Monday, June 19, 2017

June 11 – June 19, 2017 #TripReport

MANTA´S FULL CLEANING SERVICE

Our 22nd journey started with rough seas but once we got to San Benedicto Island calmed down just to start our check out dive at “Las Cuevas” where we could spot the first silkies sharks, turtles and the lazy white tips laying under the caves. We stayed overnight at “El Cañon” and the diving started early morning without current which made the divers performance easier getting the opportunity to have the best shots of all kind of different fishes among which the jacks under the boat were one of the favorites, been patrolled by the 5 silkies that as usual never stop swimming between the divers. On the drop offs we got to see more than 5 silvertips surrounding the cleaning station and the mantas showed their way coming on and off from the blue over the sandy bottom.

The choppy sea made us to move to Socorro Island where we dove the second day at Cabo Pearce with great manta action especially in the south area where the endemic clarion fishes were ready to give the full cleaning service to the mantas along with a bunch of stubborn jacks that stayed under one particular black manta that kept coming towards the divers on and on to get their bubble doze of the day. In total we got to see more than 5 different mantas during the dives and lots of tunas crossing from one side to the other of the reef mixing their shades with big schools of blue jacks, triggerfishes and steel pompanos in the shallow zones.

Our next stop was Punta Tosca where we got a little bit of current closer to the wall, so we ended up diving in the middle bars of the reef looking for countless nudis all over the place, we drifted along a huge variety of tropical fishes like the rock mover wrasses, the Mexican goat fishes, big balls of hungry parrot fishes eating the coral, long schools of yellow snappers and a couple of turtles hovering next to us. We reached a shallow area getting ready to do our safety stop when we heard dolphins and out of the blue we were swimming between 7 of them including a baby that stayed close to the mama who was teaching him how to hunt the jacks, an amazing behavior to watch!

Roca Partida was outstanding with huge schools of all kind of jacks, mantas everywhere chasing each other and hovering where the current was stronger and getting a glance of our divers here and there. The whitetips were out of the ledges and swimming in the south point close to the rock making the perfect scenario for the photographers in turn, meanwhile in the blue we got to see the huge school of skipjacks with silkies, silver tips and a huge Galapagos in the middle moving from north to south. On the outsides we didn´t get to see hammers this time, instead we found big schools of tunas of all sizes swimming from one side to the other of the rock.

Last trip of the Socorro season… Coming back to land from the amazing archipelago of Revillagigedo and the feeling couldn't be other than gratefulness for what we have been so lucky to see along this unforgettable 8 months: thrilling dives with all kind of different species of sharks, big schools of hammerheads, bubble junkies mantas, our lovely friends the dolphins, the epic return of the false orcas along with the vagabond whale sharks and the elusive humpback whales; this year the sea has been so kind with us and our debt with it is huge, thanks Revillagigedo for an amazing journey and see you next season!

Wishing the best from and for the ocean.

Rodrigo Marroquín, dive instructor.
SOLMAR V.


Trip Conditions:

Temperature
71 F / 22 C

Visibility
60 feet / 20 mts

In scale 1 to 5

Seas: 3

Current: 2

Crossings
To San Benedicto: 3

To Socorro: 3

To Roca Partida: 1

Monday, June 12, 2017

June 2 – June 10, 2017 #TripReport

Trip report from June 2nd to the 10th

Hello people,

This is the report from the 21st trip of the season. We started in San Benedicto Island doing the check out dive in “Las Cuevas”, with white tip sharks, stingrays, a sea turtle and plenty of fish. The dive site “El Boiler” was very good this trip. Early in the morning we saw dolphins and a couple of mantas. For the rest of the day the mantas stayed there hanging out with us. “El Cañon” was the other site where we dove in San Benedicto the last day of the trip. We saw a school of hammerheads, some silver tip, white tip and a couple of Galapagos sharks. Also a couple of playful mantas were there most of the time during two of the dives.

