Thursday, February 27, 2014

We were welcomed by jumping dolphins at San Benedicto!

We left port with small swell, cool breeze and cloudy sky yesterday evening, but as soon as we woke up this morning the sun was shinning, the warm breeze and the blue sky indicated that we were going to have an excellent day!. As soon as we saw San Benedicto island on the horizon a bottled nose dolphin jumped just a few feet from the bow of the boat as a welcome!
Everybody started smiling as the knew the first dive of the trip was coming! Once we anchored near "El Canon", we had very good weather, small waves and a little nice breeze at the surface, perfect conditions for our check out dive!
We entered the water, that was about 25C/77F at the surface, quick buoyancy check and down we went using the descent line, 24C/75F at the bottom, about 120' visibility with a very light current coming from the east. Just a couple of minutes into the dive and the first Chevron manta ray of the trip showed up right on top of the group! Another very nice welcome to the Revillagigedo archipelago, after those few seconds of excitement we swam to the eastern corner of "The Canyon" where we found 5 white tip reef sharks swimming around, panamic green moray eels, and even a couple of frog fish that DM Daniel spotted! Then we decided to turn around and head back to the ascent line and see if we could spot that manta ray, so we swam around a little pinnacle and as we where heading back to the edge of "The Canyon" and found a school of 11 hammerhead sharks came out of the blue at about 50ft./15mts., they swam just above of the group for a few seconds and then headed back in to the blue! Everybody was so excited and just before we took the light current to head back to the ascent line another hammerhead came closer to us!
Once at the ascent line we did our safety stop, while another white tip reef shark swam very close to the bottom, and just before we got out of the water a silky shark appeared slowly cruising at about 30ft./10mts, not bad for a check out dive!!!
Now our divers can not wait for the first full day of diving tomorrow!

Dive master on-board Solmar V

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

3 different sites on our last day at San Benedicto!

Today we woke up at San Benedicto, the first dive site we visited was “El Boiler”. Descending on the mooring line we found the surge and current to be very strong. As the divers reached the bottom they were holding with both hands and rolling from side to side. One of the divers, Dave, held with both hands and let the surge take him 360 degrees like a gymnast on an uneven bar. Everybody came back from the dive excited because of the new experience, excited and happy!
We decided to move to the other side of the island; the second dive was in a place call “El Fondeadero”, the ocean conditions were much better on this site; the water temperature around 77ºF/25ºC and 60ft/18m visibility. We saw a couple of hammerhead sharks, some white tips and one big fat Galapagos shark.
For the third dive we jumped in the pangas to get to the dive site “El Cañon”, where a school of hammerheads were waiting for us; also a Pacific Giant Manta stayed with us for a long time. After lunch we went back to “El Cañon” for the last dive of the trip, we saw again schooling hammerheads, some Galapagos sharks and a Silky shark was chasing us at 40 feet of water! The divers had the opportunity to take some great shots of him. Now we are heading back to Cabo San Lucas, everyone had a nice dinner made by our chef Tony and now everybody is relaxing watching a movie or playing cards and talking about the excellent days of diving they had onboard the Solmar V as we make our way back to Cabo.Thank you to all our guests for the great moments we had on this trip and for letting us be part of your vacations!
Pablo, DM onboard
Solmar V

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Non-stop action at Roca Partida!

