Friday, October 31, 2014

A phenomenal start to our Socorro season on Day 10 of our combo Guadalupe-Socorro trip!

Hello friends!
Day 10 on our combo Guadalupe-Socorro trip! After navigating for 39 hours from Bahía Magdalena to Roca Partida, we are finally at Socorro's Islands and what a way to start this Socorro season! We started our day with a nice breeze and very calm seas, everybody was very excited to go in the water and see what Roca Partida had for us, but we were also a little uncertain of what we were going to find as we haven't been here for about 4 months.
Anyway, by 7:45 am everybody was suited up and ready for Dani's dive briefing, and by 8 am we were off in the pangas! First dive we went in the water and a mild northwest current was present and temperature was  27C/82F what made our diving day very comfortable, so after a few minutes into the dive we found a WHALE SHARK!!!A huge pregnant female of about 40ft showed up along with a pod of bottle nose dolphins that played around it to say welcome back to Roca Partida! They came for a few minutes and then they disappeared into the blue, on this first dive we also had a couple of hammerheads, silver tip sharks, one silky shark chasing a school of bonitos, and of course the local residents of the rock like white tip reef sharks, lobsters, green morays and also as a plus to our first dive a chevron manta that swam under our divers at about 35m/115ft.
Second and third dive didn't disappoint, mantas kept showing up, we counted in total 3 mantas, 2 chevron and a black manta that is been hanging out at Roca Partida since May! Galapagos sharks swimming at around 40m/130ft, few hammerheads and the whale shark was still there and actually at the end of the day after looking at the pictures and videos we saw that there were actually 3 different 40ft/12m whale sharks, the 3 of them females and pregnant!
Now time to enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by our excellent chef Tony, look at todays pictures and recharge batteries for tomorrow's dives at Roca Partida again as we expect nice weather and ofcourse we are all crossing our fingers so this 3 huge whale sharks are still around!

I don't think there could have been a better way to start this Socorro season...stayed tuned and happy bubbles!
Dive Inst.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 2 at Isla Benito!

 Oct 26/2014
As early as 7:30 we were divinv the pinncale off of the west side of Isla Benito del Este, it reminds us of Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo Islands because of the depth and the sort of wall diving, but this one is covered from bottom to top with kelp, making it a spectactular dive.  The seals were there again, along with lots of yellow tail jacks, and no current making this an easy enjoyable dive, the visibility was clear enough that we could see the sandy bottom clearly, which was down at 150'.
A second dive took place on the northern side of Benito del Este, in the kelp forest attached to rocks from 70' to the surface, we dove with more seals who let us know we were in their territory!  It was a good 55 minute long dive, watching the kelp move, other fish, and acrobatics from the funny seals.
To end the day we returned to Benito del Oeste for more fun dives with seals due to wind starting to hit the area.  It was funny to do one dive that we got to an area so shallow, we actually were actually in waist deep water, watching elephant seals on the beach, just like navy seals approaching the shore!
The last dive of the day was divided into two gruops, one went scuba diving, the other went to find a juvenile snapper bait ball, a huge one, we also did some snorkeling really close to some massive elephant seals!  We had a big time here making great memories and experiencing diving at Islas San Benito!
Dive Inst.
Daniel Zapata

Monday, October 27, 2014

We had a blast with playful elephant seal pups at Isla Benito!

Hola Everyone!
Around 7:00 am we spotted Isla Benito off the bow of the Solmar V, the sun was rising behind it turning the sky into intense colors overlooking 3 barren rocky islands!
We explored all over Benito del Centro, where we found an amazing colony of elephant seals just laying out on the beach!  Not far from this first spot, we found a gang of 30-40 playful baby elephant seals, sticking their head out of the water to check on us!  They were very curious and this seemed like a great place to do a dive!  We ended up spending over 50 minutes with these playful pups, they were acting like a very friendly gang of youngsters, coming from every direction, swimming around us, making faces at our cameras, posing head down tail up, sometimes we had as many 20 or more of them right in front of us!  These playful  graceful pups would swim right at the camera, twisting and spinning around, swimming circles around our divers! They were all so graceful and agile, and boy are the fast!  A bit of surge at this shallow dive made for a bit of fun, watching the kelp sway side to side, and an extensively purple hydrocoral bed added some color to our dive!  Our first dive was so good we had to come back for another!  We ended the day diving at Benito del Oeste, here we did a bit more swimming in comparison with the first dive site!  Visibility was extraordinary, with water temp in the mid 70's, no current, and lots of yellowtail jacks, sheep head, kelp bass, cone shells, and some nudibranchs! Swimming through the kep forest is a unique experience although the kelp was not fully grown, and just to remind us that we were still in seal territory, our pinniped friends would pop by and stay Hi to our divers!

Dive Inst.
Daniel Zapata

Monday, October 20, 2014

Awesome great white action on our 2nd to last trip to Isla Guadalupe!

Hello friends!
Our last regular Guadalupe trip of this season before we head down south on our Guadalupe-Socorro
Islands combo trip! As always everybody arrived to the boat extremely excited to go get in the water with the apex predator of the ocean, the Great White shark! All of our guests were ready to go and after doing our safety drill at about 1:45pm we left Ensenada harbor, off we go! This time some whales on the distance said good bye to us as we left Ensenada and headed towards Guadalupe island!
The crossing was very smooth with very small swell, air temperature on the mid 70's and a light breeze that made our way out to the island very pleasant. Next morning we woke up to a cloudy day and at about 8:45am we got to the island! By 9am bait was in the water and after a short while to set the surface and submersible cages and do our dive briefing we had our first divers in the water by 10am!! It was not until 12:30 when the first shark showed up, a 12ft male, that came straight to get the bait! Action kept going as it stick around and about 40 minutes later a big 14ft female showed up to keep going with the show! Everybody was super excited and the surface cages and the submersible cage stayed full of divers until about 4:40pm when sharks decided to take a break until the next day and the wind made us stop the fun on the submersible cage, so after 6pm quick shower, guests had some nice cold cervezas and then everybody enjoyed a delicious BBQ prepared by our chef Tony to finish the first great day of the trip!
Second day we had the bait in the water at 6am and everybody was so excited that they were already
asking “when can we go in the water?” so at 7am first few divers went in the water! Some of them even skipped breakfast to be the first ones in the water! Skipping breakfast was worth it, because at 7:40am first shark showed up! A 12ft male came by, a few minutes later another male came to say good morning  and both of them stayed all day long with us giving us a great show especially in the submersible cage where they swam very very close and slowly checking us out! Then it got very exciting when the big male breached out of the water getting the bait and splashing our diving platform! By the end of the day it got quite windy so again submersible cage had to come to an end   and sharks went away doing only a few passes in about 40ft of water several times before the end of the day.
Last day of cage diving on this trip and again at 7am we had our first divers in the water! It took only 45 minutes this time for our first visitor to come by a 12ft. male great white started the show and every body started asking us about the submersible cage today... And the answer was YES! At 8:30 we started the rotation on that cage and it didnt stop until 3pm! We had a lot of action down at 25ft., not as much at the surface but everybody was enjoying themselves! The crossing back was a little rougher specially at night and the next morning was little better, and we spotted hundreds of white side dolphins coming back into Ensenada what made everybody run outside with their cameras...a great end for our GREAT trip!
Dive Instructor
Solmar V

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

9 different great whites on our latest trip to Isla Guadalupe!

Trip report October 5,14
We arrived to Guadalupe Island around 8:30 am. After we anchored the boat, Erick one of the Dive masters, started with the briefing for the cage diving. In the meanwhile the rest of the crew were preparing the cages and the wrangling platforms. The first two groups of four divers jumped in the water at 9:30 in the stern cages. At eleven, the submersible cage went down with the first couple and one Dive master. The water temperature was 75F at the surface and 73F at 30 feet of water; the visibility the first day was 45 to 50 feet. After forty minutes the first shark showed up at the shallow cages and she stayed around for a while. In total we saw three sharks the first day, coming and going all day long!  The second day Emma, a 15 feet female shark showed up in the morning; she gave us a good show throughout the day. The divers had the opportunity to see her in the submersible cage as well as at the surface.
The last day was very exciting, one male shark came very close to the shallow cages a couple of times, our guests had numerous chances to get some that perfect shot!  We had some guests that got a photo with their jaws wide open, others got a few with the sharks biting the bait. Overall, we had a good trip, we saw nine different sharks over three action packed days with sharks breaching and coming very close to the cages!
Pablo DM onboard