Socorro Island was great too; three or four mantas were in the area. Also on the first dive of the day, a couple of dolphins were hunting jacks. On the second dive we spent most of the time with two chevron mantas.

And last but not least, Roca Partida. As always this place gave us the best diving in the Archipelago. During the two days we stayed there, we saw a big school of skipjacks, Galapagos sharks, hammerheads, silver tip sharks, lots of white tips, tunas, mantas and silky sharks. In one of the dives we had seven mantas at the same time!

Despite the weather conditions, we had a great time in the Revillagigedo Archipelago, our guests came back very happy and with great memories.


See you soon!
Pablo - DM Solmar V

Weather conditions (0 to 5 “max”)
Wind 3
Clouds 4
Water conditions
Current 3 (0 none to 5 strong)
Visibility 4 (0 poor to 5 excellent)
Temperature average 73F/23C
Crossing (0 good to 5 rough)
To Socorro 2
To Cabo 4

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 24 – June 1st, 2017 #TripReport

Hello you all !!
Revillagigedo Archipelago amazed us one more time! The dive at Las Cuevas was an easy dive, passing trough the caves, lots of tropical fish, diamond stingrays and a beautiful manta chevron showed up at the very first dive! The Boiler was perfect to find a Manta chevron, and El Cañón was the right place to find sharks. We saw 4 hammerheads turning around a big school of amber jacks, a big Galapagos shark was deeper, and few silver tips were also swimming around. Within the cleaning stations there were 3 black mantas and 2 chevron mantas. 

We left San Benedicto and once at Socorro Island we explored all the lava flow of Cabo Pearce, plenty of barber fish, hog fish, clarion angel fish, flounders, and small sea life as octopus and lobsters. The blue water was a magnificent scenery to see pelagics. A huge and massive yellow fin tuna passed close to us and smaller tunas were in schools and a couple of silky sharks were around. 

Punta Tosca was a good chance to move all across a wonderful reef, plenty of hard coral and a gorgeous marine life composed by tropical fish as Moorish idols, parrot fish, hog fish, clarion angel fish and blue trevally jacks. We found an small cave where 10 whitetip sharks were resting. The current was strong but was fun to drift with it!! We cross to Roca Partida. An explosion of wild sea life was there for us, and during the 2 days that we dove there the action was increasing more and more and everything happen right in front of us: massive schools of yellowfin tuna swimming up and down, coming from the blue forming a wall, right next to the rock and in the blue no less than 30 sharks, big Galapagos sharks and big and fats silvertips sharks swimming around. At the northern corner another 6 or 7 Galapagos sharks very close to us and Pacific Giant Mantas all around. 3 mantas chevron swimming all around, up and down, interacting and playing with the divers and Black Mantas as well. At the moment we believed to have all, but that was just the beginning!! False Killer whales were arriving to the area, we heard them underwater but we saw them during the surface interval when they come very close to the Solmar V and they have been at the southern corner of the rock right in the dive site!! A couple of groups went snorkeling with a group of at least 20 of them. They were been everywhere, showing us their dorsal fin, going down and exhaling and breathing at the surface to go deeper again. The next day conditions were the same, strong current, water temperature 77 º F/ 25 ª C, visibility 80 ft /24 m, nice and clear!! And the action was no stop!! Silky sharks everywhere, circling around us in the blue, a massive bait-ball of bonitas right next to a massive schools of yellowfin tunas, 6 mantas were around, 2 black mantas and 4 chevron, whitetips sharks at the ledges of the rock, big school of cotton mouth jacks, big eye jacks in everywhere, 6 hammerheads at south, Galapagos and silvertips shark remained in the area, and this time we felt the false killer whales singing louder! Then we opened to the blue water at north and BINGO, a huge shade was at the distance, we went straight to this massive shade to find out that a bunch of no less 20 false killer whales were there. It was absolutely amazing to watch this giants of the sea while diving. They been swimming slowly with elegance and majestic, going to the surface and returning deeper all together, the mom were taking care of the calves, an spectacle of mother nature!! The action continued at the surface. After diving we went snorkeling with no less than 30 false false killer whales. They spread in all the area, bunches of 5 or 6 of them breaching right next to the pangas. 