Roca Partida
The day we were waiting for! The surface was a bit windy at times, but nothing we weren't prepared to handle.  Everyone was excited during the dive briefing, and once we hit the water our first stop was the East side right at the ledges with white tip sharks! There were white tips all over the place, we spent a good amount of time taking lots of pictures. The surge in this area was heavy today so we stayed a little away from the rock, enough to see the parade of Galapagos shark traveling from south to north at 50 ft (15m) of water! 4 hammer heads crossed our path, visibility was 100ft (30m) plus! A lonely silky shark was also in the area and was very curious for normally shy sharks, it came back to us several times to check us out very close, while all of this was happening we had the joy of listening different vocalizations of humpbacks! We stayed at the north point for the rest of the dive, with lots of fish there from surface till 80ft of water, and 15 Galapagos sharks circling below. As we were ascending and drifting a 4ft long mobula ray found us during our safety stop We spent our surface interval watching 3 different groups of whales around the area!
A second dive kept us excited! We entered the water on the east side again, and as we descended we noticed the number of Galapagos sharks circling below had grown from 15 to 21!  We know the north point has a lot of activity so we spent most of our time there again, with black jacks, redtail trigger fish, creole fish, and a pair of huge yellow fin tunas chasing everything! We did our safety stop among fish but our bonus was to be eye witness of a male Galapagos shark chasing a female around and swimming through our group of divers several times. Once we were sitting in the the zodiac waiting for the other divers to come up we watched a male humpback demonstrates the power of his flukes by slapping them on the surface of the water 51 times non stop!
The third dive was also great, we had the company of a black manta for a little while and  once again Galapagos sharks in the north point, the bonus here was to find the school of 40 to 50 hammer heads visible from a depth of 50ft (15m), during the whole day the water temperature was 75 ̊F (23.8 ̊C) to 77 ̊F (25 ̊C), mild current from East.
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Spring is in the water!

We begun our dive day early in the morning hoping to find the big pod of dolphins that we normally find in the mornings, with a water temperature of 77 F/25 C and a visibility of 50’/15m and a mild current, the conditions seemed to be perfect for a great dive! 
As soon as we went down to  the cleaning station, two chevron mantas were already there like they were waiting for us! There was a strong north current that brought a chilly thermocline of 75F and slightly more murky water. While we hung on the reef, 5 dolphins swam by and played for a brief instant with the divers before disappearing into the blue.
On our third dive the current picked up a bit and we decided to go with it and drift along the reef! The current took us could just over the cleaning station where we spotted 3 mantas being cleaned by Clarion Angelfishes. Our fourth and last dive was in the dusk, even though the light was low, we saw hundreds of Convict Tangs that swam in formation over the reef and against the current to start mating. Besides these beautiful yellow fishes, the Flounders were preparing to mate too. We had also the chance to see the typical resident school of Steel Pompanos, along with a whale that showed a lot of pectoral fin slapping at the surface and of course several breaches, it was a big male trying to attract a mate! Tonightwe are heading for Roca Partida!
Stay tuned and stand by for more adventures on the Solmar V.
Hasta la vista,
Erick HIguera

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

El Boiler, what a cleaning station! We ID'd 15 different mantas throughout the day!

El Boiler, what a cleaning station! 
My first dive of the morning was to set the back anchor, not bad at all to start the day with 8 dolphins, 1 Galapagos shark and a chevron manta! In only 10 minutes! 
The conditions were very helpful today, we enjoyed of a flat ocean, sunny day, air temp of 80 ̊F (26.6 ̊C)
First dive of the morning really was like a dream, a cero current, well moderate visibility water temperature in the mid to high 70's. While we were making our descent along the anchor line to 50ft (15m) we were accompanied by lots of creolefish, black jacks, parrot fish, etc, and then what we were hoping to see showed up! Giant Mantas! We kept slowly swimming along the rock with them to the east point, where the mantas seem to like to congregate! Since we had no current, there was no need to swim once we got to this point, our divers had the opportunity to just relax, get their cameras just right and take photos! In 40 minutes of diving we had 9 mantas, 4 black ones and 5 chevrons, I am telling you mantas were coming from everywhere! They friendly mantas were really making the most of our bubbles, were swimming over our heads for long time, swimming along side us, they come close, but are careful to not hit you with the tip of their wing! These gentle giants were very demanding of attention, and we didn't object!  Once we were back on the line for our safety stop we had mantas again, along with a lonely hammer head that was cruising. We had just enough nitrox to complete safety stop 11 dolphins showed up, along with a mama and calf! It time to surface when a beautiful Galapagos shark shows up! What a dive!
For our second dive we knew where to go find the mantas and so we did. We kept counting different ones all of which were playful, the thermocline at times wase barely noticeable because of all the excitement in the water! And so this was our second dive mantas coming from all directions!
The third dive didn't disappoint with more mantas! Black jacks were chasing a lot the creolefish just under the boat! Mantas, mantas, mantas! Once out the water we were able to count with foto ID of the belly of 15 different mantas! 
On the final dive today, we had a bit of break from mantas and instead we had a bit of current from south, with minimal distraction from mantas we could explore the rock, everybody was friendly to the reef, lobsters, octopus, some flounders, moray eels, white tip sharks, clarion fish which is endemic to these islands and responsible for cleaning mantas from bugs, long nose butterfly fish, barber fish, etc. 
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Baby tiger, white tip sharks, and more on our checkout dive at San Benedicto!

