Shark Research Socorro Liveaboard

Join us in January 2019 as we head out for a very special Citizen Science Shark Research Expedition to the remote volcanic islands of the Revillagigedo Archipelago. A protected marine reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site located 250 miles due south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  It is an almost Jurassic Park looking group of islands that are consistently rated as ‘the best big animal diving location in the world’ and one of the Top 3 Diving Destinations in the world alongside it’s big brother to the south, the Galapagos Islands.  During the trip we will visit the islands of Socorro, Roca Partida, and San Benedicto. This is a place where dreams come true.

A place where giant mantas growing upwards of 7 meters (23 feet) wide actively seek out divers for intimate encounters. A place where pods of friendly dolphins are known to join the group and spend the dive playing with divers.  A place home to over 10 different species of sharks. We’re not talking the random sighting either. We are talking huge schools of sharks and up-close encounters with some of the Pacific’s best. Schools of scalloped hammerheads, solitary giant hammerheads, whale sharks, Galápagos, white tip reef, silver tips, black tips, silky, dusky, and even tiger sharks. Sound good? Well you might want to sit down because it’s about to get even better…

Team Ninja cordially invites you to take a walk in the shoes of a shark scientist and marine biologist on this amazing expedition. Our Citizen Science program is a chance for divers to participate in exciting marine research activities with some of the worlds foremost experts. And, our scientist onboard for this trip is one of the biggest names in shark research, Dr Mauricio Hoyos Padilla. Mauricio and his team at Pelagios Kakunjá have been pushing the boundaries of our understanding of these beautiful creatures and has a wealth of knowledge of not only sharks but the vast biodiversity found only at these islands.

Over the course of the trip you will find yourself learning to tag and track, take skin samples, deploying baited remote underwater video systems, working on photo identification, and discovering so much about the beautiful creatures that inhabit these islands. Mauricio will host evening talks on everything from biology, anatomy, conservation, , and even their work exploring the depths of the islands with a submersible! And no pressure – each diver is invited to contribute to the research process as little or as much as he/she wants during the trip. You are completely welcome to skip the research and just enjoy the dives if you prefer.

This is a limited offer trip with only 16 spaces available We recommend that you act fast, our last Socorro Research trip sold out in only 10 days.  Scroll down for more details on the trip, as well as photos from our past trips, then register online now to secure your space.  Feel free to contact us at [email protected] or +1-973-619-9007 with any questions or to reserve your space.

THIS TRIP IS NOW SOLD OUT! Please contact us to join the waiting list or click here to check out our other awesome upcoming trips

shark diving in Socorro Island Mexico
Scuba diving with dolphins at Isla Socorro Mexico
Dr Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, Shark scientist

Scientist Onboard

We are beyond thrilled to announce that  leading this special citizen science expedition is one of the foremost shark experts in the world, Dr Mauricio Hoyos Padilla. If you haven’t heard his name by now, it’s most likely because you’ve spent the last decade living in outer space.  

Mauricio is co-founder and director of Pelagios Kakunjá, a nonprofit organization that focuses on sharks and other pelagic species, founding member of the Mexican Society of Cartilaginous Fish, an expert in shark reproduction & behavior, university lecturer & public speaker, scientific advisor on multiple documentaries (including the Discovery Channels ‘Shark Week’ & National Geographic), as well as an outspoken advocate for shark conservation. And if that isn’t enough, he was recently just named 2018 Shark Researcher of the year by Fins Attached.

Throughout the week he will be teaching us how to help with his research activities and giving insightful presentations on these amazing creatures. See the itinerary outline below for more details on the activities, but it’s safe to say this is going to be an amazing hands on week of diving and shark research.

The Ship

For this unique experience we have chartered the Quino el Guardian, a liveaboard vessel designed with ocean research in mind. This will be our fourth trip with the crew of the Quino. On every trip we have done with them our guests couldn’t say enough about how awesome they were, so Quino was at the top of our list when we decided to head back to Socorro for a shark research expedition. They are hands down one of our favorite liveaboard crews in the world.

