Monday, March 31, 2014

Imagine how much strength is needed to get 30 tons of whale out of the water for just a couple seconds!

We spent a lot of time over the reef at Cabo Pearce where we found lots of reef fish, eels, octos, scorpion fish, jacks and some BIG yellow fin tuna!  Half of the reef was covered in a green vis, while the other side had blue water.  Temperature was between 77° and 75°F. On one of our dives we had the company of 8 dolphins, and one manta that hung around for a little bit before disappearing into the blue.  We could hear dolphins all around us, and it didn't atke them long before they found us!  Everyone was very excited to see them, on another dive we found 4 hammerheads cruising in shallow water along with a giant manta for a short time!  Juvenile Galapagos sharks and white tip were also cruising in the area.  Our surface area was spent whale watching with all of the whales in the area!  The humpbacks were breaching less than 50 yards from the boat, two at a time sometimes! Imagine how much strength is needed to get 30 tons of whale out of the water for just a couple seconds!  The were a few whale families in the area, composed of calf, mother, and an escort, they kept us excited and wanting to jump in with all of the tail and fin slapping they were doing! Underwater it was a little slower than usual, but the surface activity totally made up for it!
Dive Inst.
Daniel Zapata

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Roca Partida, Day 1

Roca Partida is our dive destination for the next two days; the water temperature is 75ºF/23ºC, the visibility was over 80ft/24m and the current coming from northeast. For the first dive after breakfast, we jumped in the water where the caves with the white tip sharks are piled! We swam to the northern point of the rock where all the action was happening; we had to hang out from the rock so the current didn’t take us away from the rock. The best part was the school of Galapagos sharks, 15 to 20 swimming against the current and not to deep, between 60ft/18m to 70ft/21m. After we moved into the blue where the silver tip sharks were, six or seven of them. Also the school of jack fishes and some yellow fin tuna passed by.
For the second dive we jumped in on the north side of the rock in the blue and drifted with the current towards the rock; the current wasn’t very strong so we had the opportunity to stay longer on the north side. We saw some Galapagos sharks, but this time they were in deep water. Another group saw the school of hammerheads, of well over forty sharks!
The last dive of the day we did after lunch. We jumped in again on the north side towards the east side of the rock, where the sharks were. Some white tip, Galapagos and Silver tip sharks were there. At the end of the dive, a school of yellow fin tuna passed by, some of them were very big around six feet long!
Now it´s time to have dinner, Tony’s salad, scampi shrimp with rice and chocolate cake.

Pablo DM onboard

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Humpbacks, hammerheads, mantas, and more on our first full day back at San Benedicto!

March 27, 2014 
                 EL BOILER
Our morning started a bit windy and cloudy, but that did not diminish the excitement when we heard the blow of a whale and dolphins while listening the dive briefing.
Everyone was very excited about our first full day of diving!  The first dive of the morning started off on a good note, just as we were making our descent on the rope, a 9' tiger shark shows up!  The north western point of el Boiler was very nice with lots of jacks, blue water and mild current from the north.  We waited there for the dolphins we heard during the dive briefing, but then a giant manta showed up and we forgot all about the dolphins, it was manta time! We were having fun playing with the manta, then shortly after two more chevron mantas showed up for a long time, along with two dolphins that stopped by just to say hi! We let the current carry us south, one manta followed us and we ran into 5 more dolphins along the way!
Our surface interval was spent watching a group of 6 humpbacks whales within a distance of 250 yards from the boat!  For the second dive vis conditions were changing a lot, water temp remained the same, the front side of the rock was very clear so we spent most of the dive there with 4 to 5 very friendly mantas that stayed with us the entire dive! 2 divers went around the rock just to stretch their legs from minimal swimming while surrounded by mantas, and it was lucky for them because they had a different encounter, they found a humpback! When they came up and told us about it, we could see the excitement in their eyes!
The second surface interval we did a panga ride to try to snorkel with whales, after a while they were successful and got a short period in the water with the gentle giants.
The third dive was spent with 5 different mantas on the west side where the visibility was great, hey were swimming circles in a small area, coming in from everywhere, their interaction with us was very pleasant, and having no current at all allowed us to just hover and take in the experience! They were so comfortable that even stopped swimming in front of us posing and twisting in a weird way, other times no swimming and sinking, it was great! Just to add something else a group of 12 dolphins came back to play, and we also spotted 8 hammerheads in the area! Getting out of the water we felt the sun in our shoulders very toasty, nice to warm up!
It was time to do our fourth dive but a group of 6 humpback were crossing back and forth in front of us inviting us to get a little closer, which we did! Some guests opted to go scuba diving instead of snorkeling with the humpbacks and they spent their dive with more mantas and 4 very curious silky sharks underneath the boat!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