For the last dive we saw all of this one more time and, as ours divers said, "once again we saw everything at the Solmar V!" 

We came back to The Boiler in San Benedicto to have a wonderful dive with a bunch of 30 bottle-nose dolphins, it was lots of fun. Dolphins everywhere and very close to us! The rest of the day we dove at El Cañón to find a big Galapagos shark of than 3 m /9 ft, 2 black Mantas and big school of yellowfin tunas in the blue. Amazing Trip!!! No doubt!! See you soon...

Ignacio Hernan Leyro 
Solmar V - Dive Instructor

Water temperature: 75 º F / 24 ª C to 77 ºF / 25 ª C
Visibility: 50 ft /15 m to 80 ft / 24 M
Currents: moderate to strong current
Crossings: 
Cabo San Lucas to San Benedicto: 24 hrs 
San Benedicto to Socorro Islands: 4: 30 hrs 
Socorro to Roca Partida: 9 hrs

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 13 - May 21, 2017 #TripReport

THE SHARK TRIP

San Benedicto Island EL BOILER dive site, early dive, dolphins are leading the way in front of the zodiacs, we are all excited about it! As we are descending for the first dive a lonely manta keeps making circles in the same area, dolphins constantly chirping not visible yet, schooling cotton mouth jacks always feeling safe close the wall, Big Eye Jacks starting to feel uncomfortable breaking the school apart, then a single dolphin shows up chasing only one of them, the constant noise by the dolphins tells he is a hunting mode, other dolphins are deeper water letting enjoy they company, the swim, eye contact, even not bothering while we see them being cleaned up by clarion angel fish at 110ft33m. EL CAÑON dive site at the end of the day a place for 6 juvenile Silver tip sharks, here and there a hammer head sharks, white tips and lots of Big Eye Jacks, swimming around the whole dive area was nice and easy, exploring it as it was the first time ever. wat temp 71℉/21.6℃ We not only enjoyed of the 75℉/23.8℃ water temp of ROCA PARTIDA, vis as great as always, that blue color water amazes us! Swells and current made every dive gain experience under such conditions! Life underwater a lifetime experience not easy to forget! First dive of the morning started so easy with juts a manta flying by! Very mild current from South made all type of fish gather here! A large number of Black Jacks not seen in a long time! Or curse Yellow Fin Tunas, Wahoos, Pacific Creole Fish, etc.

The conditions were unique for a SHARK REUNION HERE, coming from North, west side of the rock a wall of more than 150 sharks at 60ft/18m depth sharing same area, mostly female silky sharks, some hammer head too as well as Galapagos and Silver tip sharks! In addition to that Down deep about 120ft/36m the bottom was only hammer head sharks, several times we were surrounded by only sharks and no more than sharks! During two more dives that huge school broke up into several ones, always in shallow water. Graceful mantas made appearance during every safety stop.
Socorro Island, PUNTA TOSCA dive site offered a nice wall dive with Chevron and Black mantas encounter, in two different dives the dolphin encounter was breath taking, so playful even escorting us to safety stop! The shallow area apart from current made an easy dive full of coral, fish, sting rays, octos, lobsters, a manta flying by, juvenile Galapagos sharks, white tip sharks. Current was challenging but it made improve the visibility, at least 60ft/20m, and a water temperature of 71℉/21.6℃.

A second day at ROCA PARTIDA getting advantage of a friendly weather, why not right! Sharks all over Roca! A school of about 30 Galapagos sharks joined the previous reunion, of course every dive was decorated with company of Giant Pacific Mantas. Back in San Benedicto Island! EL BOILER dive site, two different pods of dolphins came together keeping us in the middle counting about 26 of them! The most tender thing happened when two different females came up so close to us sort of presenting us their little ones, mean time the chirping was nonstop! Right time, right place made us eye witness of dolphins hunting! The diving is coming almost to an end here, but 3 Giant Pacific Mantas came in for the whole dive letting us place ourselves below their wings blowing lots of bubbles, so giant and graceful creatures as well as tender, gliding came in gliding went away not without letting us do eye contact with them!

