Monday, May 22, 2017

May 13 - May 21, 2017 #TripReport


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.

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.
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
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


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.

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

Climate: Sunny
Sea: Calm

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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 2 - April 12, 2017 #TripReport

Hi All!

    We are so exited about this extended trip, which means more diving time! San Benedicto Island offered quality in diving, Las Cuevas check out dive with green sea turtles, white tip sharks, lobsters, lots of tropical fish and even an encounter with a tiger shark at the end of the dive made it count, El Boiler dive site the following early morning was amazing with dolphins, a few mantas and tiger shark , visibility great but a challenging current made us go around the Island to dive El Cañon, current was still there but more area to drift along the site, towards the end of the day was nice diving with juvenile silver tip sharks, a few hammer heads, of course the whole site is very healthy with lots of fish, silky sharks made every safety stop fun, so curious, up close for great shots. 

On the other hand two days of diving Roca Partida as amazing as always, morning dives spectacular with 16 dolphins for mere than 20 minutes, visibility more than 100ft/30m, water temp 74℉/23.3℃, current mild to manage, surface of the ocean flat as a glass, the number of fish gathering is just insane! Yellow fin tunas, jacks, wahoos, friendly mantas every dive! 

ROCA PARTIDA shelter for for so many species become at the same time a shark place to dive, Hammer Heads, silver tip, white tip, Galapagos, silky sharks in one single dive! Huge Skip Jack bait ball right by the rock chased by dolphins! Difficult to leave but next Island SOCORRO awaits!
ROCA O’NEAL nice wall dive starts at 50ft/15m, drops down to 120ft/40m, 3 chambers cave was nice to explore, white tip sharks, lobsters, sting rays the usual suspects there, PUNTA TOSCA offered nice wall dive as well with lots of reef fish, a  few Hammer Heads and of course manta dives of about 50 minutes, CABO PEARCE great diving! Schooling Hammer Heads! Mantas so playful with six dolphins at the same time! Galapagos Shark, Silky, White tip, Silver tip sharks, very healthy place, reef, flounders, lobsters, zebra eels, octos, mid water flooded of fish! Out of the blue literally speaking a mother and calf hump back whale swam by ahead of us crossing the reef! Great way to end up diving Socorro Island!
Back in San Benedicto Island El Cañon dive site, early dive and all day long Hammer Heads were seen! A great combination of current with blue water vis! Of course Mantas don't want to leave us alone here! A tiger shark made itself visible to us. DOS HERMANOS dive site spectacular diving with mantas, from beginning to end, 60 minutes each dive of friendly mantas in a zero current conditions! We had to go Back to El BOILER once more! About 11 dolphins found us to be with for more than 20 minutes, the constant chirping, playing display made us interact with, big swells conditions made us end up the trip by EL CAÑON, not bad at all considering a very playful manta during the whole dive, safety stop with six silky sharks and a female tiger shark that came up from depth to visit us while drifting in a safety stop!

Average Visibility of trip 70ft/21m
Average Water temp 74℉/23℃
Current conditions from 1 to 5, was 3

Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata, Solmar V.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March 19 - March 30, 2017 #TripReport

The Tiger & Manta Avenue

Hi everybody!!

We've had a relaxing check out dive at El Fondeadero in San Benedicto Island, with lots of tropical fish, blue fin trevalley jacks, white tip sharks, and a black manta.

The Canyon was great for the next two days. Fabulous conditions, water temp72f/23C, average visibility of 50 ft / 15m and a challenging current which brought an explosion of life: mantas right over our heads, hammerheads, white tip sharks, silvertips and a tiger shark!

Cabo Pearce and Punta Tosca dive sites in Socorro Island offered a lot of fun with super friendly mantas, hammerheads here and there, galapagos sharks, and more. In both places the dolphins were very playful and curious to the point that let us pet them for long minutes. The dive was absolutely amazing and out of this world!! A massive tiger shark about 4 m/12 ft came straight to the wall and got the vertical position and we could appreciate the big volume of its body! Big fat guy!! A very playful bottlenose dolphin jumped out of the water in front of us and went down to play with the divers. The fascinating behavior of the 2 chevron mantas we saw continued during the next day.