We're back at the Revillagigedo Archipelago!

Hola folks,
We're back at the Revillagigedo Archipelago and here is how we started our days trip: We did the check out dive at Las Cuevas, the water temperature was around 75F/24C with crystal clear blue water. We found lots of Whitetip Reef Sharks all piled up sleeping in the little crevices, this was a good opportunity for our divers to take great pics and video. Also we saw too many Lobsters to count, they were out of their caves already in the hunting mood. One of the groups saw the glimpse of Chevron Manta but didn't stay around. Tonight we'll spend the night in San Benedicto to start tomorrow morning at El Boiler, expecting to have mantastic dives!
Stay tuned for the next Solmar V adventure!
Hasta la vista!
Erick Higuera

Friday, March 21, 2014

Schooling hammerheads, mantas, and more on our last day at San Benedicto

The last diving day of our trip, and because of the good weather conditions we decided to stay at “El Boiler” all day. The water temperature was between 72ºF/22ºC to 75ºF/23ºC and for the morning dive we had strong current coming from North so we decided to stay around the pinnacle so we could find shelter from the current and had an opportunity to see the mantas! After breakfast we jumped in the water for the second and third dives of the day; on the second dive the current calm down so we could go further out to the deeper rocks and try to find some sharks. The first shark we spotted was a tiger shark down deep, below our nitrox limits. After that we ran into a couple of hammerhead and three Galapagos sharks, also a black manta and a little school of jack fishes; then we swam back to the pinnacle and spent the rest of our bottom time with four mantas.
After almost two hours at the surface we did the third dive; one more time we went further out around the reef into the blue expecting to find some interesting animals. We started to look for schools of fishes; suddenly into the cold murky water one hammerhead showed up, then another one and then a school of fifty or so sharks at eighty feet of water!! We started to follow them slowly and not to close so they could get us to us, they gradually came near and some of them swam around the divers. They were moving from 80 to 50 feet/24 to 15 meters, in the cold-water region so we spent more than 20 minutes with them and wish we could have stayed longer if it wasn't for our our decompression limits! Finally we ascended to do our safety stop and at 30 feet/10 meters, a big tiger shark came right at our divers!
When we came back to the boat the lunch was ready and a delicious burger was waiting for us, with ice cream for dessert. The last dive we gave a shot again to try to find the school of sharks. On our way down, we spotted two hammerhead sharks and one Galapagos shark. We continued swimming heading to the rock where it’s possible to spot the sharks and we found some more hammerheads, but now they were too deep for us, so we just saw them from top.  This was the end to a phenomenal trip, and now we are heading back to Cabo San Lucas with nice shots and good memories from Revillagigedo Archipelago.
Until next trip…
Pablo DM onboard

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dolphins, mantas, sharks, and whales at San Benedicto!

