Friday, June 28, 2013

We had a very quiet morning for diving with no wind and a beautiful flat ocean. So our first descent to the dive area was on a rope to make it even easier although there was zero current. A second thing we loved here is an 81°f (26°C) water temp in a more than 80’ vis.  We swam along the reef towards the cleaning station with the mantas, and it was very active with all type of fish the whole way! While moving along the reef we had the chance to encounter octos, peacock flounders, tiger snakes, green morays! While waiting for mantas we decided to kick out into the blue where we found yellow fin tunas, juvenile Galapagos, and Hammer heads up in shallow water like 20’.  When we made it back to the reef we found a black manta with about a 12’ wing span!  It was already there in no more than 30’ of water  being cleaned clarion fish. After some time we decide to swim along the wall at only 20’ of water taking our time and just relaxing! Then a second manta shows up, then more yellow fin tunas, then more hammer heads, then another manta! A fourth manta was there also but not too close, it was a beautiful and easy dive! We finished the dive hovering over the cleaning station, simply watching the interaction of all the creatures of the underwater world, it was amazing.
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Third Day at Roca Partida and "love is in the water"!

Third Day at Roca Partida and the yellow fin tunas were still active, they kept passing close to the surface and among the divers, this gave us a number of great chances to approach them to just 6 ft/2 m, courting behavior was still on...
On our first dive we could finally find the massive school of bonitos, which was herded by silkies into a more compact bait ball. Besides the school of bonitos, we found Galapagos and silver tip sharks passing over and aver by the south point of the rock. Another group found about 40
hammerhead sharks schooling. In the second dive of the day the whole action was quiet, so we decided to hang out by the white tip reef sharks balcony, apparently “love is in the water”, the white tips were also trying to mate. We decided not to go deeper on the third dive and we hung out close to surface trying to get cool pictures of the beautiful tunas that cruised by the rock and just underneath the surface. 
We were hoping to run into the schooling silkies and whale sharks here at Roca... we weren’t that lucky this time, but this trip is not over yet!  Let's see what we find at Socorro or in San Benedicto. Meanwhile we’ll dive tomorrow at Cabo Pearce, so stay tuned and check if we find these gentle giants this time!
Hasta la vista!
Erick Higuera

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 2 at Roca Partida, the Solmar V's favorite dive site!

Hola from Roca!
It`s been a fun-filled day here at the Solmar V`s favorite dive site. The weather has been amazing giving us sunny and calm conditions. The diving has been great as well. The surface temperature increased to 77 degrees F and our visibility has been constant at 75 feet (25m). There was an interesting temperature gradient which may account for the better action today. On our  first dive we had lots of Galapagos, Silvertips, and Silkies. They were darting in and out of the thousands of creolefish that were lazily feeding in the slight current. On the south side we found a nice school of hammerheads which we had for nearly 10 minutes. The group of 30 or so hammerheads curiously circled around many times. BBC`s John MacIntyre followed the school for some time, but said his best efforts were on the meandering Silvertips, which were showing courting behavior. Later on we spotted a Giant Pacific Manta, which is an uncommon sighting here at Roca. The manta remained deep in the cooler water below. On our second dive, we spotted the hammerheads again. This is, of course, in addition to all the other sharks. We decided to wait on the south end to  see what else might show up. Our patience paid off and a manta glided by. This time it came up to greet us. For 20 minutes or so we had the manta playing between divers and circling us following one of the groups all the way to their safety stop. Our final dive today was very relaxing. There was no current and there was lots of action everywhere, so we didn`t have to move much. We watched countless sharks swimming left to right, right to left, up and down...It was a lot of fun. The baitfish (creolefish) kept jumping as we had some huge yellow fin Tuna darting after them. We even spotted another school of hammerheads. 
Lots to see here and even more to come tomorrow. 
Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Monday, June 24, 2013

Roca Partida, Day 1

Roca Partida is a magnificent place to dive, and when the weather's just right, there's no question as to why it's one of the best dive sites in the world. The surface water temp was 75°F(24°C), we had visibility of well over 80’ (24 m), and with no current at all, we had perfect conditions to introduce our divers to the rock. On our first day at Roca we had a lot of sharks... so much so that on our first dive, there wasn't a moment where you couldn't find a shark! We saw numerous friendly white tip sharks, little ones, juveniles and even pregnant females, we also had very close encounters with Galapagos and Silky sharks! As we explored more of the area a massive school of silver tip sharks showed up, and we were able to witness an interaction bewteen the yellowfin tunas and the Silky sharks.  The yellow fin tunas were rubbing against silky sharks, getting rid of parasites, schooling hammer heads, all together in a world of fish.
We finished our day with a sunset panga ride around the rock courtesy of Geronimo! There's nothing like finishing the day, watching the sun go down behind Roca Partida with a glass of red wine in your hand! 
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Friendly Mantas on our first full day at San Benedicto!

