Monday, December 31, 2012

Dolphins and Mantas at Socorro Island!

Hola todos!
Today we spent our day of diving at Socorro Island. While we were waiting for the Mexican Navy inspection a clearance, we had a family of really acrobatic dolphins jumping and flipping in the air, just a few feet away from our diving platform, so close that we could get wet from the splash they were making on their jumps!
After the formalities of the inspection, we went for our very first dive of the day at 11 am to Punta Tosca, where 78 degrees waters were waiting for us with 2 groups of around 7 dolphins, and 4 playful mantas that came close during our dive.
On our second dive, the mantas waited until we were ready to go for our safety stop to appear and start to play with our divers as they usually do. It seems that they wanted to give us another good reason to jump again in the water for the next dive and they definitely did!
On our final dive, the conditions were slightly different than the previous two dives, with more current and, instead of mantas, millions of fish covering the all area until where your eyes couldn`t reach anymore. Now after a day at Punta Tosca, we are heading for another journey in our trip, this time to Roca Partida.
Until the next report, in the last days of this incredible year of diving! 
Ricardo Tamaño
Dive Instructor

Saturday, December 29, 2012

We Made it!

We made made it! We arrived today in San Benedicto just in time for a dive. The conditions were great with 50 ft. + visibility and a little bit of current. We took it slow on our check out dive today taking time to explore the reef. For most divers the white tip sharks, green morays, octopus, and scorpionfish that make up our reefs are new. So we looked around and spotted all of those cool critters. During the last 15 minutes of the dive, a manta made a surprise showing and circled all the divers again and again. All finished the dive smiling and excited for more here on the Solmar V.
Here`s looking forward to more to come.
Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hi there!
We all woke up at 6 30 am, got some coffee, suited up, and prepared for our early morning dive at El Cañón. We wanted to see some Hammerhead Sharks and we know that early in the morning is the best time to see them getting clean by Butterfly fish. We saw hammerheads, but they stayed deep throughout the day. Dave’s group got to see a 12 feet Tiger Shark that cruised around the drop off of the dive site, Danny and myself decided to check the left side of El Cañón but the hammerheads weren’t there either, so we all headed for the usual cleaning station with the intentions of finding the sharks there.  Suddenly a Chevron Manta passed over our heads and stayed hanging out and playing with our bubbles, we ran out of bottom time and begun our ascend to the safety stop being escorted by this friendly Manta.
After two dives, we moved to El Boiler expecting to finish our trip with some more friendly Mantas, this time the conditions were rough at El Boiler, the current was blowing strongly from the north and we could only stayed in one side of the pinnacle but it was good because we had a lots of White Tip Reef Sharks, Octopus and hundreds of Lobsters that are in the crevices of El Boiler.
After the third dive while we were drying up and getting ready for lunch, we spotted a lot of birds in the horizon that gathered together indicating the possibility of a bait ball, so we went to check conditions out and make sure that something was really going on, and yes it was! There was a bait ball in process, so we came back to the SolmarV, everybody got ready and jumped on the pangas right away but by the time we got back to the bait ball, just about everything had already been consumed, all it was left were a dozens of birds that still flew over, hoping for some fish left. All I can say is that Baitball Season just opened! Wait for Adil’s video trip report to see what a baitball looks like!
Right now we are off to Cabo San Lucas and looking forward to spend Christmas time with our families! See you guys on our New Year’s Eve Trip! 
Happy Christmas Everybody!

Erick Higuera

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's been super at Socorro!

It´s been super here at Socorro! This is our third day here on Socorro Island and we´ve been diving Punta Tosca all day. It´s been so good, it´s hard to leave. Our first dive this morning was capped off with dolphins welcoming us to the dive site. Just as we jumped in the chirped and
clicked for a few minutes and were gone. Dani´s group, however, had a dozen dolphins for the entirety of the dive. Eric and my group were together with two huge Giant Pacific Mantas circling us again and again. We even spotted a few hammerheads swimming along the bottom and one individual approached very close. The mantas spent the whole dive soaking up all the bubbles and visiting every diver. It was some of the best manta action we had. That was until the second dive. 
On the second dive Dani´s group and mine stayed shallow and it paid off. Three mantas at one time were circling all the divers for a full 60 minutes! Everyone was blowing bubbles underneath the mantas and swimming along with them. The mantas would stall for a few seconds and then slowly move on to the next diver. They followed us up all the way until we jumped into the pangas.
Our last two dives were more mellow taking time to check out the reef. We saw two mantas each dive respectively, but they didn´t interact like they did before. Instead we saw a ton of octopus, eels, and whitetips. The fish were all out hunting or gathering and we watched on as a huge swarm of convict tangs attacked the algae on the reef. It was a seemingly endless group of fish. A fantastic visit to Socorro has come to end and tomorrow we´re headed to Roca Partida.

