Thursday, April 30, 2015

A shark filled 2nd day at Roca Partida!

April 29, 2015
Hola amigos!
Today was our second day of diving at Roca Partida, the conditions this morning indicated another great day of diving, and it was exactly like that! The water was still very warm, 77F/25C, and clear, with about 80ft/24m visibility. The current was coming from the west and it stayed like that during the whole day.
On our first dive we went into the water on the south west corner of the rock and we went straight out into the blue looking for the hammer head schools and we found them! At about 120ft/36m there they were, a school of about 50 sharks circled in front of us back and forth slowly getting closer and closer, suddenly they got a little shy and they started going away... The school actually split about 20 headed south and the rest north, so it was time for us to head back towards the rock, once on the rock we went around the south end where we found several galapagos sharks, all of them quite big, especially a couple of pregnant females! After checking them out, we headed to the west side where we went to check out the white tip reef sharks laying on the little ledges, and they were packed as usual, and not only with sharks, also several lobsters were in there!
For our second dive, we dropped in on the west side, this time we stayed closer to the rock in between the thousands of creole fish, and after waiting patiently for a few minutes sharks started showing up, some silver tips and Galapagos were cruising a little deep and 3 or 4 silky sharks would patrol shallower waters.  While the huge yellow fin tunas would make their appearance looking for a prey, shooting from deep waters straight at the fish, and actually swimming very close to us! It was a nice show to watch! After that excitement, we went around the south end again to check out the Galapagos sharks, and they were still there! It was time to start coming up and once we got to about 30ft/10m a chevron manta showed up, it came close and we thought that it might wanted to play, but then it then dissapeared into the blue.
On our third dive we decided to go look for the hammer heads again, but this time we had no luck, so we came back to the rock on the west side and there we found many silver tip sharks, a couple of silkys, and galapagos, not as much action as we were hoping for so we headed north, and there the action started! It was only for a few minutes but it was worth it to watch! A school of little anchovies came close to the rock being chased by 4 huge yellow fin tunas, those tunas are really really fast! It seems like they got tired quick as well and they came to check us out, before going for a second try at the anchovies. Next we headed back to the west followed the wall all the way to the south end, on the way we saw a couple of silver tip sharks and huge schools of black and cotton mouth jacks, once we got to the south we found another school of black jacks and we noticed a couple of hammer heads among them so we followed them and suddenly our patience paid off a school of about 30 hammerheads came from the deep and circled right bellow us for a few minutes, like they were saying "Goodbye and come back to Roca Partida!"
Awesome day and the best way to finish it... with a sunset BBQ on the bow of the boat!
Now we head towards Socorro island to dive Cabo Pearce, so stay tuned because there is more action coming our way!

Antonio Romero
Dive Instructor

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Once again, it's amazing to be at Roca Partida!

April 28, 2015 
Today we woke up at Roca Partida and once again its amazing to be here. The day started a bit cloudy and windy but it got better and it ended being a beautiful day. The water temperature was 24C/75F and visibility was around 100ft/30m!
On the first dive, we started on the south point of the rock where there was a huge cloud of creole fish, triggers and jacks, in the middle of it lots silver tip sharks and some big tunas hunting! It is always nice to see the sharks swimming by the schools of fish and everything looks calm then suddenly you hear that loud explosion like sound and everything hiding close to the rock and a couple of seconds after you see that it is the yellow fin tuna hunting. From there we went to the north part of the rock looking for some dolphins that we had heard and we found them, 15 bottlenose dolphins.
For the second dive we saw the clouds of fish again, some big Galapagos sharks, a school of 20 hammerheads and a big manta, but the highlight was something really rare to see around here a molamola this very weird prehistoric looking fish. The third dive was all about the tunas hunting again this time on the north part of the rock on shallow water and also some small schools of bonitas passed by.
Tomorrow we have planned one more day of diving in Roca Partida hope it will be as good and as unusual as today was.
Thiago Mendonca
Dive Instructor

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mantas, silky sharks, and more on our first full day back at San Benedicto!

