Friday, May 31, 2013

Today was the day!

Wow folks! Today was the day!
Our first day at the majestic Roca Partida was outstanding, in the first morning dive, as soon as we were going down the Galapagos and Silvertip sharks welcomed us, of course the Whitetip Reef sharks did it, too. After hanging out with the sharks, we went around the rock and found the massive school of Bonitos being herded into a baitball by silvertips, galapagos and
silky sharks, it was really good, it was one of those dives that Roca likes to offer to its visitors.
In our second dive, the conditions had changed a lot, the current picked up and we got the chance to see some dolphins in a distance, but they didn´t show any interest with us this time.  On the third dive however, about 25 bottlenose dolphins made ourt dive 35 minutes of non-stop dolphin action chasing hundreds of 200 pound yellow fin tunas,  and a lots of silkies that tried to catch a tuna, wow! This time these guys made the dive, we couldn´t dive any longer, we all got low on air because of all the swimming we had to do to keep up with the action! The conditions were great, so we're planning on staying here another day! 
Stay tuned for more Roca´s news!
¡Hasta la vista!
Erick Higuera

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Solmar V had a great day today and it`s only the beginning.

Hola everybody!
The Solmar V had a great day today and it`s only the beginning.
It was our first day of the trip nd we arrived to San Benedicto around 4:30 pm. We decided to check out Las Cuevas. The visibility was great at 60 ft plus (20m+) and the water temp was very warm at 75 degrees (F). We started the dive with a large male green sea turtle swimming by, we thought that was a good sign. The caves were very clear and filled with fish. There were even a few white tip reef sharks sleeping in the corner. We tried not to disturb them and started for the shallows. There was a turtle then, then another, and another. Excited by the turtle surprise we watched quietly and watched them circle us. Along the small ledge that borders the shallows was another cave filled with white tip reef sharks. They allowed us to creep very close and seemed not to be bothered. After
our shark interaction, we wacthed an octopus hunt in the light of day. The bluefin trevally were harassing the poor guy and nipping at the octopus everytime it almost caught something. Finally we slowly made our way to the boulder area that borders the sand. There were lots of giant pacific electric rays, that are not giant at all by the way. We even saw at least a dozen southern stingrays. This dive was terrific and a nice way to start our trip. Our divers were good so we decided to motor to Roca Partida tonight!
Here`s to more great dives!
Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dolphins at el Boiler!

San Benedicto, El Boiler!
We know diving is a ton of fun and diving this area can be full of excitement, so our expectations were high.  Our first dive of the morning took place mostly on the west side of the rock with dolphins at all different depths, some of us had them in front, others underneath our fins doing what they seem to enjoy the most, ---slowly free fall into depth belly up---  while another group of divers had them almost on the surface! So dolphins every where we can say! We saw4 hammer head and 1 Galapagos sharks were swimming circles in a small area near the bottom while we were playing with the dolphins, although we made it all the way around the
rock we didn't find any mantas on this dive! We had beautiful blue water, no current, lots of
fish and a 75°F temperature!
A second dive took place at Cabo Fear in San Benedicto, water conditions were still just about perfect. A we decided to swim away from the dive site and out into to the blue.  A massive school of jacks were there making a spiral shape, a silky shark went by and got lost in the jacks. A hammerhead followed suit, and as we made our way back towards the reef, we noticed a green sea turtle gliding along the bottom below us. More dolphins showed up during our safety stop, so some of our guests got their scuba gear off and jumped back in with just a snorkel, mask, and fins!  We also found a baitball that had sailfish and 15-20 silky sharks!  
We ended our day at el Canon with hammerheads and lots of burrito grunts! Stay tuned for the video trip report!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Friday, May 24, 2013

Roca Partida was once again astonishing!