We open this trip doing a check out dive at Las Cuevas in San Benedicto, the water temperature was around 77F/25C and a visibility of 40'/12m. 
People jumped to the water and checked their buoyancy, right after they got ready we swam toward one of the little caves where normally the whitetip reef sharks are resting during daylight. Right when we were looking at this bottom dweller sharks, a not that small shark with a blunt head cruised gentle by on top of the cave, it was a "baby" 10 ft tiger shark that made a brief approach to a couple of our divers for then vanished in the blue. Almost all the little caves where full of whitetip reef sharks, we also spotted several electric rays that some patrolled the bottom while others slept buried under it.
After the dive we moved to the anchorage side of the island to had our classic mexican taquisa for dinner and spent the night in a nice and calm shelter.
The dive plan for tomorrow is to start at 8 am at El Boiler hoping to find some friendly mantas and the dolphins that always come only in the mornings to the dive sites of San Benedicto, just to get clean and later chase the bigeye jacks.
Stay tuned for more adventures with the folks of the Solmar V.
Hasta la vista,
Eric Higuera

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Wall" of hammerheads on our last day at San Benedicto!

Our last day of scuba diving this trip ended at San Benedicto Island, and the dive site selected for the day was “El Cañon”. At seven o’clock the people were ready to jump in the water and excited to see what this amazing place had to offer to us. The water temperature was 77ºF/25ºC, the visibility around 40ft/12m with strong current coming from east. We used the stern anchor line to get to the rock, and as usually happens when we have current, big animals showed up! When we started to go down, a chevron giant pacific manta came to visit us; she was following us for several minutes, playing with our bubbles. Because of the strong current, we had to stay close to the rocks on the protected side, and looking up to see the manta on our way to the southeast corner; once we got there, the hammerhead sharks were waiting for us and some white tip sharks too. At the beginning we had three swimming out into the blue. We were hanging close to the rocks so we didn’t drift away with the current; my group decided to stay on the same spot and wait if more hammerhead were nearby and we made the right decision because we started to see more and more! Adil  was there too and he pointed at us into the blue where more sharks were swimming around; we counted more than twenty! Everybody came back to the boat very excited after seen the school of hammerhead and the giant manta, now is time for breakfast!
For the second dive we decided to go to the same spot again, with the hope of another encounter with the sharks and for our surprise we had a “wall” of hammerheads! They were everywhere! In one moment we had a group of twelve coming in to our right side, five meters from us. Unfortunately, we had to head back to the surface, our bottom time at eighty feet of water was close to end and because of the strong current, we couldn’t move to shallow water and stay there. When we came back onboard, during the debriefing and talking to each other, we thought they were more than a hundred sharks! Apparently two schools came from different directions, where the food was.
The third dive of the day was full of surprises too, the current quieted down and the sharks were gone, but the mantas showed up. Five giant mantas came on the scene! One of them very friendly stayed with us for a long time playing with the bubbles of the scuba divers; also we had the opportunity to see some white tip sharks. When we were doing the safety stop, a group of dolphins came towards us!
After lunch, we were ready for the last dive of the journey. The current picked up and we had to made and extra effort to get to the rock. It was a short dive because of the water conditions, but full of excitement. Some white tip sharks, one manta and one gray tip shark were on our way.
As you can see, another day full of excitement on the Revillagigedo Archipelago, now the people is enjoying the sunset with some refreshments, talking about how wonderful was the last day of diving and watching some of the videos of the hammerheads, waiting for the delicious dinner that our chef Tony will cook for us “camarones rancheros” with rice and cake for dessert.
Until next time…
DM onboard Solmar V   

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Current from the north brings nutrient rich water and a ton of life at San Benedicto!

