Tuesday, December 16, 2014

80 minutes with mantas on one dive, schooling hammerheads, dolphins and more at Socorro Island!

After the great manta day we had yesterday at Cabo Pearce we decided to stay one more day!
We spent the night next to the dive site and this morning as soon as the sun was up we went in the water we had planned 4 dives and on the first three we had a quite strong south current, so on the first dive we decided to head east to the deep area of the dive site and go into the current looking for hammerheads, on the way out we found 2 chevron mantas that hovered over the divers to feel their bubbles on their belly before it kept going on its way to the blue waters away from the dive site. When we got to about 80ft/24m there was 8 white tipped reef sharks circling around a rock in between a lot of reef fish, after taking a few pictures there we kept going east and when we got to 100ft swam into the blue, not much luck this time as we only found a couple of hammerheads and the strong current made it hard to keep swimming into it, so we decided to head back to the shallow area of the dive site and spend the rest of the dive there, on the way back we found a lot of lobsters, a diamond stingray, green morays, giant electric rays and more mantas! This time 3 mantas came to play with our bubbles and followed us all the way from 80ft/24m to 40ft/12m, and once there, there was a school of clarion angel fish waiting for the mantas to come and get cleaned. For the rest of the dive we only hovered at 40ft/12m watching at the mantas getting cleaned and every time they headed into the blue there was enough lobsters, octopus and a bunch of reef fish to take pictures of until the mantas came back, and that went on until we had to come up!
For our second and third dive current was still very strong so we spent both dives hovering on the north west side of the dive site were the mantas were getting cleaned, there was so many clarion angel fish, it was a great show! We counted up to 22 clarion angel fish cleaning a single manta!!! That show made our dives very easy and looong, we spent up to 80 minutes watching the mantas, taking pictures and video! Oh! And I forgot to mention that on our third dive 2 bottled nose dolphins came to quickly say hello, that was awesome!!!
For our last dive of the day the current changed, there was almost no current when we went down, but it picked up a little bit coming from the north west, this made the visibility go down a little, from 70ft/21m that we had on our first three dives to about 50ft/15m, but water was still warm!(26C/78F)
So on this dive we decided to give another try to the hammer heads and 2 groups went down deep looking for them while another group stayed shallow playing with the mantas. The 2 groups that went looking for hammerheads found 2 chevron mantas on their way out at about 80ft/24m, they only went by and into the blue the first time, after a few minutes they came back and passed a few centimeters/feet from the divers and kept circling them and going in between them before they headed back into the blue waters. Once at 110ft/34m one group spotted about 8 hammerheads that quickly disappeared, the other group didn't see them so they drifted away from the rocks into the blue and for their surprise when they went up to their safety stop, looked down and there they were!...2 schools of about 30 to 40 hammerheads!!! Obviously they swam back down for a few seconds before they had to come up! The others 2 groups kept enjoying the manta cleaning stations until they had to come up.
All to all another great day diving of the Solmar V!
Now we are heading back to Roca Partida for more shark action, so check us out tomorrow to know how that went!

Hasta pronto!
Antonio Romero
Dive Instructor

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