Until Next Time,

Dave Valencia 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What dolphin action!

We started the first dive of the day at 8:00 am, as soon as we left Solmar V, 5 dolphins were already swimming around the boat, we didn’t want to wait until the dive to see the dolphins so, we all jumped to the water and snorkeled with these friendly mammals for about 30 min, it was a great start to the day!
“Let’s go back to the pangas and go for the dive” somebody in the group said, so we all swam back to the pangas and moved to the dive site, which was Punta Tosca. When we got up to the point on the wall where we normally start diving, there were more dolphins already waiting for us! We all got in the water, but this time on scuba, and a soon as we started descending, there were at least 20 bottlenose dolphins that played with every single diver for almost the entire dive, and if that wasn’t enough 4 Mantas joined to the dolphin party, all this 50 min non-stop action was EPIC! We had never had so much action at Punto Tosca! We didn’t know where to look! These dolphins kept coming back and forth, up and down, coming form everywhere! Honestly we all were excited when we got back to the surface and on board of the pangas.
In the second dive we had the same manta action that we had previously, but the dolphins weren’t around. 
By the third dive the visibility had changed a bit and we just stayed over the reef chilling out and looking lobsters, octopi, white tip reef sharks and all the reef life that one can encounter in Punta Tosca.
The water temperature still in the low 80’s and we had strong winds coming from the cold front that it’s on the way down here from Cabo. We’ll spend another day in Socorro and hoping to have another great dive day with a bunch of dolphins and mantas like we had today.
Stand by and wait for more Solmar V histories from The Revillagigedo’s!

Erick Higuera

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hola everyone! 
Back in the water today at Socorro island we did 3 dives! We took advantage of the current and explored the northern edge of the reef all the way to the end of it.  We spotted a couple of hammerheads white tips on our journey from one end of reef to the other. We saw a few mantas that didn't stay to play, but instead drifted with the current into the blue. For our second dive we spent time over the cleaning station where we found octopi, flounders, zebra eels, tiger snakes, scorpion fish, and more! We ended our 2nd dive with a pair of very friendly mantas that kept our cameras busy! 
Our last dive of the day was the best dive of the day.  The current was gone, and we found more playful mantas, schooling hammerheads, and even one dolphin to spice things up! 
We are still enjoying the warm water at 82F, with 50'+ visibility. One group stayed over the cleaning station, watching the clarion angelfish clean the mantas, not a bad way to end a day!

Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Friday, December 14, 2012

Greetings from San Benedicto!
Not too long ago we arrived to our destination Isla San Benedicto. We left rain behind in Cabo and arrived to sunny skies and whales breaching!!!! There  were a few whales spotted as we arrived to the island, later identified as  Sei Whales lobbing almost completely out of the water. Well our first dive was held at one our favorite dive sites El Canyon. The visibility was decent at 30 ft. and the water temperature remains warm at 82 degrees (F). Since it was our first dive, the goal was to get reacquainted with our gear and the dive site. We spent the dive checking all the nooks and crannies for green morays jewel morays, scorpion fish, and even found a handful of octo pus hunting the reef. We did see one silvertip checking us out, but otherwise sharkless on our checkout dive. It was a pleasant dive and a nice way to begin our diving here in the Revillagigedos. We are heading tonight to Socorro, hoping for some dolphins and mantas tomorrow.

Until Next Time,

Dave Valencia

Monday, December 10, 2012

We had a great two days here at Roca Partida.

Hi there Solmar fans,

We had a great two days here at Roca Partida. The water temperature remains warm at 82 degrees (F) and we endured a stiff current from the south both days. All three dives started the same from the South drifting to the north. The strong current brought countless fish at the southern end of Roca. Unfortunately, we could hover there long so we made the best and drifted. On our drifts we noticed there were more white tip sharks than ever. Everywhere you looked they seemed to be darting to a new resting spot. On dive one and two a manta circled near the north end and gave divers a fantastic manta experience. The second dive was the highlight of the day. There  was a nice school of 8 silvertip sharks that allowed a close approach. They circled between divers and allowed us to observe them closely. After the sharks, we started drifting with the manta away from the rock. The black manta went from one diver to the next. Continuing on our extra-long safety stop, dolphins joined in the fun. Just when we were going to end the dive the circled us along with the manta for at least 10 min. The manta even seemed jealous as our attention switched to the dolphins, then they were all together. It was amazing! Needless to say, we didn`t want to come up from that one. Our last dive was nice and relaxed. We took our time enjoying the cleaning stations, eels, whitetip sharks, and silvertips. We drifted away from the rock sad to leave, but happy with the great dives Roca has provided for us.