Hi folks!
Today was our first full dive day from our last trip of the season. We got back to San Benedicto last night and spend a nice and smooth night on the south side of the island. Early in the morning once the sun swas up, we  moved to El Boiler hoping to find some mantas at the cleaning station and our friendly dolphins that always come and visit the pinnacle during the mornings. The water is warming up, 76F/25C at the surface with and 74F/23C at depth, and visibility of 60´/20m. Two dolphins were chasing the bigeye jacks until these poor fishes throw up and the dolphin gets the prize! The Dolphins took off and suddenly one of the most friendly Mantas that is a member of this Revillagigedo´s population and has been hanging out at Socorro island  for the last 3-4 months showed up, it was good to have a friendly face back at El Boiler! We all had the incredible chance to give to this manta a "bubble bath" which she  enjoyed immensely.
On the second dive our friendly manta was gone, but a different one stopped by, but this one didn´t seem to be interested in our bubbles, so as soons as she got clean swam away and dissapear in the blue.
We spend the rest of the day watching the white reef sharks trying to mate And I like to mention that John McIntyre our BBC guest is in our trip this time and I guess he is a lucky guy, this manta was getting cleaning by the clarion angelfishes right in front of his camera. Jonh is putting a show together for the Fast Track TV series, so hopefully he will get more amazing shots during the trip, tonight we´ll go to Roca Partida. 
Stay tuned and wait for our Roca News!
Hasta la vista!
Erick Higuera

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Our last day at San Benedicto

Isla San Benedicto
Our first dive today took place at El Canon.  We hit the 75F water at 7:30 and we had a mild current from the east and over 40' visibility. Our first stop upon descent was at the rocks around El Canon at 40' below the surface.  There we found  lots of fish, moray eels, lobsters, scorpion fish, etc.  We could hear the dolphins chirps heading in our direction! While we waited for the dolphin, we saw some silver tip sharks, and then out of the blue comes 5 dolphins chasing big eye jacks!  Our encounter with them was very excited, everyone was happy to play with these happy animals, and it seemed as if they enjoyed playing with us just as much!  We found about 10 big hammerheads out in the blue, but a bit shallower at about 25'.  The hammerheads disappeared into the blue, just in time for 6 more dolphins to show up!  We played with a group of dolphins for a second time before ending the dive.  
We moved to El Boiler for dives two and three, and we had even better visibility, and tons of fish.  We had a total 3 giant mantas on both dives at El Boiler, one black and two chevron!  And for the macro enthusiast, there were lots of fun little critters to take photos of like nudibranchs all over the place, they're not hard to find at all! 
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thanks for a great season from Claudio!

Hola amigos,
Today we were at Isla Socorro, and what a great trip it has been so far!  3 excellent days at Roca, and the trips not even over yet! We have had some great diving so far this trip, and an excellent season full of guests from all over the world! We've had fantastic adventures with giant mantas, playful dolphins, tons of sharks, and massive schools of fish that you have got to see first hand! I want to take the chance to thanks to all the wonderful guests I have had an opportunity to meet from many countries like: Germany, Canada, Rusia, Belgium, USA, Turkey, Italy, France, UK, China, Japan, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, of course Mexico and many others for coming on board SolmarV to take part in this fantastic adventure and I hope to see you back aboard the Solmar V soon! Also I'd like to thank our awesome crew: Gerardo, Jero, Aurelio, Pancho, Tony, Sabin, Crazy Luis, Dany, Eric, Ricardo, Dave and Adil for being so much fun to work with.  I'll see you all Isla Guadalupe for more!!! The Solmar V has got one more day at San Benedicto, and one more adventure to the revillagigedos still left before we end this season, we found whale sharks on this trip, who knows what we will find next time?!
Claudio Bonato

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our third and final day at the famous Roca Partida didn`t disappoint

