Thursday, January 8, 2015

Schooling hammerheads, tiger shark, mantas and more at San Benedicto!

Hello Hello!

First full day of diving on this trip and what a way to start it!
The dive site of the day was “El Cañón”, yesterday evening it was all cloudy and gray here at San Benedicto, but this morning we knew we were going to have a great day when we saw the clear sky and sunshine! The water temperature was 77F/25C and the visibility around 70ft/21m, the current was exactly as we wanted it, coming from the east and quite strong, that means better chances for hammerheads! As we finished the dive briefing we saw dolphins right off the back of the boat, so we jumped into the water as quickly as possible and as soon as we hit the anchor we could hear them but couldn't see them. So we went down the rocks on the north side of the dive site to hold on to the rocks waiting for a big school of hammer heads, we spotted a couple. So we moved towards the cleaning station and stopped about half way there when we spotted the dolphins swimming at the surface! They decided to not come and play this morning, so we kept on going east and when we got to the cleaning station we had about 8 hammerheads! Then the waiting game started, so we held on the the rocks looking into the blue waters and after waiting a few minutes there they were, a school of about 30 hammerheads showed up! Gliding through the blue waters and circling in front of us a couple of times, and while all this was right in front of us, we had 2 chevron mantas right behinds us! So we had to look at both shows! It was just the best way to start the day! The dive was so good that one of my divers came to me and said “Antonio I don't need to dive anymore, lets just go back to Cabo, we have seen it all!”

For our second dive the current was still the same, from the east and strong, so we had the same plan to hang out at cleaning station where this time we found up to 12 hammer heads at once, they were swimming in smaller schools but this time they came a lot closer to us, and posed for great videos and pictures! Then action stopped for a bit until a tiger shark that came up from the deep a couple of times and got quite close to the divers before disappearing again into the deep. Then we let go of the rocks and drifted south along the edge and there they where a group of 10 hammerheads swimming right underneath us before we turned around to see the 2 mantas we had next to us! So we left the bottom and started going up with their great company, a black and a chevron manta came along on the drift for a few minutes and once we got to our safety stop they went back on their own way.

For our third dive the current got really really strong so the way down and the way out to the cleaning station, it took a little longer and we actually had to literally crawl all the way out! If you'd let go off the rocks then that was the end of your dive as the current was so strong, this time at the cleaning station we had a lot of jacks, white tip reef sharks, juvenile silver tip sharks, lobsters, green morays, but no hammer heads.

On our last dive of the day current went down a little and this time was a little easier to swim without holding on to the rocks all the time. Half way out to the cleaning station we saw 2 big hammer heads cruising by and once at the cleaning stations were had a lot of white tip reef sharks, 2 juvenile silver tip sharks and schools of 2 and 3 hammer heads visiting the rocks, suddenly all the fish moved away and there was a huge Galapagos shark just cruising by in the middle of hundreds of fish! By the end of the dive we started drifting there we found 2 mantas a black and a chevron that came and play with us, posing for the cameras very gentle.
Now we have a great atmosphere on the boat, had a great dinner prepared by chef Tony and we are going to spend the night here in San Benedicto to dive “El Cañón” in the morning, we wanted to go to Roca Partida, but the wind and the swell is not favorable so we will spend another day here next to the great volcano!

Stay tuned to know how our second day goes!

Hasta la vista!

Antonio Romero
Dive Instructor

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