Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Viva Roca! Sharks, sharks, and more sharks!

Viva Roca!

We had the last two days at Roca Partida and the rock treated us well this visit. Yesterday was great and today seemed even better. The visibility was not at its best at 60-70 ft., but the water was teaming with life. This morning we took it slow rounding the south end looking for sharks and seeing many silvertips, galapagos, whitetips, and hammerheads. This was good but we knew a big school of all sharks lurked beyond the visibility, we just needed to find them. So we took our time and made our way to the north point. It was there that we spotted a school of 20+ silvertips. But we could see shadows beyond that. So I moved my group out further from the rock where we found out what the source of the shado was. The school was more than 100 sharks strong mixed with hammerheads, galapagos, and silvertips. There was some order to it. The hammerheads seemed to prefer the shallowest part of the school, the galapagos fell somewhere in the middle, and the silvertips prefered the deepest part of all. They moved in front of us close then away. Divers watched them for more than 5 minutes trying to see how many sharks they could fit in one frame.

Our second dive had very little current and again there were sharks and fish everywhere. We moved along the wall this time observing life on the rock. We found one crack with more than 20 green morays squeezed inside. We watched all the sharks move around us as we swam around the rock. We had a nice school of silvertips mixed with galapagos 20-30 sharks get
very close to the group, but the larger school managed to elude us.

The final dive today was very nice. All divers were comfortable with the site and wanted to carry at their own pace, which was not a problem since there was no current. Everyone took their time enjoying eels, sharks, and cleaning stations everywhere they looked. One buddy pair managed to see four mobulas (mini mantas) swimming in the blue. Many of us parked right on the north point and waited. Some hoped we would see a whale shark, but instead the huge school showed up. First, they were only shadows then they  moved close and you could see all the different species mixing together. This is unique to only here seeing such a huge school of mixed species of sharks.

As we hovered there doing our safety stop a manta showed up. Just in time to say goodbye to us all. Needless to say, we did an extra long safety stop...

This was another amazing visit to our favorite dive site.

Until next time,

Dave Valencia

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