Today was our third and final day at the famous Roca Partida. Our divers had a fantastic run here and our last day didn`t disappoint. Our first dive had very little current and a lot of sharks. Galapagos, Silvertips, and Silkies were everywhere. Out in the blue we spotted a nice school of
20 hammerheads mixing with 10 Silvertips. They were going in and out of a swirling mass of bonito. Back at the rock we found an even bigger mass of bonito pulsing with life at nearly 90 ft. Silkies and Silvertips were showing some interest as they swam around and through the bait. Towards the end of the dive we heard some chirping......DOLPHINS! At first there were two playful dolphins swimming with all three dive groups. They were allowing us to get pretty close. Then more showed up. In all we had 10 dolphins buzzing by and more of their friends joined in the fun. They followed us all the way through our safety stop.
Our second dive started a little slow. We found a nice spot where silvertips and galapagos sharks made a nice school of 20 and circled near the south point. After that school it was quiet...with lots of single sharks but nothing organized. Then a juvenile whale shark swam from the depths. With it came two Galapagos sharks underneath it rubbing. It curiously swam to the group and went back and forth along the wall a few times and swam to the other side of the rock. This is where another one of groups encounter the little guy (10ft long) and they were able to swim with it for quite some time. Our divers were ecstatic at yet another juvenile whale shark in the last three days.
Our final dive had a bit more current so we took it easy after battling the current for a few minutes. One of our groups found a Giant Pacific Manta and played with it for almost the entire time. Others didn`t get a glimpse of it until the end of the dive. Either way, it was a great sighting here at Roca. Our divers have been treated to some great dives here and we`re looking forward to some more at Socorro Island tomorrow.
Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

6 different species of shark, playful dolphins, and more wahoos than we can count on our 2nd day at Roca!

We had excellent morning dives.  A group of 6 dolphins escorted us to the Rock, and when we rolled in they were waiting for us!  The dolphins continued to swim and play with our divers as we made our way to the rock! 
We spotted Galapagos, silver tips, silky sharks, white tips, and schooling hammerheads throughout the day, along with yellow fin tunas and more wahoo's than we've ever seen! During our safety stop we got an extra special treat when we spotted a 12' long whale shark! This large fish passed by our divers numerous times, making passes that were only 3' away from our divers!  
Dive two and three were just like the first dive, except we didn't get to see the young whale shark for the rest of the day. Instead, we found 2 mobula rays, but one was much bigger than
usual! We have one more day at Roca Partida, the place where anything can happen! Stay tuned for our 3rd day from roca! Water temp was 75F with 60'+ visibility.
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whale shark at Roca!

Hola amigos,
Our first day at Roca Partida was GREAT!! We had as always lots of white tip sharks, silvertips, hammerheads, silkies, galapagos and a 20ft/7m WHALE SHARK!! Yeahh! also there were giant tunas and wahoos everywhere. Weather is good and we are gonna stay here another day. Yeahhh again!!! Water temp was around 73ºF/22ºC, and air temp is 79ºF/25ºC and a little overcast with no much wind. If it stays like that we may be here for 3 days!
Claudio Bonato

Monday, June 10, 2013

Snappers, turtles, and sharks on our checkout dive at Las Cuevas! Now off to Roca!

Buenas Tardes from Isla San Benedicto,
It`s our first day of the trip with a mixed group of nationalities from all over the world!They are all here to see the best the Revillagigedos has to offer! Today the seas calmed and as we approached the island the water was glassy. We didn`t waste any time and had our first dive at Las Cuevas. The visibility was moderate at more than 40 ft. and the temp was warm at 75 degrees F.
My group was the first in the water and as we entered the first cave there were large snappers everywhere. The large amount of fish almost distracted us from a sleeping green turtle in the corner. Of course, we didn`t see it at first, but we obviously woke him up. He slowly swam through our group wagging his fins at us for rudely sneaking up on him. In the back of the cave a lone white tip reef shark rested and seemingly not bothered at all. On our way to the shallows we found another cave with four white tips resting. On closer examination there was yet another turtle resting in the cave right next to the sharks. They weren`t cuddling or anything, but it was still quite a good find. This turtle was also annoyed at the rude awakening and sleepily swam away. In the shallows we found two more turtles and many rays. A nice dive to start the trip. We`re looking forward to some even better diving tomorrow at Roca Partida!
Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Baitballs, dolphins, mantas, and sharks on our final day at San Benedicto!