El Boiler was the place to dive today!
As we were setting the back anchor line dolphins were already playing near the boat inviting us to get in the water right away, so we did! There was a strong current from north in the water,  so we were hoping to see some shark action here. The visibility was great early in the morning at over 100', with a water temp in the high 70's. The current brought with it rich nutrients which attract lots of fish, it was fun to see more white tip sharks, lobsters, octopus, flounders, and jacks, than normal thanks to the nutrients along with some clarion angel fish endemic to the Revillagigedos. Towards the end of the dive mantas came over and we had a little bit of time to enjoy them, they were putting a little distance in between but still graceful as always posing for our cameras!
The surface interval gave us something to do as well! There were humpbacks whales in the area, so we went whale watching their singing during first dive was amazing, something you have to experience here with us!
A second dive also welcomed us in a current coming now from south, it was nice! With it came over 4 mantas! Since current was present we spent most of the dive in the north side of the rock with dolphins and mantas! Honestly we barely noticed the rock was there because more dolphins singing and mantas very friendly, the distance between them and divers was almost zero! A Galapagos shark was acting as a sand paper for many jacks to get rid off some bugs!
Third dive mother nature decided to turn the current off! A single hammer head shark in the area was making circles in just one spot, but the north side of the rock was still the place to dive, with 6 mantas both chevrons and blacks that were were playing with us! Just imagine yourself not swimming at all because the mantas were coming from from all directions! The vis was only 30ft/10m, water temp still the same 77 ̊F/25 ̊C.
An enjoyable panga ride guided by Geronimo was also amazing along the shore, our guests got lots of pictures above the surface of pinnacles, rock formations, swells braking into the walls, and of course more humpback whales nearby! 
A fourth dive made us count more mantas so I can say today was our manta day, lovely creatures that remind us to slow down your life underwater and enjoy what you see, mimic their movements! Just feel the moment! How not to if you are involved in up to 9 mantas around you throughout the whole day!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Roca Partida was great in big numbers of pelagic life as always!

Roca Partida was great in big numbers of pelagic life as always! We found huge schools of Whitemouth Jacks, Bigeye and Black Jacks as well, Whitetip Reef Sharks patrolling the rock and others piled up on top of each other in the built-in pockets that feature Roca, and nonetheless the thousands of Pacific Creolefishes, Crosshatch Triggerfishes and the beautiful Morish Idols that with all together make up the residents of this rock in the middle of nowhere! Also a chevron Manta that cruised gently around Roca Partida, however didn't seem like it was looking for the typical bubble massage. And the Sharks? Well, the Sharks were there but they were deep,  still staying under the thermocline which is at 140-170 feet (42-50 m), well beyond our recreational safe limits. Even though they were too deep for us, we could still see them well from 130'/40 m.
The visibility was around 70'/20 m and the water temperature was still in the 75 F/24 C, I think it's a little warm to bring up the sharks shallower, let's see what what happens with temp. changes within the next several weeks.
Tonight we'll head back to San Benedicto hoping to find more dolphins chasing jacks in the early dives, quite a few friendly mantas and expecting to spend time at El Canyon where we can find good Hammerhead Sharks encounters and who knows, maybe Humpbacks, perhaps!?
Stay tuned for the next adventures with the folks of the Solmar V.
Hasta la vista!
Erick Higuera

Monday, February 10, 2014

A very high octane day on our first full day back at San Benedicto!