At the surface we had a very clear sky, amazing and bright sunrise, no wind no swells. Underwater the conditions were: vis 10m/30ft water temperature 23˚-24˚C / 73-75˚F with a mild current from the west.
Our first stop was at the corner of the cleaning station at 60' of water looking for hammer heads, on the way we found lobsters, eels, white tips, creole fish, and more! For a second it seemed like everything has stopped in time, the fish were not moving at all for a brief moment! We didn't find any hammerheads at the corner, so we continued swimming west near the bottom, one big hammerhead was heading our way, but we had a feeling something may pass by, andminutes later 11 dolphins came by in the blink of an eye!  They sped past us but not before we could count them.
During our our surface interval we went whale watching to get a closer look at the humpback whales in the area, air temperature 26˚C/80˚F, still no clouds in the sky!
The second dive took place once again at EL CAÑON hopping for hammer heads, which did not show up! The conditions remained the same as the first dive, dolphins eventually showed up once we all were out of the water, another groups went to a lesser known site called "Dos Hermanos"  where they had a successful dive with one Chevron manta for over 35 minutes and had the chance to see 2 groups of whales mom and calf, one of our divers almost got ran over by a mom whale!
A third dive took place at EL BOILER, water temp remained the same, vis was over 30m/100ft and one group had 8 mantas during the dive, it was crazy! 50 minutes diving with 8 giant mantas, is something you can't fully describe it's something you have to experience! Another group, went to the north west side looking for hammer heads, we found a few of them, then 4 Galapagos shark came along swimming along the ridge with 3 silver tips, just when we are ready to come up all sharks came together, at the end of the dive we had a black manta accompanying us for a safety stop!
The fourth dive was the icing on the cake!  It was a relaxed 50 minutes with 5 very friendly giant mantas, both black and chevron!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A phenomenal day with a whale shark at Roca Partida!

A special surprise at Roca Partida!
It's still humpback season but we started our day by snorkeling with an 8-9m (24-27ft) male whale shark! The gentle giant stayed with us for about 20 minutes swimming in circles around the Solmar V!
The morning was cloudy and a bit windy, air temp was in the mid 70's but we didn't really notice it with all of the excitement revolving around the sharks!  You never know what you are going to run into at Roca Partida!

Water temp was 77F with very blue water, well over 100' visibility! We dropped in on the eastern side of the rock and as we made our descent the sharks were already there, 10 Galapagos, 5 silver tips, a few hammerheads and a chevron manta!  There were lots of creole fish down deep, and a bit of current in the water so we decided to swim south in shallower water against the current hoping to find a whale shark!  A minute after we stopped swimming it showed up!  It cruised right through all of us, we had plenty of time to really look at all of the details of this massive animal, it's eyes, spots, wrinkles, marks, etc.  It went down deep, beyond our recreational limit we hung around at 60' hoping it would make another appearance. It made two more passes before our safety stop which was accompanied by a playful black manta! In the background we could hear the vocalizations of a whale!
The clouds parted and the day was warming up, our second dive we were hoping for more whale sharks!  We dropped in on the southern point and found that we had no current, and when you have 100'+ visibility and no current, it's an invitation to go into open water!  In the distance we could see a school of black jacks, some Galapagos and silver tip sharks.  We swam in this direction hoping to get a closer look, and as we approached it we saw 4 hammerheads, then 10, then a whole school of them!  It was difficult to count all the hammerheads, but there were al least 60 of them, the formation they had was like a funnel, we didn't chase them instead waited for them to come back to us, our reward was they were swimming half circles back and forth in front of us, all until our diver computers told us our bottom time was up!  We started to make our way back to the southern point of Roca, and once again the whale shark came back!  He was swimming among the divers coming up from beneath us showing the entire white belly.  We blew bubbles as we do with mantas, and it seemed to enjoy it because it didn't move, it was staying still while bubbles were running up along the white sides from belly to chin!  What more can I say about this dive? We had Galapagos, silver tips, hammerheads, white tips, a whale shark, and some yellow fin tuna!
During the surface interval while I was writing my report, I looked out of the corner of my right eye to see a dark shadow approaching on the surface, I turned around and the whale shark is back!  We got in the water and snorkeled with it for over 50 minutes, he was very comfortable around our divers!
Our third dive was 50 minutes of scuba diving with the whale shark, coming up on divers so close so we drifted from South to North with it, we also saw a few yellow fin tunas, Galapagos sharks and tons of reef fish, typical of Roca Partida!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hammerheads, galapagos, silver tip and silky sharks on our first day at Roca!

