Dolphin Rebreather, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Heidi Kneller
Drager Dolphin
Cameron Etezadi and Jeff Bozanic on route to Clipperton, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Cameron Etezadi
and Jeff Bozanic
Next to a
Titan Rebreather

Titan Rebreather

It was finally time to get into the water. The location of the boilers was marked by swells and waves breaking on the top. The surface marker where we were to begin and end our dive was close, but a safe distance away. Once in the water, it was a fairly easy swim to the marker.

"The Boilers" at
San Benedicto Island
"The Boilers" at San Benedicto Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin
"The Boilers" at San Benedicto Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin

The underwater structure was quite impressive. Crafted by a volcano "The Boilers" rose abruptly, almost to the surface, from a 150 foot sandy bottom. There were some ledges, canyons, and outcroppings, but mostly it was a very vertical dive site. In the shallower areas near the structure the surge was very noticeable.

Topography at The Boilers
Looking toward the surface, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Looking Up
A ledge in the vertical volcanic structure, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Typical Ledge

There were fewer numbers of fish than I had expected to see. Normally, Marine Preserve Areas are teeming with fish and full of life in general. It looked to me like the area could sustain a much larger population of small fish. The density of large fish seemed a little thin as well. Perhaps the lower than expected fish population it is due to seasonal variations or illegal fishing or some other factors of which I am not aware.

These are some of the pictures of the fish and critters that we saw in the area.

Bluefin Trevally, Caranx melampygus, Photo  Elaine Jobin
Bluefin Trevally
Caranx melampygus
Leather Bass, Dermatolepis dermatolepis, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Leather Bass
Dermatolepis
dermatolepis
Mexican Hogfish, Bodianus diplotaenia, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Mexican Hogfish
Bodianus diplotaenia
School of Jacks, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
School of Jacks
Moorish Idol, Zanclus cornutus, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Moorish Idol
Zanaclus cornutus
Moorish Idol, Zanclus cornutus, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Moorish Idol
Zanaclus cornutus
Finespotted Moray, Gymnothorax dovii, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Finespotted Moray
Gymnothorax dovii
Stone Scorpionfish, Scorpaena mystes, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Stone Scorpionfish
Scorpaena mystes
Urchin, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Urchin

A few divers saw one Manta Ray, I did not. I did see a few white tip sharks who seemed to want to keep their distance from divers.

White-tipped Reef Shark, Triaenodon obesus, Photo © Elaine Jobin
White-Tipped
Reef shark
Triaenodon obesus
White-tipped Reef Shark, Triaenodon obesus, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
White-Tipped
Reef shark
Triaenodon obesus

One of our shipmates was Dr. Maurico Hoyos a Mexican scientist who is an expert on Great White Sharks. One of his interests on this journey was in the condition of the shark receivers that are located around San Benedicto Island. These receivers pick up the signals from passing tagged sharks. To function effectively these receivers must float upright off the bottom of the ocean. One of the receivers that we saw was not maintaining the correct position. Attempts were made to fix it, but, I'm not sure that they were successful.

Shark Tracking Device at San Benedicto Island
Shark Receiver, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Shark Receiver, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Shark Receiver, Photo © Jeff Bozanic

The two dives at "The Boilers" was terrific for testing our gear and getting ready for our dives at Clipperton Island. My strobe cord failed on the first dive. Fortunately, I had brought along a spare. On the second dive I was able to spend a little time taking pictures of divers and contribute to this is a small collection of rebreather divers on the trip.

Jeff Bozanic Takes a Picture, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Jeff Bozanic
Heidi Kneller, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Heidi Kneller
Cameron Etezadi, Heidi Kneller, and Jeff Bozanic, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Cameron Etezadi &
Jeff Bozanic
Heidi Kneller, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Heidi Kneller
Cameron Etezadi, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Cameron Etezadi
Cameron Etezadi, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Cameron Etezadi

This is me at the end of the second dive!

Elaine Jobin, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Elaine Jobin

Jeff stayed behind to take pictures at the site where the surface buoy was secured. The diver in the photos is Sten Johansson bringing the surface marker back in.

Sten Johansson collects the surface marker, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Sten Johansson
Sten Johansson collects the surface marker, Photo © Jeff Bozanic
Sten Johansson

I returned to the boat with everyone else. Ending our dive day at San Benedicto Island


Tom Heinecke

After our dive day, there was plenty of time to rest. Harry Donenfeld brought along a hammock, strung it up on the back deck, and demonstrated the art of relaxation.

Harry in his Hammock
Harry Donenfield in his hammock, Photo ©  Elaine Jobin
Harry Donenfield in his hammock, Photo ©  Elaine Jobin
Harry Donenfield in his hammock, Photo ©  Elaine Jobin

There was also time for dolphin watching at the bow. Getting the shots with the dolphins mid air was a never ending challenge.

Harry Donenfeld Photographs a Dolphin, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Harry Donenfeld
Dolphins at the bow, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Dolphins!

After dinner, Harry, the guy that seemed to have brought every toy in the universe along, took his kayak for a spin around the boat.

Hary Donenfeld prepares his kayak, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Harry Donenfeld and his Kayak

Lastly, Mexican Officials from the island base came for our boat and paperwork inspection. A requirement before we departed Mexican waters. The inspection took about a half an hour and then we departed for Clipperton Island.

Mexican Officials at San Benedicto Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Inspection by Mexican Officials

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