Dive Instructor
Daniel Zapata, Solmar V.
AVERAGE VIS 60FT/20M
CURRENT 1.5 IN A SCALE OF 1 TO 5

Monday, May 15, 2017

May 4 - May 12, 2017 #TripReport

Roca Partida rocks!

Hello people,

This is the report from the 18th trip of the season to the Revillagigedo Archipelago. San Benedicto Island was awesome; at the dive site “El Cañon” we saw a big school of skipjacks, dolphins, mantas and different type of sharks; white tip, silkies, hammerheads, Galapagos and silver tips. We dove in “El Boiler” too, where we started early in the morning, so we have a better chance to see the dolphins, again. The dolphins didn’t disappoint us because they showed up; they were around 12 and playful. Also we had three or four mantas during the dives, silky sharks and some big tunas in the area.

Socorro Island was the other diving destination; the dive sites were “Cabo Pierce” and “Punta Tosca”. In Cabo Pierce we saw mantas, white tip and Galapagos sharks, and a school of tunas. Punta Tosca was nice because no current and good visibility for the first dive; white tip sharks and reef fish is what we saw. The conditions changed for the second dive, the visibility wasn’t good as the first dive.

Because of the weather conditions for this trip, we were able to stay only one day in Roca Partida. As always the site was spectacular, full of life. On this trip because of the current direction, all the marine life was concentrated on the south side. White tip sharks, Galapagos, silver tips, silkies and the school of hammerheads were there; we saw schools of blackjacks, skipjacks and tunas too. On the north side we had some cool animals too. Steel pompanos, rainbow runners and tunas were in the area. Probably the best was the seven mantas that we saw during the dives, four chevrons and three blacks. This is the reason why Roca Partida is the best dive site in the Archipelago.

See you next week.
Pablo,
DM Solmar V

Weather conditions (0 to 5 “max”)
Wind 3
Clouds 4
Water conditions
Current 3 (0 none to 5 strong)
Visibility 4 (0 poor to 5 excellent)
Temperature average 73F/23C
Sea (calm1-choppy5) 2
Crossing
to Revillagigedo 2

Monday, May 1, 2017

April 23 - May 1st, 2017 #TripReport

April 30th, 2017

Las Cuevitas in San Benedicto Island was a very pleasant check out dive. We passed trough the two little caves and we saw lots of tropical fish and lots of stingrays. The next day we dove at El Cañon. Here we saw a big galapagos shark, few hammerheads, many white tip sharks, 3 wonderful chevron mantas, and 8 bottlenose dolphins were swimming around!

The next two days we dove at Cabo Pearce in Socorro Island and was incredibly amazing to watch the chevron mantas arriving to the cleaning stations to be covered by clarion angel fish. A black manta was swimming around the groups of divers the entire dive. A group saw bottle-nose dolphins, and we found lots of white tips sharks swimming around. Within the reef we had lots of barber fish , flounders, moray eels, octopuses, and more! What a beautiful reef!! The conditions were perfect. The water temperature was 75 ºF / 23 ºC to 80 fº / 24 ª C. The visibility was 100 ft / 30 m. We saw 4 different mantas and a big tiger shark of 12 Ft / 4m.

We left Socorro behind and we head to Roca Partida. This isolated volcanic island offered us an unforgettable experience. We saw a gorgeous galapagos shark circling the western wall and a chevron manta. Also many white tips sharks at the ledges in the shallow zone 45 ft / 14 m and during the day was fascinating to watch 4 to 5 mantas on every dive, interacting with the divers. Black mantas and chevron mantas circling around, up and down! The hammerhead sharks showed up right in front of us: 3 here, 2 coming from the depth and finally a big school of them of no less than 50 sharks. When we thought that nothing else was possible to find after that, a big, huge bait ball of bonitas was at the deepest area 100 ft /30 m, creating a fake bottom of fish moving everywhere, and the silky sharks were circling around, and in between the bait ball. One of the groups on the way back to the Solmar V after the dive found a beautiful, huge whaleshark swimming at the surface. They entered the water to snorkeling with it, to find out that it was a pregnant female carrying a fat belly!!