April 27, 2015
Hi folks!
Today was our first full dive day of this trip. We started diving at El Cañón at 8:00 am, we jumped off the back the boat, since we had good weather, we could anchor at the dive site from the stern, too! We descended to 70’/21 m and hit the bottom with a chilly water temperature of 24C/75F and a visibility of over 50’/15m.
So, we swam up to the typical cleaning station that the hammerhead sharks use on a regular basis, however, this time they weren’t there. We headed to the other corner of the cleaning station and saw the glimpse of a lonely hammerhead that got cleaned by few butterfly fishes; it hung around for a bit for later disappeared in the dark deep blue. We started to getting low on air so we had to swim back to the boat, on the way there, we intercepted a chevron manta that was begging for some bubble jobs :), of course we immediately pleased this 14’/4m majestic animal and it followed us all the way to the ascent line! That was how our first dive of today ended. The second and third dives were a bit sharky. 5 Silky sharks swam back and forth to the boat just to hang out right under the boat, they literally stayed around for almost 3 hrs. These curious sharks gave everyone very close-up passes, and made for some thrilling diving!  We spent the entire fourth dive checking scorpion fishes, diamond stingrays and one more time the five silky sharks that awaited for us by the hanging air supply system.We had another high-octane dive!
Tonight we’re heading to the grand Roca Partida! Let’s see what awaits us this time! Stayed tuned and don’t miss the Roca Partida news!
Hasta la vista!
Erick Higuera

Friday, April 24, 2015

Extremely playful mantas and dolphins at San Benedicto Island!

Hola everyone! April 23, 2015 
More extremely playful mantas and dolphins today!
This morning started a bit chilly, with high clouds and an external air temp of 24˚C/75˚F and we are all very excited about our final day of diving at El Boiler on this trip! 
From the surface we can see the bottom at 36m/120ft, and once in the water, right away mantas were visible. They were out in the distance a bit, we know they sometimes need time to get used to divers, and as the minutes went by we found ourselves 20m/66ft deep on the west side of the rock amazed by the amount of fish in mid water and the great visibility. Big eye jacks for the most part, but everything was so quiet! It is such a unique experience to be part of the underwater world for just minutes surrounded by only fish, and as we noticed jacks started to leave the rock, the mantas were coming closer and closer. We could hear the chirping sound of dolphins and noticed that it was different this morning, because were chasing other fish! So we go more into the blue keeping our eyes open, and we found the school of jacks along with the dolphins rapidly chasing the jacks. The dolphins were not alone, a black tip shark also noticed the activity, so we had a shark chasing the other two! We could tell the shark was really excited, swimming fast with pectoral fins pointing down! Among the dolphins there was one with dorsal fin bent, we were happy to see it, as we haven't seen it in quite a while! 
Back from the dolphins and close to the rock mantas were there already awaiting! 4 giant mantas coming from all directions, they were so playful, watching everything from afar everybody was having fun, there was a vertical stream of bubbles, with mantas getting their bubble massages! Minutes and minute of that! FUN FUN! 
For the rest of the day we did 3 more dives, and the highlight of each of those dives was the mantas! For most of the dives our lucky number was 4, which means we had 4 mantas... the exception was the last dive where we had 7 mantas together at one point, black ones and chevrons! Water temp did stay the same, vis decreasing a bit towards the end of the day while the mantas interaction was increasing! Today was our second day at El Boiler, an indicator of how good the diving has been. Just below the Solmar V in an area from 24m/80ft to the surface mantas were congregated, they were really coming from all directions, mantas just below divers, mantas just above head of divers enjoying bubbles, a manta sandwich, diver manta diver, at some point it's so much fun that it becomes a scoring points game, make sure your bubbles hit gentle the belly to deliver the joy mantas like! Still in the area an enormous yellow fin tuna that has been terrorizing all fish of El Boiler, every time it passes by all fish retracts to seek protection on the rock, it is easily be 90kg/200Lb, and at the same time such a perfect predator.
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata, Solmar V.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Back at San Benedicto with lots of manta interaction!