Dive Report Feb 8th, 2014.
First day of the trip and we already have lots of people excited about it! 
We had barely started our dive briefing and a humpback whale was already distracting us! Less than 200 yards from the boat, excitement was in the air! 
The dive at EL CAÑON started with one black manta, lots of fish and once again a frogfish! At the corner a hammer head was just cruising along the area, we like this spot because it involves lots jacks descending from shallow water making a connection with the ones on the bottom! White tips were there also, swimming around the rocks! Lobsters, tiger snakes, green moray eels, octopus, a mild current was hitting the reef from the west, visibility was from 40 to 50ft with a water temp at 77F.  During our surface interval the humpback whale was in the area but now even closer to the Solmar V! Less than 30 yards away! This opportunity was too inviting, so we got in the water with our snorkeling gear and briefly got to snorkel with about 20 dolphins at the same time, and the pod was one we knew from before! We were so excited and happy to see these kind of things!
The second dive started descending on the back line! As we went more into the dive, before we knew it we were accompanied by two mantas, a chevron and black one, the black one was way more friendly staying with us for a long time, swimming over our heads and we just kept blowing bubbles! It was difficult to leave this friendly manta but unfortunately it was time for our safety stop, and the same manta kept following us, so we were hanging on the rope with the manta just beneath us swimming circles! What a great dive!
During the surface interval we spent time following a whale that was just teasing us! When we though it was a good time to hop in the water to spot the whale, we did not see the whale but we saw the pod of 20 dolphins we kept running into.  So we decided to snorkel for a while with them, on top of that there were 3 mantas feeding on the surface!
For the third dive we decided to go look for mantas! And find them we did! We started the dive with mantas and the icing on the cake was we finally got to see that "hard to find whale"  for 30 seconds! It came back to us within 30 seconds for another pass! So fantastic! The dive went on with lots of fish. We had great vis 80ft/24m, water temp 77 ̊F/25 ̊C! In shallow water we saw beautiful coral, tiger snakes, green morays, giant electric rays, long nose butterfly fish, jacks and a safety stop accompanied by a 12ft long manta!
On the fourth dive we came back to Tres Hermanos, it was a mellow dive, with a bit of current from NW just gliding over the reef, where we spotted white tips, lobsters, big scorpion fish, and more! A very high octane day!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata.

After two great days at Roca Partida, we went back to San Benedicto to do our last day of this amazing trip!

Dive Trip Report Feb 1, 2014
After two great days at Roca Partida, we went back to San Benedicto to do our last day of this amazing trip. We did an early dive at El Cañon expecting to have fun with the dolphins, and yes they were already there, we saw them from the boat, but unfortunately when we got into the water we could only see the glimpses of 3 dolphins that didn’t show any signs of interest on us.
After the first dive we all moved with the Solmar V boat several miles offshore in the quest of a possible baitballs, even though we didn’t find one, we did find the dolphins that we expected to see in the morning during the dive! They have gone offshore and we found them, so we launched our pangas, loaded them up wit everybody and went for a swim for almost one hour with these playful dolphins!
After an incredible time with the dolphins in the middle of the Pacific, we went back to our famous EL Boiler disposed to finish our trip saying goodbye to the mantas. There was only one manta that stayed with us the last two dives of the trip receiving bubbles massages form every diver.  I can say that it was such a great way to complete another adventurous trip with the Solmar V.
Hasta la proxima!
Erick Higuera

Sunday, February 9, 2014

We continued to enjoy Roca with great conditions just like our previous day!

Dive Report Jan 31th, 2014.
We continued enjoying Roca with great surface conditions from our previous day, underwater it seemed that hammer heads were playing hide and seek but in the end we found them! Also the feeding frenzy with white tip sharks continued today.  We spotted two Mantas on second dive, one of them was very playful for a very long time, one of the dives today went far beyond our limit of bottom time because of the manta, which we liked it! The other one wanted to stay a bit away from divers, the current was there also from west, vis in letters blue water! We knew dolphins were some where nearby because they were singing, but never saw them underwater.
No third dive! Our guests instead wanted to chase some humpback whales, we tried several times but were not very successful although they were very close to the pangas, our last attempt was to chase a single one when we approached to it 5 to 7 dolphins were with, so that is the singing from our previous dive, any way we all got in to snorkel with dolphins, a silky shark was also there coming very close for a picture or two. Water temp 77 ˚F/25 ̊C.
Dive Inst


Saturday, February 8, 2014

We never felt alone while underwater since we had manta, fish, sharks, wahoo, tunas and more to keep us company!

