Award of Merit – “Flying with Mantas Socorro Islands” (USA)

Title: Flying with Mantas Socorro Islands
Runtime: 5 min
Country: USA
Director: Blane Henderson
Placement: Award of Merit
Competition: June, 2022

Synopsis: Flying with Mantas is an underwater nature film, a compilation of footage taken during an eleven day trip aboard the ‘Vortex’ live-aboard boat, a  converted Canadian Coast Guard cutter,  in the waters off the Socorro Islands, Nov 2021. Also called the Revillagigedo Archipelago, it is located about 250 miles west of the Mexican Baja and composed of three dive worthy islands, Socorro, San Benedicto, and Roca Partida. If you want to ‘fly’ with pelagic mantas then this world class location is the place to do it!  We were visited by large oceanic mantas, some with wing spans up to 20 feet (6 meters) on almost every dive, usually up close and very personal. They love to soar through a divers bubbles and seemed to love being tickled by them. Try a ‘Manta Sombrero’ on for size by rolling onto your back as they approach. They will  slow down for you to swim along beneath them within mere feet! Or drop down just over the top of them and swim along above them and get a remora’s perspective! If approached slowly they don’t seem fearful of divers, at least in these waters!  Additionally, a variety of curious sharks like Silvertips, Scalloped Hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, Silky sharks, and Tiger sharks swim by checking things out! This is truly an epic and world class diving location. This dive destination should be on every serious diver’s bucket list!