Wednesday, February 19, 2014

El Boiler, what a cleaning station! We ID'd 15 different mantas throughout the day!

El Boiler, what a cleaning station! 
My first dive of the morning was to set the back anchor, not bad at all to start the day with 8 dolphins, 1 Galapagos shark and a chevron manta! In only 10 minutes! 
The conditions were very helpful today, we enjoyed of a flat ocean, sunny day, air temp of 80 ̊F (26.6 ̊C)
First dive of the morning really was like a dream, a cero current, well moderate visibility water temperature in the mid to high 70's. While we were making our descent along the anchor line to 50ft (15m) we were accompanied by lots of creolefish, black jacks, parrot fish, etc, and then what we were hoping to see showed up! Giant Mantas! We kept slowly swimming along the rock with them to the east point, where the mantas seem to like to congregate! Since we had no current, there was no need to swim once we got to this point, our divers had the opportunity to just relax, get their cameras just right and take photos! In 40 minutes of diving we had 9 mantas, 4 black ones and 5 chevrons, I am telling you mantas were coming from everywhere! They friendly mantas were really making the most of our bubbles, were swimming over our heads for long time, swimming along side us, they come close, but are careful to not hit you with the tip of their wing! These gentle giants were very demanding of attention, and we didn't object!  Once we were back on the line for our safety stop we had mantas again, along with a lonely hammer head that was cruising. We had just enough nitrox to complete safety stop 11 dolphins showed up, along with a mama and calf! It time to surface when a beautiful Galapagos shark shows up! What a dive!
For our second dive we knew where to go find the mantas and so we did. We kept counting different ones all of which were playful, the thermocline at times wase barely noticeable because of all the excitement in the water! And so this was our second dive mantas coming from all directions!
The third dive didn't disappoint with more mantas! Black jacks were chasing a lot the creolefish just under the boat! Mantas, mantas, mantas! Once out the water we were able to count with foto ID of the belly of 15 different mantas! 
On the final dive today, we had a bit of break from mantas and instead we had a bit of current from south, with minimal distraction from mantas we could explore the rock, everybody was friendly to the reef, lobsters, octopus, some flounders, moray eels, white tip sharks, clarion fish which is endemic to these islands and responsible for cleaning mantas from bugs, long nose butterfly fish, barber fish, etc. 
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata. 

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