Dive Report Jan 30th, 2014.
We had an amazing day spent at Roca, with good surface conditions: sunny, mild breeze, 80 ˚F! Swells 3 to 4ft.  We noticed a bit of current from West, the water column from surface to depth was full of fish all types, Vis was well over 100ft/30m, water temp 77 ̊F/25˚C. At depth we checked out the north point a bit where we found 6 silver tip sharks, so we go pass the school of fish like into the blue, and it is amazing just to float neutral at this depth, you look behind lots of fish and the other side just blue! We drifted south encountering coming at us 8 Galapagos sharks, on the south point the current took us to a place to enjoy the rest of the dive in the company of a chevron manta.
Our surface interval was sunny, relaxing and kept us all awake, there were humpbacks in the area, and you can tell males chasing others while we think a female was just relaxing about 200ft away from Solmar V.
After our surface interval, while we were descending we reached a depth of 80ft/24m , and the wall of Roca was still beautiful. They were there, 50 to 60 hammerheads approximately along with black jacks, we did not chase them at all, and as a reward they stayed for long! Some of them swam straight at us posing for the pictures, then went into the deep we only saw shadows of them.  You have to be excited always about diving! The surface conditions were still great for a third dive!
The place to start was north point, just descending we noticed something going on, 15 to 20 white tips sharks were in feeding frenzy at only 40ft/12m, even better have never seen one to happen day time! In the same area we were eye witnesses to yellow fin tunas hunting for bait fish nonstop! Galapagos shark came up to check it out, so curious! To end up the dive we had once again the manta for a long safety stop, we never felt alone while underwater since manta, fish, sharks, wahoo, tunas were there.
Dive Inst

Daniel Zapata

Friday, February 7, 2014

On both dives we had encounters with 5-6 different Mantas at el Canon!

Dive Trip Report Jan 29, 2014
We couldn’t go to Roca last night due to weather conditions, so we stayed another day at San Benedicto.
We made the first two dives at El Cañon and realized the water temperature has just starting to drop a bit, now in the mid 70's but it cleaned the water up and the visibility was better than it was last trip. On both dives we had encounters with 5-6 different Mantas together swimming in line formation over the ridge, some of these Mantas we saw yesterday at El Boiler and now have moved to El canon, I think they were chasing us up to here to keep enjoying our bubbles! Also we saw 5 dolphins on the first dive that played constantly with the bigeye jacks as they like to do.
By the third and the fourth dive the Mantas weren’t there anymore, so instead hanging out by the anchor line waiting for more Manta shows, we went to the cleaning station where we found 6 juvenile silvertip sharks were cleaned by butterfly fishes. It seems that every time more baby silvertips are joining to the cleaning station.  This afternoon the wind has came down a bit which now the conditions are the ideal ones to go to Roca tonight, woo hoo!! 
Stay tuned for more adventures on the Solmar V!
Hasta la vista,

Erick Higuera.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

7am in the water, and do you know why? Dolphins!

Dive Report Jan 28th, 2014
We did 4 dives here at EL CANON!
Starting as early as 7am in the water, and do you know why?  Dolphins! While the dive briefing was going on dolphins were jumping in the water waiting for us! We had amazing dives here, all day, to name them some of the things we saw included: dolphins, white tips, Galapagos shark although was only one but it was big! A silky shark chasing a ball of striped bonitos, Juvenile Silver tip sharks in our last dive of the day, of course some hammer heads and mantas that were very friendly, they came to stay with our divers blowing bubbles on them, the vis was from 30ft to 50ft/ 10m to 15m, water temp 77 ˚F/25 ˚C, current was absent all day which made the dive very easy and comfortable to many.
Dive Inst


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First thing we saw on our checkout dive was a massive Galapagos Shark!