We did an early dive at El Cañon, and on our early morning dive we had non stop playing and singing from dolphins in search for schooling hammerheads!  The hammerheads were there but not in huge numbers, but there were some above us, some below, and some out in the blue! 
Our 2nd dive took place at El  Boiler, we had gorgeous blue water with a lot of white tip reef sharks, schooling big eye jacks, and more dolphins!  I was also very glad to see a dolphin I call Nemo because it has a short pectoral fin and unique tail! A chevron manta came in and hung out with us for the remainder of the dive.  This friendly giant took its time slowly oing from one diver to another, without skipping anyone! Our dive time was up, our divers were still playing with the friendly manta when we had to say goodbye!  
During our surface interval we saw a lot of action happening on the surface a ways from the boat, but it had all the signs of a bait ball so we thought we'd take a look! It turns out we spotted a big one!  Only 3 miles off the island, we found lots of yellow fin tunas, silky sharks, dolphins, and even one marlin!  The different critters seemed like they were taking turns to take a hit at the bait ball, first tunas, then sharks then dolphins! Bait balls are an adrenaline filled event that can't be explained it can only be experienced.  
We did a final dive at El Boiler to finish our day, with tons of colorful reef fish, and the friendly chevron manta from dive two stopped by to say goodbye to our divers! Water temp was 77F with 50' visibility.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Visiting a famous cave at Socorro Island!

Hi there!
Our first day in Socorro Island begun with silkies swimming around the Solmar V and a beautiful sunrise that illuminated the colors of the cape of Cabo Pearce. This time the conditions in Cabo Pearce were limited, 40´/12 m visibility and a chilly thermocline of 69 F/19 C, that brought murky water full of plankton. Due to this conditions we changed the dive site for Roca O´Neal, here the conditions were still the same as in Cabo Pearce but visiting the famous cave of Roca O´Neal made the dive, because one can get great shots of the open dome that is in the cave.
After having a delicious club sandwich for lunch prepared by our awesome chef Tony, we moved the Solmar V one more time to the bay of Punta Tosca and what was our surprise that here is where the Mantas were, some were feeding close to shore and others were getting clean at the dive site. It looked like the Mantas are almost done with their feeding session. We expect that eventually all the Mantas will return to the cleaning stations and will enjoy the divers bubbles!
Tonight we´re heading back to San Benedicto to finish our trip # 20 of the season.
Don't leave and stay tuned for another adventure day with the Solmar V
Erick Higuera

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

This was our third day here at Roca Partida and we have enjoyed every minute of it.

Hi Solmar V fans,
This was our third day here at Roca Partida and we have enjoyed every minute of it. The gentle swells and shining sun, not to mention the amazing diving, have made the last few days great. Well today`s diving had much of the same amazing things. On our first dive this morning we had a group of friendly dolphins keeping us occupied for the first 15 minutes of the dive. Behind the dolphins we had a few hammerheads and silkies check us out to see what we were up to. As we made our way back to the rock, Galapagos sharks, Silky Sharks, and Silvertips slowly swam back and forth among the massive amounts of creolefish. Towards the end of the dive, a school of thousands of bonito rolled towards us. They were circling like a tornado and sharks were above, below, and going through the tornado. It was definitely a "wow" moment. The second dive had a few small schools of sharks with a mixed school of a dozen or so silvertips and galapagos around the north point. One group swam to the blue and even caught a glimpse of a nice school of hammerheads. The third dive was probably the most exciting of the day. We waited patiently near the north point and finally saw some silvertips below. So we dropped down into a school of 30 silvertips. The were going back and forth along the wall. They circled around four times and didn`t come back. Then the Yellowfin Tuna showed up.. There were a lot of Yellofin Tuna and they were Large. The giant-sized tuna dwarfed even the largest sharks and us divers. They came close chasing one another in mating behavior. The males show vertical stripes as they get excited and chase the females everywhere. Some were even feeding dashing through the baitfish. Having these large Tuna come so close and show curiousity towards divers is quite uncommon and very special. The tuna dazzled us with their colors and made us dizzy swimming circles around us for nearly 30 minutes. Unforgettable....
Tonight we head to Socorro hoping to get some manta action. 
Until Next Time,
Dave Valencia

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 2 at Roca Partida was incredible!

What can I say about Roca Partida? We were spoiled here at the rock in the middle of nowhere! We had great conditions at our favorite dive site and with all the action we had, our guests made memories that will last a lifetime! Silver tip, Galapagos, silky, hammer head, white tip sharks, yellow fin tunas, stripe bonitos, and wahoo, all in just one dive!  We had 75F water, 100' visibility, and a bit of current coming from the east that allowed us to drift along the wall of the rock. There was a ton of hard coral, fish, lobsters, octopus. On our second dive with the same conditions we had a nice and unexpected visitor that stopped towards the end of our dive! We ran in to a chevron manta that spent 15 minutes with us before it was time for our safety stop!
On the third we stayed in shallower water to watch the yellow fin tunas hunting!  They were very active for the whole dive, down deep with lots of sharks, just like the first dive! It is amazing the amount life this rock brings for our divers to see! Help us to protect a unique place like Roca Partida!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata