Tuesday, December 30, 2014

San Benedicto was mantastic!

Hello Hello!

Belated Merry Christmas to everybody!

After our Christmas break now we are back on the game diving the Socorro islands and to start the trip we had a great day of diving at “El Cañón” in San Benedicto Island!  Conditions out of the water were perfect, we had a warm day with a light breeze and calm sea, underwater we had moderate visibility, 50ft/15m, but that didn't stop us from looking at great creatures!

We started the day with the perfect check out dive for the trip, the water was 79F/26C and we had a mild current coming from the northeast, so we went down the descent line and first thing we saw, a pod of 8 bottled nose dolphins! They came from out of the blue on to the rocks and slowed down to pose for our divers! A couple of them circled us and they kept going their own way, a few minutes later 9 more dolphins came and stayed a little longer as we made our way out to the east cleaning station. Half way out we stopped and waited holding on to the rocks, looking for hammerheads, but only one came close to the rocks, while white tip reef sharks, dolphins and jacks swam around us, so after a few minutes we went east a little closer to the cleaning station and it was there where we saw more hammerheads! We had about 8 to 10 hammerheads coming close to us, by the time we had to let go of the rocks 2 chevron mantas came by and started swimming above and around us several times! As we ascended they stayed down so we drifted and another manta showed up during our drift dive, this time it was a black manta that came up to our safety stop to play with us for  a few minutes before we had to surface!

For our second dive we did a free descent as this time we had no current and this time mantas and dolphins were gone, so we went out to the cleaning station, waited there but no hammerhead action this time. So we enjoyed the company of lot of jacks, white tip reef sharks and a juvenile silver tip shark, before we decided to go into the blue waters looking for the hammerheads. We only found one hammerhead along with  a chevron manta swimming below us at about 35m/115ft. We turned around and started heading back to where we started the dive and to our surprise hammerheads were swimming around the sandy bottom and 90ft/27m so we watched them “dancing” in front of us, about 7 of them of varying sizes. We then swam back to the rock formations, where we found 4 mantas 3 chevron and 1 black that kept us entertained for the rest of the dive!

For the third and last dive of the day we decided to do a manta dive, so went down and there they were, 3 chevron and 1 black manta again, they stayed with us the entire dive!!! They would swimm around us, underneath us, and obviously above us to get their bubble massage! These mantas just don't stop, they started swimming in a single line formation, very nice for pictures and video, then turning and flipping around each other and the action just didn't stop, coming back to the divers over and over, it was just mantastic!

Now we are expecting good weather for tomorrow so we are heading back to my favorite rock, Roca Partida, so stayed tuned to know what the rock has for us on this trip!

I wont write to you again this 2014 so have a happy new year and see you in 2015!

Antonio Romero
Dive Instructor

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