Another fantastic Solo Trip with Ray of Hope Expeditions and Dr Andrea Marshall, Queen of Mantas!
I love to travel solo, but traveling solo doesn’t have to mean traveling alone! When I travel solo I never feel “lonely” because there are so many new people to watch, to meet, and to talk to. My volunteer/citizen science adventures have introduced me to people who share my passion. As a result, I have friends all over the world! I was the oldest volunteer on my All Out Africa volunteer trip to Mozambique in 2012, but I remain in touch with, and have seen, my fellow volunteers because we bonded during our shared experience. I have friends I met on other trips who are older than I am. Meeting and working with people who share your passions is exhilarating no matter what your age, nationality, or religion. Doing citizen science with Ray of Hope Expeditions makes me feel good about myself, knowing I am trying to make a difference.
Earlier this month I was off on another adventure with Andrea, this time to the Revillagigedos Archipelago. Where on earth is that, you may ask. It is very remote and takes at least a day to get there from Los Cabos. One is completely unplugged as there are no signals. This location is very special. It is 540 miles off the Baja peninsula, and is often called Mexico’s Galapagos. These uninhabited rocks, so far from the Mexican mainland, are among the most unbelievable dive spots in the world. It has one of the largest populations of sharks, manta rays, and includes groups of tuna, humpback whales, all kinds of cool fish, and turtles. This is the third time I have visited these islands, and though I have taken identification photos in this location for scientists, this is the first time I was on an actual scientific expedition.
Strangely enough, I became sea sick on the crossing, which is very unusual for me. I always take a couple of Dramamine and never have a problem. This time was quite different! I have to say, I have a lot of sympathy now for people who get seasick! What a horrible feeling. I spent the first 20 hours of the trip in bed, sleeping and eating saltines.
Once at the dive sites the water was calmer, and my sickness went away (until the next time we traveled which was every day or night!). Diving with mantas is always a magical experience no matter where you are, but the giant mantas at these islands are different. They want to interact with divers, and they want to feel the bubbles from our regulators on their bellies! There are plenty of sharks, dolphins, fish and even tuna in these waters. I was excited to get under the waves and take photos!
And this was just the beginning of the trip! Stay tuned for more fish, shark, dolphin and manta action!
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