Today was our first day at Roca Partida, the water temperature was 75F with 80'+ visibiility on our first two dives, but on the last dive the current picked up bringing with it murky water, and visibility dropped to around 50'. We saw white tip sharks resting on the caves of the wall, in one cave we counted 10 sharks hanging out, our divers had a great opportunity to take nice shots of them! A school of hammerheads was at the southern tip of Roca in deep water, so we only got to view them from above. On the northern side of Roca, Galapagos and silver tip sharks were swimming at around 100' of water and coming close to us so we had a nice view of them. During the ascent to do our safety stop, a couple of curious silky sharks came to see us and followed us for a few minutes. Tomorrow we will dive again at Roca and hopefully the school of hammerheads will be waiting for us! Now it's time for a nice dinner, and our guests are salsa dancing and having a great time aboard the Solmar V!
Pablo DM on board

Thursday, March 13, 2014

El Boiler, the manta place!

El Boiler, the manta place!
We had a little bit of wind in the morning, along with a cooler air temperature of 74F. There was some swell at the surface, but once we got underwater that was another story! As we mse our descent down the line, we didn't have to wait long for a manta to show up! It seems that they like the eastern side of el Boiler since it was the place where we found them several times getting cleaned by clarion angelfish! A friendly black manta about 12' long was the first to make an appearance! A second black manta showed up but only for a couple minutes, but the first one stayed with us the entire dive! Lobsters could be found in just about every crevice and a bit of current brought over a school of striped bonitos making a big circle near the surface. We got so close to the school we could feel the water moving around us! Halfway into the dive there was something I heard that wasn't the whale song, it was dolphins! Two showed up followed by another 6 playful dolphins came together at about 60' of water, and since we could hear them coming, we had our cameras ready! In the background behind the dolphins were half a dozen hammerhead sharks in shallow water along with a chevron manta! It was 61 minutes of whale singing, with loud vocalizations of varying length. They sounded close, and once we got out of the water we found out that they were less than 400' away!
For our second and third dives, current from the north lowered the visibility, but we had more manta and dolphin action! Water temp was as low as 73F below thermocline.
Our final dive of the day was amazing from beginning to end, 3 giant mantas stayed for the entire hour long dive, two chevrons and one black one!
Dive Inst.
Daniel Zapata

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sharks, lobsters, octopus, and green moray eels on our checkout dive at San Benedicto!

Today was our first day of diving in San Benedicto, the dive site selected for the day was "El Fondeadero". It was a checkout dive so the people could get used to the water conditions here; the visibility was 40ft/12m and the water temperature 75F/23C with no current.  It was perfect if anyone wanted to try out new wetsuits or bcd's. We saw some white tip and a couple of silver tip sharks. Lobsters, octopuses and green moray eels also on the rock for the divers to take some nice shots. Now the people is having dinner, mexican bbq on the bow courtesy of Chef Tony and after get everything ready for tomorrow everyone is excited for the four dives to come tomorrow, starting at 7 am!
Pablo DM inboard

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Very interesting day in the current!

It was 6:30 so early, there was no wind at all, ocean in this area was flat, no swells but cloudy with air temp of 74 ˚F. You can see the clouds reflecting on the surface, almost as if it was going to rain! It felt like time standing still! Humpback whales near the boat were just resting with calf, their bodies rising out of the water more than normal to take a breath it was difficult to see the blow of a calf behind a much larger mom, but it was inspiring!
Setting the back anchor I noticed the water was so blue, with well over 80ft (24m) visibility, water temp 77 ˚F, mild current from East and I had the joy of 3 dolphins!
Now it's time for the real dive! So we start descending in a stronger current from East using the safety of a line down to 60ft (18m) 3 dolphins were already there doing circles, up and downs, swimming right though the divers, posing! Then we went over the rocks, at just the right time as 4 really big hammer heads were there at 100ft (30m) slowly swimming by. We headed south east along the ridge and dolphins were also swimming over our heads, finally we got to the corner of the cleaning station and decided to hang out there hoping to see more hammer heads. There were a few but the dolphins kept coming back distracting us and demanding attention!  They then left us as usual to go chase jacks! It was time to let go so we started to drift west while searching for more things looking toward the bottom, a chevron manta shows up drifting along with us all the way to the safety stop, even after we were out of the water was still making circles just beneath the zodiac.
The second dive was a whole different story, the current changed so fast while diving, now coming from West, our best way to handle this was drift dive! Our surface interval was breathtaking watching whales and calf literally like pop corns, popping up for air right next to the boat!
The current today was back and forth, for the third dive current was again flowing from East, nice! We like it! Our goal was to get to the corner for hammer heads, lots of fish here but not many sharks... there was a silky shark so curious about divers, any way we made the decision to go for the blue water, BINGO!!! They were there! Not 5 or 10 or 20 hammer heads! A whole school of about 60 to 70 of them! Some beneath us making circles, others in front of us just like a wall of sharks, no words to describe that feeling of seeing so many sharks coming back and forth, swimming a bit on the side and turning around in front of you. It was worth the effort of swimming into the blue! 
Some other divers came back to the descend line for a safety stop, happy for them, they got to hang in there with 3 mantas for minutes!
A fourth dive here again and the current decided to make another change in direction once again! Flowing from west this time, at this point we say thanks to mother nature for doing it, knowing that our navigation was heading into the current to get to the other side of EL CAÑON, not too long after we got there 18 hammers heads were there, the same current helped us to get to the anchor line for a safety stop, I mean a way long safety stop! And not a bad way to finish the final dive of the trip was with 2 chevron mantas in the safety stop plus 4 silky sharks swimming repeatedly right through the divers. A Very interesting day in the current!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata   

