Vortex: The Full Ride

The first stories and photos from the Socorro Vortex
By Ana Paula Álvarez

Aerial shot of the Socorro Vortex and a manta by Ana Paula Álvarez


Keep what has never happened before present in your memory.

Paul Valéry


Miles deep into the Southwest Pacific Ocean, 22 hours off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, time becomes an endless nothing, and suddenly everything is different.


You wake up to the smell of eggs and coffee in a surprisingly spacious, ocean view room. The crew is already up and running, working incredibly hard since dawn to make sure everything is perfect before everyone wakes up. Divers get their gear ready, listen to the morning brief, and jump into Pangas  – always with high hopes for what the tides will bring this time… This place is without a doubt one of the world’s biggest nests of wildlife, filled with the unexpected. 



On trips like this you learn that another way of discovering is by not searching. There is always, always something going on. 



Divers come back on board, overwhelmed. It seems as though there is never enough ocean and never enough to witness. Every dive is a different experience with its own story. 

The Vortex, in my opinion, is a powerful magnet for people who share a true love for the ocean. She is undoubtedly attractive on the outside but built for a purpose – to bring people together from all over the world and carry them to one of the richest locations of biodiversity in the world; Mexico’s Revillagigedo Islands (San Benedicto, Roca Partida and Socorro). Located in the Pacific Ocean. 


She leaves the docks like an unwritten novel. It’s hard to explain how a boat can become something beyond its definition. The life that surrounds it, a vast expanse of life, eventually shapes her into a home – filled with stories to tell and some to keep only to herself. I realized one of the best parts of a journey like this one is entering the unknown, the quiet, and even the people around you. A big part of the trip is about opening up to others and learning to actually live together for a while. Privacy is just as important, and you certainly have options for alone time on this boat considering it takes only 14 guests. The upper deck jacuzzi is definitely the best excuse for relaxing time, either alone or with friends. 

The crew is made up of incredible, talented, and hardworking people that dedicate their entire energy to making things happen on board. Everything needs to flow and function in a certain way in order to survive at sea. It’s an artform. This I must say, even with the crazy marine life congregating outside, is what really caught my eye (and the food of course, mouthwatering). 


Afternoons are absolute magic and my favorite time of day. Sunsets fill you up with light like very few places ever do. Best of all, you can enjoy this with an espresso in hand. And at night, there’s something about the dark that’s beautiful and quite haunting. The sea truly becomes alive at night. 

Beneath the striking volcanic islands, mantas, sharks, dolphins, and even humpback whales make this place a perfect diver’s and photographer’s paradise, each island with its own particular charm. For photography lovers there’s a very, very useful camera station that will keep your equipment safe, charged, and ready to use on your way out. We all know how important it is to have your camera taken care of. 

I believe a trip like this one creates inner transformations in each and every person on board that will always keep us looking for that feeling.  It does not end here…and we must always find an opportunity to pay the sea back. 


If there’s one thing I miss, it’s the rocking bed at night. 







Interested in experiencing the Socorro Vortex for yourself?

Be sure to book your trip through our helpful staff at BluewaterTravel!



Ana Paula Álvarez 

México 1987. Studied photography in Escuela Activa de Fotografía, Mexico City. She had previous visual communication studies and ended up working in advertising agencies for a few years until she finally went full into photography as an independent.

Her main focus has been landscape, predominantly through various sailing trips due to the family’s tradition which started in Mexico’s Pacific coast in the early 1970s. It was her father who introduced her as a child to the art and techniques of photography, time and experiences narrowed her interest into documentary photography as a narrative and storytelling track that makes visible the aesthetic, social and sensitive criss-crossings derived from the symbiotic relationship between man and nature.

Her aesthetic exploration reveals the chromatic phenomena that is perceptible in dynamic surfaces that come into contact with the movement of natural light.

Recent works: Collective exhibition in the Open Gallery of Las Rejas de Chapultepec. "Papanoa Diaries", individual exhibition at the LOOT Gallery, Zihuatanejo. She has been judge in the photography contest "Remembering Mexico" of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico. Among other editorial media of which stands out the book "México En Una Foto", Picnic Magazine and West is the Best (art surfing magazine), France.


IG: anapaula__a



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