Saturday, February 28, 2015

Humpbacks and hammerheads at Roca Partida!

Hi All! Feb 27, 2015
It was an excellent day to be diving at Roca Partida! We are not in the water yet and it looks so blue! Air temperature 25˚C/77˚F, the sky so clear, no wind and the amazing hump back whales still around!
Our first dive started at 8:30 on the East side, as quiet as the morning but lots of big eye jacks  and white tips, blue water here means a visibility of at least 30m/100ft, water temp came back to be 25˚C/77˚F.  A mild current took us to the southern area along the wall having as a back ground the so loud singing of whales that made us keep looking in to the blue water hopping that this huge shadow of a whale will come out to make itself visible, it didn’t but the singing was still in our heads! At a depth of 30m/100ft we had a combination of green and blue water, it was nice to feel a bit colder water and see also 7 Galapagos sharks that were hanging at this depth, kicking slowly just to stay in the same area 4 silver tips came by as well, here is where the current turns around and all jacks are embracing the rock facing the current making a vertical formations! Creole fish did the same thing retracting towards the rock because 2 yellow fins tunas are in the area! We decided to play in the current a bit to see what we see, it was worth the try because a school of 40 to 50 hammer heads were just there not even too far from the rock, current didn’t stop obviously so soon we had to seek for the wall protecting us against it, the West side was slow in action, still nice blue water, but fish were in the current.
The surface interval was interesting with whales! A couple of them were very interested in surfacing right next to the Solmar V, we saw them coming straight towards us slowly taking their time letting us guess that they really are coming, jumped into the water, their last breath before they went under was just 15m/50ft away from us, water being so clear helped so see them perfectly for 15minutes before coming up for more fresh air! So close that the spout so loud, deft steady for just seconds.
Our second dive was nice and relaxed, white tips are faithful to the rock, always there, no matter how many pictures you have taken of them, you still want more, they have something inviting you go for more pictures, current did the same took us around the rock, just a few Galapagos shark and fish.  We were still enjoying of a beautiful sunny day, nice air temperature, whales still around, so u think lunch time or whale time!
Many decided to go looking for whales on the third dive, others opted to scuba dive.  The snorkeling was really worth it, about 3 times we dropped in the water to snorkel with them, and each time we did was when they needed to come up for fresh air which was about 15minutes, they were hanging around at the same depth each time, 18 to 21m/60 to 70ft of water. The female steadily hovering, not moving a fin, the male was in a vertical position barely away from her, almost touching her with grooves, so they both doing a ‘’ T ‘’ figure! The Male had to constantly move his tail and pectoral fins ever so slowly open to keep up in position for as long as female stayed there, other time the same ‘’ T ‘’position, sun light rays penetrating in angle, hitting their massive body. Since we are away from the rock some silky sharks were coming up from the depth curious about what’s happening on the surface! Silky sharks around something else can be as well, in fact between the surface and whales a massive school of striped bonitos were covering or almost blocking our view, so we actually behave on the surface not splashing water with fins or hands, that could be one of the reasons they stayed longer with us! The celebrations to end the snorkeling was to eye witness and hear the jump full body out the water and the noise of splashing an amount of water.
While diving had also something remarkable! Current still there from East, lots of fish, white tips and on the south West Point a bigger school of hammerheads as many as about 80 individuals, their dive was done, mission accomplished successfully! Then they catch up with us doing the last part of the snorkeling being also able to eye witness from the zodiac the full jump out the water.
    Hopping for more excitement tomorrow at Roca….
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata, Solmar V.

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