Amazing roca O'Neill offered a wonderfull wall dive, an arch to pass trough at 100ft / 30m depth and great visibility of 100ft/30m. The wall dive allowed us to entry into another cave and we enjoy the shallow area of the reef with lobsters, moray eels and lots of pacific creole fish.

Then we headed to Roca Partida where we had a very good action with 8 galapagos sharks, schooling cotton mouth jacks in the area, bigeye jacks and tunas .The surge and current were challenging. The area was plenty of life, white tip sharks and a massive yellowfin tuna passed very close to us!! Such a great dive!! We also had a good interaction with 2 chevron mantas.

We then came back to dive the Canyon again. The current was strong and it helped us to find hammerheads, silvertips and mantas. The next day at the Boiler we dove with 4 bottle-nose dolphins, and a chevron manta was near the cleaning station.

To finish our trip we dove the canyon for the last time! A big tiger showed up very close to the reef in a strong current. During the very last dive, the same tiger shark about 4m/12ft came back to us one more time. Meantime, the hammerheads were above us, a manta chevron in front of us, and we were lucky to see the same tiger shark coming back at us to the cleaning station with two silvertip sharks. In between all of this, lots of white tip sharks!!

                                                       Ignacio h.Leyro
                                                       Scuba instructor

Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 8 - March 16, 2017 #TripReport

Roca Partida Experience

Photo: Erick Higuera

Hello everybody,

This is the report for the trip number 13, from March 08th to the 16th, nine days of scuba diving on board Solmar V in the Revillagigedo archipelago. The weather was pretty good, and also with good visibility in most of the sites. On this trip we had some guest who were here before with us, so we are very happy to see them again, and flattered that they decided to spend their vacations in Revillagigedo on board Solmar V.

As always the first stop was in San Benedicto, where we did four dives in “El Bolier”. We started at eight o’clock in the morning with some dolphins in the area, so by the time we jumped in the water the first group of divers swam with them. The current was heading north and the visibility was excellent. The mantas were following us and playing with the bubbles of the divers, so we had a great day of diving; everybody was excited and happy with all the mantas we saw.

For the next two days of scuba diving we went to “Roca Partida”, where we had the best dives of this trip. In Roca the current was strong coming from east and the visibility was great. The first dive on the first day we saw a juvenile whale shark! Not too deep and close to the rock. We were hopping that the shark stayed all day but unfortunately we didn’t see him again. We saw Galapagos sharks here and there, a school of skip jacks, huge tunas easily over 100 pounds patrolling the area, and mantas were in the area.

The second day was a blast, on the first dive we went dawn to look for the school of hammerhead sharks on the south side of the rock and we found them at 40 meters! Probably more than 40 animals we saw. On the way back to the rock a black manta joined us for a few minutes and almost at the end of the dive, 12 to 15 dolphins showed up and played with us. But the climax of this dive was when the dolphins left us, and latter on they came back surrounding a humpback whale and her calf! Three guys from my group and me were there to see them! Also, we had some dives with super friendly mantas, two of them stayed with us for over 40 minutes, going from one diver to the other.

After some incredible dives in Roca Partida we headed to Socorro Island, where we decided to go to “Cabo Pearce”. The conditions here were not as good as the previous days, we had strong current most of the dives. We saw dolphins early in the morning, mantas, Galapagos sharks and the school of hammerheads sharks in deep water.

Is not very often to see whales and dolphins at the same time when we are scuba diving. On this trip Roca Partida gaves us the opportunity to have that experience and for that we are very grateful.

Dive Instructor Solmar V

Dive Conditions
Current (mild1-strong5) 3
Visibility 60ft/18m
Water temp 73F/23C
Climate Sunny
Sea (calm1-choppy5) 2
to Revillagigedo 1
to Cabo San Lucas 3