After 3 days of wind, we finally made it to Roca Partida and once again, it was astonishing!
 We did 3 dives and all of them were full of hundreds of Black, Whitemouth and Bigeye Jacks, besides the Whitetip Reef Sharks that always find shelter in the pockets of Roca.
In the morning dive, the silvertip sharks were pursuing a massive school  of bonitos that swam in all directions trying to escape from these predators. By the second dive the pursuit has ended and the silvertip and galapagos sharks came back to the wall to patroll the pinnacle, which it was great because we could get as many close ups as we wanted.
While one of our group of divers drifted along of schooling Hammerhead Sharks, another group played with a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins that escorted a group of 200 pounds Yellowfin Tunas.
Every single diver had incredible moments with the pelagic life that normally shelters at Roca.
Tonight we will back to San Bencedicto to give another try to the Mantas for one more last time before we head back to Cabo San Lucas.
Stayed tuned and wait to hear the news from San Benedicto, maybe baitballs, maybe sailfishes, maybe dozens of Mantas…You never know what you might run in to, let’s see what we find!
Erick Higuera

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We started our day with a dolphin dive!

Hi all from Isla Socorro!!
Our dive site today was CABO PEARCE. We started our day with a pod of 12 dolphins having a blast surfing the waves while we were making our way to the dive site! When we dropped in the water we noticed the water was a bit warmer 77F unless you found a refreshing cold water pocket, then temps dropped into the low 70s.  We hung out over the cleaning station where the dolphins showed up to play with us! We had the opportunity to swim along side them only an arm's reach away at least 4 different times on the same dive! The dolphins made sure to stop by one last time during our safety stop!  On dives two and three we swam along the reef and out into the blue where we found a few hammerheads, while the silky and Galapagos sharks were swimming above us!  On the reef we found lots of octopus, flounders, zebra moray, tiger reef eel, and a bunch of clarion angelfish, which can only be found at the Revillagigedos!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Our fist dive day started with a big playful pod of 25 dolphins!

Our fist dive day started with a big playful pod of 25 dolphins! We started our dive week diving at El Boiler with a water temperature of 74F/23C and a clear blue water of over 100´/30m visibility and no current. The top of the pinnacle was covered of hundreds of Bigeye Jacks that tried to escape of the dolphins, for us that gave us a great opportunity to capture awesome pics and video footage. These dolphins played all dive long with all 3 groups of divers.
We did 2 more dives in El Boiler, unfortunately the Mantas didn´t come by, they might be feeding in Socooro Island, anyway, we still had great dives checking the Whitetip Reef Sharks that always patrol El Boiler and swimming in between the massive school of Jacks. We decided to move to Las Cuevas to finish our dive day and I guess we made a great decision, because the caves were full of whitetip reef sharks, on top of that we also encountered couple friendly Green Turtles. We also saw few juvenile Galapagos Sharks that swam over the reef. Tonight, we´ll head for Socorro Island in the quest of the Pacific Giant Mantas!
Stay tuned!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Second time was the charm for us here at Roca Partida!

Second time was the charm for us here at Roca Partida. We had to give our guests a second try at our favorite dive site. So when the wind calmed, we went for it and we`re all happy we did.
Today our divers were treated to great weather and great diving. The temperature was a mild 73 degrees F and visibility was nice at 100 ft. plus. As usual, Roca was crawling with white tip reef sharks and fish throughout the water column. In our three dives today, we saw schools of
galapagos, silver tips and silkies sharks down deep. The largest was on our final dive where we saw some sharks circling below us. And when I write below...I mean below. We dropped to about 120ft. and thirty galapagos sharks circled around us for a few minutes very close then continued along the wall. Some divers kept following them, but some waited a little shallower for the sharks to return and they did. It was a great sighting for us. Another highlight was during the first dive we saw a huge school of skip jack tuna, in just seconds before we could do anything all three groups of divers were surrounded  by this massive school of fish!. The school pulsed with movement reacting to some silvertips swimming through the large school. There must have been thousands. This was our last day of diving and we had some great and memorable dives..
Now we`re Cabo bound!
Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Thursday, May 16, 2013

We had a great diving day at San Benedicto Island! Now back to Roca for round 2!

Hi everyone!
We had a great diving day at San Benedicto Island! With water temp around 75 F and visibility around 80+ ft, we started at El Boiler were we did 2 dives. We had the chance to see Hammerheads during the second dive, and in between the dives our customers had the chance to snorkel with a group of False Killer Whales.
For the last dive we decided to move to El Cañon, were we had the opportunity to see a great school of Hammerheads crossing in perfect clear blue waters and hundreds of Yellow fin tunas schooling over the dive site.. Now we are heading back to Roca Partida for our last diving day of this trip, were we will go for 3 fantastic dives!
Until the next time,
Ricardo Tamaño
Dive Instructor

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

After a windy day yesterday, the ocean made it up to us today.