Dive Report Jan 27th, 2014
To increase the excitement of our new group on board to go diving as we got closer to Isla San Benedicto two different times two different pod of dolphins made up of 20-30 dolphins were riding the bow of Solmar V doing all sort things like big jumps, swimming belly up keeping up with our speed which was 9nt/h, surfing swells, etc. and we had them for a long time!
Once we got to the island it was time to setup and go diving! Our check out dive took place at EL CAÑON, Vis was about 30ft/ 10m, water temp still 77 ̊F/ 25˚V, no current at all! As we went down on the rope and over the ridge, the first thing that appeared in front of us was a big 8' Galapagos shark! Although we knew it would be unlikely that we would see hammerheads because it was so late in the day, other  sharks were, like white tips and juvenile silver tips! And in the afternoon the best spot to find them is at a spot we call the corner, and they just swim circles over this rock! So just take your seat and wait for the best shot! As we were moving more into the dive, lobsters, green moray eels, lots of fish, one thing I did not want to forget to mention is a frog fish! Yes we found one, very colorful, light purple, white, and some other colors, at only 3.0” it is really difficult to find and it was a very special treat on our first day!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Sunday, February 2, 2014

We counted 9 different mantas on our last day at San Benedicto!


We started our last day of the trip doing our first dive early in the morning hoping to find the pod of dolphins that gave us a show on the first day of the trip. At the beginning of the dive several dolphins played at the surface, when we got in the water only 4 stayed around just for a brief time, suddenly something happened that made them to took off like crazy and didn’t come back again.
At the corner of the cleaning station, several juvenile Silvertip Sharks were getting cleaned by Butterfly Fishes, this time the current was not blowing to bring up some hammerhead sharks, but still few here and there, and a few cruised along the ridge.
After the first dive we went offshore in the quest of some possible baitballs, we found some but they had just yellow fin tunas that swam so fast that we could not keep up with them after several attempts, it was time to go back to scuba diving. We had two more dives before we set sail for Cabo.
The water conditions around San Benedicto were not the ideal, there have been huge swells coming from south and north and have been crashing on the beach thus removing the sand that has gone offshore drifting trough the dive sites limiting the visibility to only 20-30’/6-10m, so we took the chances and anchored at El Boiler hoping to enjoyed some more mantas before to go back to Cabo San Lucas.
So, going down along the stern anchor and as soon as we reached the anchor, oh yeah, the Mantas were around! Even though the visibility was limited the friendly mantas kept coming back and forth, we just needed to stay in one spot and wait for them. We saw a total of 9 different playful mantas that closed this trip with a golden ribbon!
Hasta la próxima amigos!

Erick Higuera

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Back to San Benedicto!

Today we started our scuba diving adventure at San Benedicto. We arrived this morning after two days at  “Roca Partida” and the first dive site we stopped at was “El Boiler”, the weather conditions were not the best, water temperature around 77ºF/25ºC and visibility less than 30 feet/10 meters, but still our divers were able to see the dolphins and a giant manta around the rock. At the end of the dive the current got pretty strong so for the second dive we had to use the stern line to descend to the rock. The visibility was poor and because of the current, some of the divers stayed close to the rock and some others drifted with the current. A family of three divers found a giant manta and she stayed with them around 30 minutes, very friendly and playful with the bubbles.
For the third dive of the day we moved to “El Cañon”, the visibility was better here and the current wasn’t bad. We were following the rock formation looking for mantas and sharks. A group of three white tip sharks were hanging out on the sand, so the divers had the opportunity to take some good pictures of them. Also we saw octopuses, a spotted moray eel, a zebra moray eel and lobsters hidden on the rocks. The last dive of the day we did it on this same dive site, for this dive the visibility was better, around 40 feet so we decided to go further out following a school of jacks, kicking against the current for a bit but we had our reward, a hammer head shark came towards us and a couple more were below.
This is our dive adventure today, we hope tomorrow the weather conditions improve a bit as we have another fantastic day of diving ahead of us!

DM onboard the Solmar V