Humpback whales are on the move during the month of June, allowing divers the rare chance to glimpse in to the world of these gentle giants in places such as the Galapagos Islands and Australia. June is the last month to head to Socorro or the Sea of Cortes before the season ends (but don’t worry too much, because that means Great White Shark season in Guadalupe is fast approaching!)
Bump into a whale in the Galapagos
Few experiences are more humbling than coming eye to eye with a humpback whale. Hearing the sounds of their song alone as it reverberates through the ocean and your ribcage is enough to give you goose bumps.
During June Humpback whales migrate through the Galapagos Islands giving divers a chance to come face to face with these 18 metre long mammals. June is also prime time for encounters with whale sharks, and these enormous fish can be spotted in abundance.
June is the beginning of the dry season in the Galapagos Islands, when cooler temperatures and less rainfall prevail.
And on the Great Barrier Reef
From May onwards, calm seas and great visibility make diving in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is particularly mind-blowing. In June, the diving steps up another notch with the arrival of whales.
Snorkeller and dwarfe minke whale.
Every winter, dwarf minke whales travel through the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the ONLY location where divers and snorkelers are presented with the chance to jump in the water with these pint size cetaceans. Dwarf minke whales grow to a maximum of eight metres, and are curious and inquisitive creatures. Liveaboards such as Spoilsport offer special trips dedicated to getting you in the water with these animals as much as possible.
Swimming with dwarf minke whales is suitable for divers and snorkelers, and this experience is one that is suited to all levels of dive experience. The fact that these tours take place on the Great Barrier Reef means that you’ll not only have unforgettable in-water encounters with the whales, but log some fantastic dives.
Humpback whales can also be frequently spotted during this time of the year, however swimming with this species is not currently allowed on the Great Barrier Reef. Watching as a humpback whale breaches metres from the boat is incredible though, and these curious whales often swim over to liveaboards to say hello.
Last chance for Socorro & Sea of Cortes
If you love diving with the big fish (and rays, whales, dolphins and more) of the sea Socorro & the Sea of Cortez is a destination you definitely want to visit at some point in your life. The dive season for Socorro runs from around November to May, however some liveaboards offer trips in the first half of June giving divers one last chance to head to this incredible part of the world until the season begins again. The best time to dive the Sea of Cortes is from early August through to October, however some liveaboards such as Nautilus Explorer and Nautilus Belle Amie offer unique itineraries that cruise both Socorro Island and the Sea of Cortes, allowing divers to experience the best of both these destinations.
Sunset on the Nautlius Explorer.
Socorro is in fact the largest of the Revillagigedo Islands, which are four volcanic islands in Mexico. The area is one that can only be visited by liveaboard, as it’s a good 24 hour journey from the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. If you’re looking for coral reefs and colourful fish Socorro is not the place to find it. Instead, you will find exhilaritying encounter after exhilarating encounter with incredible marine life. Think interactions with dolphins, schools of sharks (tiger, hammerhead, silkie and Galapagos sharks to name a few) and manta rays.
Due to the deep depths, currents and sea conditions in Socorro, this destination in best for intermediate to advanced divers, and most liveboards will require divers to have a minimum number of logged dives.
Sheltered from the Pacific Ocean lies a thin strip of water known as the Sea of Cortes. The sheltered position of this expanse of ocean results in wonderfully calm dive conditions and excellent visibility. The Sea of Cortes provides divers with plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with curious sea lions and pelagic species, plus reef diving and ample chance to hunt for macro creatures that can’t be found in Socorro.