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The Canyon is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in San Benedicto Island, Socorro Islands, Mexico. The maximum depth is 71-80ft/22-24m. The average visibility is 91-100ft/28-30m.

The crew chose The Canyon for our checkout dive due to its lack of current and typically benign conditions. An easy first dive to work out weights was helpful as most of us either had new wetsuits or were wearing more layers than we usually did. This is not to say it wasn’t an interesting and productive dive though; The Canyon has offered some of the best hammerhead sightings I’ve had in the Socorros. The bottom is at about 80 feet, and there is a ridge of boulders gently sloping down from 50 feet to meet the dropoff, a place where a diver could secret himself behind a boulder in hopes of a close shark encounter. While normally an active place for hammerheads, the water was warmer this year than we had anticipated, only dropping to 77°F during this trip, and the sharks mostly kept to the cooler, more nutrient-rich waters below. - See more at:

I had a nice octopus sighting, which was very exciting until later in the trip when I realized I was seeing octopuses on every single dive. There were as many as six at some sites, and once I even encountered a mating pair. I have never seen so many octopuses so consistently anywhere in the world, including previously in the Socorros. The fact that others on the trip also came home with mating-octopus photos from different sites makes me think there might have been something special in the water this week. - See more at:

The other target species for this dive (and many others) was the barberfish (Johnrandallia nigrirostris), a type of butterflyfish known to clean sharks of parasites. We had a flyby from a giant manta, which likewise would have been extraordinary except in comparison to later dives at The Boiler where as many as five mantas swirled about, barely inches from our dome ports.As we motored into the anchorage in the morning we saw spouts from several humpbacks, so I took the opportunity to try some topside photography. There was a mother and a calf, but they were relatively skittish, and conditions were a bit rough to allow for any quality images from the inflatable. I tried underwater instead but was pretty unsuccessful there, too. I did see the whales from a distance and another manta ray as well but nothing that presented photo ops. - See more at:

An interested Galapagos shark circled below us while we swam. It’s funny how the mindset changes from being on scuba with a group of other divers trying to get close enough for a photograph to snorkeling on the surface with lots of bare skin exposed and the dinghy far away. Even though you may know better, a shark interested in you while you snorkel is a lot more disconcerting than when you have a big tank protecting your back and a big underwater camera housing protecting your front. - See more at:

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