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It was a perfect day of diving at San Benedicto!

Back at San Benedicto island!

We got back from Roca Partida early at about 6am and we decided to go to "El Boiler", and it ended up being a very good decision!  Once anchored at "El Boiler," we decided to dive off the pangas as it was too windy and the swell was too big to dive from our dive platform. First dive 7am, everybody ready headed out and as we went down we found no current which was nice, water temperature was 75F/24C at depth, but because of the big surge the visibility was not as good as we expected but wasn't bad at about 70ft/21m. 
First things we heard as we went down were dolphins! We waited on the west side of the dive site and 2 dolphins came "dancing" in between our divers for a few seconds!
After that some divers waited there for the dolphins to come back and my group decided to go to the east side and to our surprise we found three chevron manta rays there that made several trips back to play with our bubbles! After about 25 minutes of enjoying the show we started listening to dolphins again so we went back to the west side and a pod of 9 dolphins came up from the deep and stayed for a few minutes, posing for the cameras and playing around the divers, everybody was so happy! Our divers started doing hi fives and dances underwater and that was not all, just as we started coming up to our safety stop more mantas showed up, so we enjoyed another few minutes of mantas before getting back on the pangas to head back to Solmar V to have breakfast.
After a delicious breakfast cooked by our chef Tony, we were ready for our second dive of the day. We went down at "El Boiler" and visibility went down a little, 50ft/15m, this time we went around the pinnacle once and no mantas, but still a bunch of white tip reef sharks, lobsters, octopus, scorpion fish, panamic green moray eels, and of course clarion angel fish waiting for the mantas so they could clean them! So we got back to the west side and we found that blue water was coming in again and there they were... 3 Chevron mantas dancing with our divers again, this time they were getting more interactive and got closer to the divers! After a good show went up to the safety stop and back to our Solmar V this time to drink hot chocolate to keep us warm!
We did our third dive and this one was one to remember! We had 5 mantas with us for the entire dive!!! Dancing, posing for the cameras, letting divers get underneath them so they could enjoy our bubbles! They came up from the deep and started playing at about 80ft/24m then divers went up to about 60ft/18m and mantas did too, so after a while divers went up to about 30ft/10m and the mantas did it again! So finally we all went to do our safety stop and YES, mantas were there with us again! And if that was not enough they were still swimming underneath us while we were getting back on the pangas!
Fourth dive again 5 mantas this time 4 Chevron and 1 black manta, we had a full show for another 50 minutes, all our divers were so happy that started kissing and hugging the dive masters, doing little dances and hi fives underwater. It was a perfect day of diving, and of course again on Solmar V!
Dive master on board Solmar V 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Day 2 at Roca!