The Quino el Guardian is 90ft (30m) long and has a beam of 23 feet (7m) and has 3 levels including covered sundeck for relaxing and taking in the beautiful views between dives. She holds 4 quad stateroom cabins for guests – each equipped with their own air conditioning, 4 comfortable beds, power outlets, lighting, and drawers for storage. She is extremely seaworthy and approved by both the US Coast Guard and Mexican Coast Guard, as well as being fully equipped with all state of the art marine electronics and required safety equipment. But what makes the Quino unique in our experience is her crew. They are one of the best in the business and our past guests always rave about how they make you feel like family. This mix of amazing crew, jaw dropping diving, and discovering so much about the sharks that call this incredible location home makes for a truly unique experience unlike any other we’ve seen.

Quino el Guardian Socorro liveaboard scuba diving trip

Research Activities & Itinerary

This trip isn’t your normal liveaboard dive trip, and it is even different from our other citizen science research trips to date. It’s action packed with lots of hands on activities. Guests are invited to participate as much, or as little, as they would like. Mauricio has put together a rough idea of what we can expect to take part in on the trip which can be downloaded as a PDF below. But to give you a little taster….

Prepare for an amazing week where you get to walk in the shoes of a shark biologist and researcher. For this trip you will join us as a member of our Dive Ninja Scientific Expeditions team to the Revillagigedo Archipelago. You will scuba dive and help study shark and manta movements in one of their last refuges in the Pacific Ocean. The information you will help collect is critical to effectively manage and protect the mega-fauna of this spectacular chain of islands. Throughout the week you will learn to tag sharks and mantas; learn to take skin samples from sharks and mantas; assist scientists in the censusing and behavioral studies of sharks and mantas; learn how to photo-ID sharks and mantas; assist in deploying baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) for shark ID and behavior study; learn about shark biology and ecology; and best of all scuba dive in deep-blue water at one of the top 3 diving destinations in the world surrounded by abundant mega-fauna.

What’s Included

The trip price of $3,300 USD includes all diving (+/- 21 dives), all research activities, presentations throughout the week, full accommodation on a shared quad basis, all meals (continental breakfast, hot breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinners, dessert, & other snacks throughout the day), soft drinks, local beer & wines, taxes & port fees, in-water dive mastering, and Dive Ninja commemorative trip t-shirt.

Guests are welcome to bring along their own favorite beverages if there is something special they would like.

THIS TRIP IS NOW SOLD OUT! Please contact us to join the waiting list or click here to check out our other awesome upcoming trips

What’s Not Included

The price does not include transportation to and from the ship, National Park Fees of $28 per person, Nitrox fee of $120 per person (optional, but recommended), Crew Gratuity (10%-15% of trip price is customary), Fuel Surcharge* (if applicable), rental equipment, or credit card processing fees. These extras and fees can be paid on the ship.

*Fuel Surcharge: Quino el Guardian reserves the right to implement a fuel surcharge on all trips in the event the cost of fuel surpasses 20 pesos per liter. Should this occur, all guests will be notified prior to boarding.

Quino el Guardian Socorro liveaboard scuba diving trip

Watch: Winged Giants

By Howard Hall, onboard filmed at Socorro Island.

Expedition Quick Facts:

Ship: M/V Quino El Guardian
Board: January 08, 2019 at 5pm
Disembark: January 17, 2019 at 8.30am
Duration: 10 Days, 9 nights
Dive Days:  6 days, +/- 21 dives
Departing from: Puerto Los Cabos, Mexico
Nearest Airport: Los Cabos International (SJD)
Trip Cost: $3300.00 USD
Min Deposit to Reserve: $700 USD

Underwater Starships & Manta Flavored Water

By Chris Carnahan, filmed at Socorro Island.