Monday, November 24, 2014

Friendly dolphins, giant mantas, whale shark and more at Roca Partida

Hi all! 
By 8:00 am we were heading to Roca Partida in the pangas, dolphins were doing high jumps near the rock so we quickly geared up and did a back entry and found 15-20 dolphins that enjoyed playing with our bubbles!  They were chirping the entire dive, the communication among them was absolutely gorgeous for the hour long dive, and very loud!  They came back to us several times in different groups from different directions, some of them rolled over showing us their bellies, others adopted a vertical position in front of everyone before doing a slow free fall into the depth, inviting us to go deeper!  Other dolphins were swimming so slowly letting us make eye contact with them, at times you could almost touch them, but they're good at estimating distance between your hand and their bodies.  To top it off, 2 chevron mantas showed up and then we had mantas and dolphins in a small area, and they get along pretty well.  All our divers were happy!  Water temp also made the time underwater slow down a bit where we enjoyed the 26.6˚C/80˚F water with visibiility in the 20m/65'+ range with no current.  We had fantastic underwater conditions, with an extended safety stop due to 10 dolphins that made our dive a bit longer, showing off their affections to each other.
A second dive with the same conditions made it count!  Just 10 minutes into the dive a maximum 20' long whale shark came into the area at 18m/60ft depth, swimming among the divers, it wasn't in a rush to go anywhere, it stayed with us for a long time, swimming so close you could almost touch it! (But we didn't of course)  For our safety stop, it came and checked us out again, in addition we foudn a black manta on the north eastern side of the rock, once we were on the zodiacs, we had an opportunity to get in the water and snorkel with it!  
A thirds dive was relaxing, swimming around the rock with lots of white tip reef sharks, fish everywhere, 4 hammerheads, 1 galapagos, and 1 silver tip shark, some divers opted to skip the dive, and instead chose to snorkel with the whale shark swimmig around the Solmar V!  So they jumped in the water and a black manta stopped by, probably felt secure swimming along side the whale shark!  A big thanks to Luis Godinez and Manolo our panga drivers, for their efficiency picking up our snorkelers with slightly windy conditions.
The night brought lots of sharks swimming around the Solmar V, and some flying fish found dinner time!
Dive Inst.
Daniel Zapata

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