Until Next Time,

Dave Valencia

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The first day at Roca Partida was outstanding!

The First Day at Roca Partida was outstanding!
First dive in the morning and we found a southern current that made it difficult to hang out by the rock, but all our divers used a little extra effort and we could stayed by the rock for long time. At the beginning of the dive, we were just descending at the south point of Roca and 20 Bottlenose Dolphins welcomed us! Wait for Adil’s Trip Report to see these dolphins in action! Later on, we drifted towards the north point and found more dolphins that played with a Manta, while we tried to get up to where they were, we saw in the distance a huge pregnant Whale Shark that swam to us, suddenly the same Manta that the dolphins played with, went and joined the whale shark, so we got them both in the same shot! Unfortunately the whale shark didn’t stay with us for long, it just gave us a close up and then disappeared in the deep. By the afternoon dive, the current had picked up a bit more and so we did an easy drift dive along the wall, lucky us! This time a black manta showed up and stayed with us the entire dive.
We planned to stay another day in hope of finding that one whale shark or maybe a different one.
The water temperature is still in the low 80’s and a water visibility of 80'+ feet.
¡Hasta la vista!
Erick Higuera

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A great day of diving at Socorro Island!

A great day of diving at Socorro! We did 3 dives today, during the first one we had nice and strong current that made us swim a bit. We put in a little bit of extra effort for some great up-close hammerhead and silver tip encounters! While drifting along the reef we spotted mantas that stayed swimming around us and along the reef we also had the opportunity to find lots of lobsters, moray eels, flounders, etc. 
The second dive the current was very mild letting us stay for longer on the reef! Wild dolphins found us over the reef and stayed for a long while, making circles and other things around all divers! While playing with the dolphins we came upon a much larger surprise a WHALE SHARK! All the noise makers were shaking loudly to get the attention of our other groups of divers!  My group ended up in the shallow area of the cleaning station with mantas while the other groups went off to find 5 more mantas. 
Our last dive of the day went again with a mild current letting us go all the way to the end of reef, from beginning juveniles silver tips chasing our fins! That was crazy but fun! It was unusual to find so many white tips that came close for great photo ops! We also had mantas while drifting and ascending to our safety stop!

Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hola from Isla San Benedicto!

Hola from Isla San Benedicto,

Today was our first day of diving. We arrived after a very comfortable crossing to El Fondeadero, our anchorage site. We were pleased to find the water is still warm at 81 degrees (F). This is not typical of this time of year, as we usually have cooler water now. So we`re going to enjoy it while we can. This was our check out dive so we planned to keep things nice and slow. We found 30 ft visibility with lots of life. There were many schools of fish everywhere you looked. Another oddity was the amount of white tip reef sharks we have been seeing. On this dive we counted ten actively hunting the reef and swimming circles seemingly making their territories known. Many octopus were also spotted and the green morays were out free swimming from rock to rock. It was a pleasant first dive and a great introduction to diving San Benedicto. 
Tomorrow we are headed to Isla Socorro where we hope to have some manta action.

Until next time,

Dave Valencia

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A final day at Socorro Island

Hi everybody.

Today was our last diving day of this trip. Early morning, after 3 incredible diving days at Roca Partida, we arrived to Socorro Island and we had our Mexican Navy inspection, before heading to our first dive at Cabo Pearce.
The water was 82 degrees, and we had more than 100 ft visibility, with nice strong currents from the north. 
During this dive we had the visit of a group of hammerheads, some whit tip reef sharks, and one manta show up briefly.
In our second dive, the current literally disappeared and we had 3 mantas surrounding our divers for the entire dive, approaching them. flipping over and over, more than happy to play with us!
On our last and final dive of this trip, we were visited by a nice manta again, and our divers enjoyed the view of this magnificent animal. At this time we are heading back to Cabo San Lucas, and you can see the big smiles in each of our divers faces after a great diving week.
Until our next trip we say hasta la vista!

Juan Ricardo Tamaño