Our second day at Roca Partida, the visibility was around 80ft/24m and the water temperature 75ºF/24ºC. We did three dives today; two dives after breakfast and one more after lunch. At eight o’clock the people were ready to jump in the water excited to see big animals. As usual, Roca didn’t disappoint! We saw Galapagos, Silky and hammerhead sharks; also one black Pacific giant manta. The tuna fishes were there too; some of the divers had the opportunity to watch them chase small fish! The school of hammerheads was around 110 feet of water and we counted well more than 50 individuals. It seemed like the humpbacks were breaching on the surface all day long, and we could heard them singing during our dives!
Now we are heading back to San Benedicto and do some scuba diving tomorrow morning at “El Cañon”
Pablo DM onboard
Solmar V

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

10 minutes into the dive in the south point we already had seen white tips, galapagos, silvertips, hammer heads and silky sharks!

Roca Partida!
Our first day at Roca and the morning was a bit windy but with it something unexpected arrived that made us get up from our seats at breakfast time! A calf of a humpback whale came and did a full swim around the boat, it was less than 60' the Solmar V! It was kind of showing off, lifting it's head out of the water checking us out! It was slowly swimming by the boat inviting us to jump in! Then it took off heading toward the rock, with other whales jumping out of the water in the area too.
A very nice first dive took place mostly at the southern point of the Rock where Galapagos sharks, silver tips, some hammer heads and silky sharks, along with a world of fish congregated. There were also a small bait ball of fish, so a few probably 80 to 100 lbs yellow fin tunas noticed that and started to chase the bait ball at full speed not one second later Galapagos and silver tip sharks adopted a similar behavior attacking the same bait ball, we had a full view of the event happening just above us, minutes later at the spot we had a run of striped bonito, 10 minutes into the dive in the south point we already had seen white tips, galapagos, silvertips, hammer heads and silky sharks! Water temperature was 77  ̊F, vis over 100ft, current from south.
We were hoping to have the opportunity to go find whales in our surface interval but the wind picked up and made us stay on board!
We had a strong current at the rock on the second dive that turned out dive into a drift dive in the form the southern point to the north! We found white tips with lots of fish as we made our descent, at depth some galapagos and silver tips were hanging out close by, other fish like redtail trigger fish, jacks, Moorish idol, leather bass, and cottonmouth jacks were just below us. 
On our third dive we did a bit of a swim but it wasn't hard to find a neutral point to stay out of the current, all fish came back again to shallow water doing all type of formations, the sharks came back also, about 12 Galapagos and 6 silver tips among with hammer heads that were making circles in the same spot.  The north end of the rock had some excitement too with Galapagos shark and a chevron manta that hung around for a couple minutes, our safety stop was as usual surrounded by fish in a water temp of 79 ˚F, visibility well over 100ft!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Monday, March 3, 2014

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise surrounded by humpback whales!

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise surrounded by humpback whales!
We had very calm seas and a light cool breeze at he surface where a few dolphins were playing close to our dive site. We had a visibility of about 50ft. and  a water temperature of 24C/75F.
After breakfast every body gathered for the dive briefing and then down we went for our first dive of the day! There was a very light current coming from the north so we decided to dive off the dive platform on our Solmar V, so a giant stride off the back of the boat and down the descent line, once at the bottom the current was still pretty light and that allowed us to go explore the west side of the dive site where we found giant manta rays! After a few minutes into the dive the current started getting stronger, one group stayed on the deeper area on the north side and they spotted a school of about 25 hammerheads swimming right on top of them! The rest swam back towards the cleaning stations closer to the ascent line, held on to the rocks and waited until more mantas showed up and swam right above us! Then 3 hammer heads came closer to that shallower area and a little before heading back up 2 dolphins came "dancing" in front of the group! It was a very nice end to our dive.
Once at the surface we kept spotting humpback whales so our Beto and Jeronimo, our panga drivers, took two groups whale watching and the whales were very cooperative and our divers had the chance to snorkel with them for a few minutes! Of course everybody came back to the boat smiling and showing off their pictures!
A hot chocolate and then ready for the second dive, this time the current was a lot stronger, still coming from the north, so we decided to dive off the pangas this time, quick back roll and down into the blue waters. On this second dive it was more a game of waiting for the sea creatures to come to us because of the current, but after a few minutes the mantas showed up again and a few hammerheads came swimming around  the dive site once again and towards the end of our dive DM Dany and one of our divers were followed by a couple of dolphins that played around them for a few minutes before we headed to our safety stop were a black manta and a chevron manta came around to check us out!
Once at the surface  was time for lunch and today our chef Tony made us some great chicken fajitas, so after enjoying a very good meal we headed out for our third dive of the day, this time the current switched and now it was coming from the south, not too strong so we dived off our stern dive platform on the Solmar V again! This time we had the chance to see a few more hammerheads, a little group of white tip reef sharks and a couple of galapagos sharks!. While at my safety stop i was surprised by a group of 3 dolphins that swam right over my head, "danced" right in front of me and then headed down in to the blue, what a way to finish the diving day!
Divemaster on board Solmar V