To finish our trip we went back to San Benedicto Island with the expectation to dive at The Boiler, wonderful reef, highly recognized as the better places in the world to interact with the Pacific Giant Manta. The dives were mind blowing!! Absolutely amazing!! Mantas everywhere! Bottle-nose dolphins playing with us, 6 of them very curious and playful. We saw big yellowfin tunas in schools, bigeye jacks, pacific creole fish, amberjacks in big schools, wahoos and in between all this explosion of life, 1 black manta and 5 chevron mantas circling around the area in all directions, coming straight to the divers and swimming to the surface to come back to them to enjoy their bubbles at the belly!! Another great trip to the Revillagigedo Archipelago! This is paradise!

See you soon!
Ignacio Hernan Leyro
Scuba instructor

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 14 - April 22, 2017 #TripReport

video
THE RETURN OF THE FALSE KILLER WHALE

Revillagigedo Islands have always something new to offer to the divers all around the planet and this trip wasn’t the exception with the big surprise we got this week thanks to the visit of the false killer whales around this magical paradise.

Having great weather with sunny days, crystal clear water, mild current and tons of animals around is how we started our journey in San Benedicto Island diving at Las Cuevas for our check out dive, great expectation couldn´t resist to the big Galapagos shark that welcomed us right away at the sandy bottom with a big school of tunas passing behind it and the first manta of the trip hovering close to the surface. The dives at El Cañon where full of sharks, among which the hammerheads, the silkies and the silvertips where the more active coming closer to the divers to pose for the unforgettable moment, suddenly we started to hear a sharp squeak coming from everywhere, the false killer whales where around! We came out of the water and our surprise was huge when we saw them close to the boat, a big group of 50+ individuals jumping and exhaling at the surface, so we took the pangas and snorkeled with them for about an hour, then out of the blue some sailfishes, silkies and black tip sharks where around us trying to figure out what was all that scandal the false killer whale were doing, one of the best moments without a doubt!



After San Benedicto we headed towards Socorro Island and dove at Cabo Pearce, such a beautiful rocky landscape home of tons of different animals. The variety here its outstanding if you put yourself to watch closely to the little details on the rock such as the flounders, octopuses, huge lobsters, tiger snake eels, even we got to see small pipe fishes living on the sea urchins and some nudibranches resisting to the current. The mantas showed up here briefly but they weren’t as playful as we got them in Roca Partida later on, but a group of 7 dolphins did when one of them let the divers pet him for a bit.

Definitely the best diving we got it at Roca Partida, with an amazing 30+ mts / 90+ feet visibility, mild current coming from the north and calm seas made the perfect scenario for easy dives and all kind of pelagic encounters. Along the two days of diving we got around 7 different mantas, one of them, a friendly pregnant female couldn´t resist the bubble jacuzzi and stayed with us for the entire dive coming on and on to show off magnificently.  On the deep zones we got to see big bulky Galapagos, silver tips and a big school of 70+ hammerheads passing by towards the rock and going back to the cold depths. A huge school of thousands of skipjacks surrounded Roca Partida with 5 silkies sharks as shepherds, involving the divers for moments as part of it to the point that you could even loose the dimensions of the huge ball.

Great trip, incredible diving and amazing people on board of the Solmar V.
Happy dives to everyone!

Rodrigo Marroquín, dive instructor.
SOLMAR V.

DIVE CONDITIONS
Currents: Mild
Visibility: 65 ft / 20 m
Water temp: 75 F / 23 C

WEATHER
Climate: Sunny
Sea: Calm

CROSSINGS
To San Benedicto: Calm
To Roca Partida: Calm
To Socorro: Calm