It`s been a redeeming day here at Isla Socorro. After a windy day yesterday, the ocean made it up to us today.
This morning as we prepared to dive at Cabo Pearce we spotted Humpback Whales in the area as well as dolphins not far from the boat. This had to be a good omen. On our first dive, we had warm water (74 degrees F) and great vis 50-60ft. As we made our way to the cleaning station, dolphins made a fly by through all the groups. They didn`t stay long, unfortunately, but everyone had a good look and for some it was their first time ever seeing dolphins on a dive! On the cleaning station, mantas were already there pulling in and getting cleaned. There were two at first then there was only one. This one circled around again and again visiting all divers, but in the end always keeping a little distance. The manta still gave us some great attention and action. Some hammerheads were there and we continued to see them as they swam from the blue to the cleaning station and back. At the end of the dive we moved to the other side of the cleaning station and found a third smaller manta making the rounds with the clarion angelfish. We watched from a distance as we enjoyed watching it circle around getting covered in those bright orange fish.
Our second dive had to be the highlight of the day. We had a different manta circling the cleaning station. But this one was VERY friendly. This manta gave some their best manta dive ever, as it circled us all dive long. The manta even allowed us to blow bubbles underneath as she soaked them all up. It was great! At the end of the dive another manta showed up, 
seemed uninterested in us and led our friendly manta away. I guess every great dive has to end and this was one we will never forget!
The third and fourth dives were a bit slower as we didn`t have any visitors of the manta kind. Instead we scoured the reef for interesting fish and invertebrates. Some of us were treated to some dolphins as we did our safety stop. There were six very curious dolphins and they just appeared from the blue. They even had a baby with them. Very cool... we got back in the panga after we thought they left and the showed up again. We, of course, put our fins back on and jumped back in. They gave us a look and swam away. Dolphins and their dolphin games....
Even with the dolphins teasing us, it was a great day. Our guests are all smiles and looking forward to another nice one at San Benedicto tomorrow.
Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Strong current at Roca resulted in a vortex underwater!

Because of it's remote isolation, the conditions that Roca Partida can get challenging at times and is why our favorite dive site isn't for every diver.  It can occasionally be challenging but it's still a beautiful place to dive! We were only in the water for 20 minutes and we found galapagos and silver tip sharks! The horizontal current coming from the south was so strong that it created a vortex that even fish caught in it could not escape. It looked like it was alive because along the rock it was moving up and down like a snake! For the safety of our divers, we decided to cut our dive short and head to Socorro Island with enough time to get a dive off at the end of the day.  Conditions at roca were 100'+ visibility, 75F temp, with very strong current.
On our afternoon dive at Socorro Island, we found lots of fish and a silver tip shark!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Monday, May 13, 2013

Our first full diving day of this trip at San Benedicto Island

Hi everyone!
We had our first full diving day of this trip at San Benedicto Island. With water temp around 71/73 fª and visibility around 60 ft, we started at El Cañon were we did 3 dives. We had the chance to see Dolphins, Schools of Hammerheads and a Chevron Manta during these dives. We also spotted some lonely big Hammerheads around the sandy patches. For the last dive we decided to move to El Boiler, were we had a lot of jacks and Pacific Creoles schooling around the dive site. Now we are heading to Socorro Island, were we will go for the Navy
Inspection and 3 fantastic dives!
Until the next time
Ricardo Tamaño
Dive Instructor

Friday, May 10, 2013

Everything checked out on our first dive, followed by a bbq on the bow!

Buenas Tardes everyone!
We traveled most of the day and arrived at the fabled Isla San Benedicto around 4pm. We have a great mix of nationalies aboard this trip from all over the world. We have divers from the U.S., U.K., Turkey, Russia, and the Ukraine. Everyone was excited to get in the water during our "shake out dive" at El Fondeadero. The water was a little cool at 72F (22C) and 45 ft. vis (15m). We always do a checkout dive to make sure our gear is all operating properly, and it gives everyone a chance to get in the groove of things so the rest of the dives are pure enjoyment! The reef was covered in fish of all types, we even spotted a few scorpionfish and moray eels! A few divers were entertained by an octopus for awhile and there were lobsters all over the place. A pleasant dive and now we`re ready for the real thing tomorrow at El Canyon.
The sun is setting now and we`re just about to sit down to a delicious Mexican style bbq compliments of Chef Tony.
Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Monday, May 6, 2013

Dolphins, mantas, sharks, and more on our last day at San Benedicto!

Hi All!
So this morning we decided to dive EL BOILER at San Benedicto Island. The first thing that came to mind as we were making our descent is how blue the water was,and with all the various types of fish that were there, it made this exact moment a very special one! As we made our way to the southern point of the dive site, we recognized an individual dolphin we had not seen in a while!  We nick named him "Nemo" because it's right pectoral fin is a bit small and very hyperactive! This energetic dolphin played with our divers, swimming circles around us, going up and down, chasing fish, and more! We were so happy to see it again! A 6' tiger shark brought a little bit of extra excitement during our safety stop, swimming right at our divers without turning away at all.  It was a beautiful gray color with its characteristic stripes, our eyes locked on and we couldn't look away!
During our surface interval we went bait balling and consistently found more dolphins and yellow fin tunas.  Our fun didn't stop there, our second and third dive were at the same dive site and we had manta action the entire time! She let us swim along and blow bubbles beneath her over and over! In between these dives some of our guests snorkeled with 5 curious Galapagos sharks off the stern of the Solmar V including a pregnant female!

Add caption

Friday, May 3, 2013

Our second day at the amazing rock in the middle of nowhere, Roca Partida.

Today was our second day at the amazing rock in the middle of nowhere, Roca Partida. It was a day filled with sharks and tuna. There has been a strange thermocline in the water surrounding Roca. The temperature has been ranging from 70 degrees F to 73 degrees F. This mixing of water seemed to bring lots of nutrients from a mixing currents and brought lots of action to the rock. Each dive today we watched a mixed school of 40+ galapagos, hammerheads, and silvertips swim circles around the rock. In addition. we had so many yellowfin tuna you could never come close to counting. The tuna were actively feeding and we even had a rare glimpse of them spawning. In the blue on the second dive, we found a huge school of 50 hammerheads swimming tightly together. Besides all the sharks and tuna we had an so many fish in the water column: cottonmouth jacks, black jacks, big eye trevally, triggers, creolefish and more. It was absolutely breathtaking. The Russians loved it! Another successful visit to our favorite rock.

Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Roca reminds us why it's our favorite dive site!

Roca Partida was once again off the charts, and reminds us just about every trip why it's our favorite dive site! We were surrounded by fish all around us 360°, from our bottom depth to the surface! Our divers had a great time, for some of them, this is their first time in the pacific ocean, so the amount of sharks we saw were a pretty big deal... and we saw a LOT of sharks! First of all it we had a parade of Galapagos sharks at all depths, females and males! Some of them were very big, and they can seem intimidating, but they're nothing to be afraid of!  We you find yourself in the middle of a school of galapagos sharks like we had, and all you have to do is relax and take in the beautiful streamlined sharks gliding right next to you! All of a sudden coming at us out of the blue was a massive school of bonitos chased by silky sharks! It's hard to describe the sensation of being surrounded by thousands of fish, and then seconds later the school has passed and they're gone.  During our safety stop we found a mobula ray swimming circles around us!  May the beautiy and freedom of sharks inspire your life, and we should always protect them!
Dive Inst.
Daniel Zapata 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mantas, tunas, and dolphins at San Benedicto!

We started our day diving at El Cañon, hoping to find hammerheads and other creatures, but they were missing! Maybe they were deeper beyond our reach or they were on the other site of the site, or maybe the thermocline, because it was chilly! Anyway, even though the sharks were absent, a black and chevron manta showed up and interacted with every single diver! Both mantas passed over everybody´s heads and posed like if they were models! 
By 10 am we spotted a bunch of birds in the horizon, flying in circles gooing all crazy, that is a baitball sign, we went after it, got up to were the birds were, launched the pangas and went to check it out. This time there weren´t sailfishes or a shark feeding frenzy, but there was a lots of yellowfin tunas and many dolphins!  After lunch we did the last dive of the day, but the current had picked up this time and brought up a murky upwelling that dropped the vis.
Tonight, we´ll be heading to Roca Partida, stand by and check our Roca Partida news!
Hasta la vista!
Erick Higuera