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Our 2nd day at San Benedicto and everyone was excited!

The second day at San Benedicto, spent primarily at the dive site known as “El Boiler”; water conditions 75ºF/24ºC and visibility around 50ft/15m; with some surge but fortunately no current. Our first dive was at seven o’clock in the morning, the people were ready to go and excited about a new day of adventure in the Archipelago. Because there was no current, we had the opportunity to go around the rock, so in case we had any change on the weather conditions, the divers had the occasion to see it all. We saw some white tip sharks, schools of fishes like the jacks, some lobsters and big octopuses.
For the second dive after a delicious French toast and fruit for breakfast, we jumped in the water and saw one silver tip shark and shortly after two Pacific giant mantas that stayed with the divers for some time! Every one came up very happy with the dive after that nice encounter. During the surface interval, some of the guest went for a Panga ride and whale watching; three hump back whales were in close proximity the Solmar V! 
The best part of the day however was still waiting for us because on the third dive, five mantas were on the site and stayed with us over an hour! At the end we had to leave because we didn’t have any more air left on the tanks.
After lunch, we did the last immersion of the day. At the beginning two mantas were with us, latter on one left and the one who remained was very playful, chasing the bubbles made by the divers. We finished the day with an excellent dinner; green salad, filet mignon and ratatouille made by our famous chef Tony from Ensenada!
Pablo DM onboard
Solmar V

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dolphins in the area and mantas waiting for us at San Benedicto!

A windy morning but sunny, air temperature 80 ˚F (25  ̊C), as we enjoyed the surface conditions we noticed dolphins were in the area, during our briefing a manta was awaiting right in the stern of the boat, once briefing was over, it was time to go diving!
The first thing we noticed was a current from East, we knew then it was gonna be good! As we made our way along one hammer shows up then a second, then a silver tip shark! Once we got to the cleaning station we stopped and waited. In minutes 40 to 50 hammer heads showed up in a school, swimming back and forth in front of us, some of them over head a bit, they were right where we wanted, our gusts took lots of pictures!! So the first dive was about hammer heads but a tiger shark came by so close that we had the time to capture it in video, beautiful male of about 10ft in length right behind the place we call the corner, before we knew it it was time to come up for a safety stop drifting in the current listening to humpback whale singing!
The corner was the place for our second dive, we waited there for a while but there was not much action so we swam out into the blue following the trail of jacks!  It took a bit of kicking, but we foudn 12 hammerheads circling just below our fins! We returned to the reef to spend time with jacks, scorpion fish, octos, morays, redtail trigger fish, white tips,  to finish our dive we drifted away slowly, making the safety stop going West. Water temp was 77 ˚F, vis was about 40ft.
The third dive was a combination of blue water dive and along the reef! Out in the blue we found some hammer heads, juvenile silver tips, the corner was packed up with fish due to a some extra current! We made a stop at the cleaning station for a few minutes to enjoy of a chevron manta. 
The final dive today was spent along the reef with lots of barber jacks, octos, lobsters, morays, burrito grunts, leather bass, etc.  We had a slightly stronger current but it was still fun! The behavior of fish is changing, some trying to go sleep while other getting out, you can tell because the light and fish behavior, at the end of dive we could hear dolphins close by but we didn't get to spend any time underwater! 
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata