Sunday, November 16, 2014

El Boiler at San Benedicto Island!

El Boiler at San Benedicto Island!
The first dive we had the pleasure of enjoying 35 minutes of our hour long dive with dolphins!  Our plan was simple, we wanted to go down into the blue to find hammerheads, but the visibility was restricting this mission. On our way into the blue we were intercepted by 11 dolphins, and their constant chirping grabbed and held our attention!  Their constant posing, swimming, and looping around us made our morning an exceptional one, some of them swam off towards the cleaning station and when we arrived there, we found two mantas waiting for us!  These two graceful giants cooperated with us, allowing for many photos, their slow swimming back and forth between our divers set the pace, and we slowed down to match these friendly animals! They swam from one dive to another to another, giving everyone the ability to get some great belly shots, close up of eyes, and in the background a lonely hammerhead shark came into the area for a quick pass!  After the hammerheads we ran into a school of cotton mouth jacks, before the dolphins showed up again!  This time there were 11 of them, they swam right into our circle of divers, leveling off then posing for our cameras!  They are very social animals and have a very strong link that keeps them together, the males were rubbing fins, snouts on females, swimming belly to belly together, they always seem to be smiling and happy!  Altogether on this dive, we had dolphins, schools of fish, mantas, hammerheads, 80F water temp, and 70'+ visibility! 
On our second dive, we had similar water conditions, everything was happening on the north west side of the rock, we were hanging out with 4 mantas, slowly cruising around our divers.  They almost stop on top of our heads, making you slowly sink with them.  The mantas love our bubbles, and if you blow bubbles along their belly, they don't go away!  4 mantas in a small area means that when you are looking at one, there's another one right behind you!  It was a wonderful dive where no one had to move at all, the mantas came right to us, and there was no current!  In addition, the rock was covered with lots of juvenile pacific creolefish, lobsters, green morays, jacks, and white tip sharks!
 On our 3rd and fourth dives, the mantas moved to the south eastern side of the rock, and were just as playful as our morning dives!  They were gracefully swimming with all of us, gliding in the water where you don't see them move a wing but they're still in motion!  Making everyone of us happy, one group swam out into the blue where they found 4 hammerheads just below their fins!  It turned into a slow drift dive on the west side of El Boiler, with an extended safety stop with 5 juvenile silver tip sharks! We enjoyed of sunny surface intervals in air temp of 27˚C/81˚F, with panga rides, birds observation and identification courtesy of our on board naturalist Geronimo!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

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