Hola Hola.
Today we were back at San Benedicto Island the day started a bit cloudy and windy but later on the sky cleared and the weather was just perfect!
Our first dive was at El Cañon and there was a thermocline that made the water temperature drop to about 72F/22C and the visibility was around 40ft/12m. On this dive we went to the edge of the reef as usual to try to find some hammerhead sharks but we did not see any this time... There were a lot of jacks and one big manta going around and by the boat three silky sharks swimming in shallow water.
After that dive we decided to move to El boiler because judging by the weather conditions we thought there would be more action on the other side of the island and we were right! The temperature was a bit higher 78F/25C and visibility 80ft/24m. We did the next three dives there with about seven mantas and lots of interaction all the time! Beside the mantas, each dive had a different highlight. On the first one we had some dolphins just off the reef, on the second one four hammerheads really close by and on the third one a huge school of big eye jacks, just amazing all of them!
Tomorrow is our last day of diving on this trip witch has been great with mantas, whales, whale shark, hammerheads, tiger shark all the things that are rare to see plus all of our usual marine life. For our last day we have planned four dives at EL Boiler so let’s see how this incredible trip ends.
Thiago Mendonca
Dive Instructor

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Two lesser known dive sites at Socorro Island!

Hola again!
Today we spent the day at two different dive sites, we did our first two dives in “Punta Tosca”, where we found a very good visibility of about 80ft/24m and the water temperature was 78F/25.5C. On our two dives there we took our time to explore different parts of the dive site, on the big bar that provides us a very nice wall dive we found many schools of  bi-color parrot, creole and trigger fish, a couple of very big yellow fin tunas, white tip reef sharks, juvenile Galapagos sharks and even a shy chevron manta that swam around us for several minutes without wanting to play, before disappearing in the blue waters! On the shallow area of the dive site we found a lot more white tip reef sharks, many very curious juvenile Galapagos sharks, that would get close when you were looking somewhere else but as soon as you gave them your attention they would swim away, we also found another chevron manta there by the end of our second dive, but again no luck on getting it to play, so we left at lunch time to go back to “Cabo Pearce” where we would finish our day of diving.
We did two more dives at “Cabo Pearce”, on the first one we swam around the whole dive site, deep and shallow area, but no luck, until right at then end when we were poking around the rocks looking at octopus, moray eels and white tip reef sharks, first a chevron manta made its appearance, and a few minutes later 3 bottle nose dolphins came and started playing with us! They were circling around us for a few minutes and then they started swimming right next to us slowly and looking at us! It was awesome! This lasted several minutes before we had to go up the line, as we were getting low on air.
For our last dive of the day we spotted the dolphins at surface from the boat, so we jumped in and for our surprise there was ten dolphins this time, and again the show started...swimming up and down, around us, in between us, and then they started going in vertical position and dropping down slowly, all the way down to the sandy bottom where they would lay down motionless for a few seconds before going crazy again to play around us! All of this excitment in the middle of a very strong south current that made our dive a little short, but 35-40 minutes with these dolphins was enough to leave smiles in our faces.
Now we head back to San Benedicto where we will spend our two last days of diving of the trip!
Stay tuned!
Antonio Romero
Dive Instructor

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mantas, hammerheads, and paper nautilus!

Hi All!
Paper Nautilus in Cabo Pearce, unique event!
As early as 7:30 am our first group jumped into the water, dolphins got us very interested while doing dive briefing, so we rushed to get going!
The descent line was very helpful to make a controlled descend due to current affecting the reef from South side, other conditions made the dive very enjoyable, water temp from 24˚C/75˚F to even 26.6˚C/80˚F, Vis was changing throughout the day from 10m/30ft to 30m/100ft, the funny thing is to see half of the reef in just gorgeous blue water while the other half sort of green color and colder, any way the current wasn’t bad, it brought other unexpected visitors! Fish were active on the reef, mantas a bit shy and at the distance taking time to come into the area, in a short parade we had 4 Chevron Mantas flying by trying to get to the cleaning station, but it seems that this morning the amount of clarion fish endemic to the island were not enough Mantas felt lonely this morning and slow interaction with divers, the shallowest area was really nice, hard coral on brown and green color, blue water made the reef look perfect and colorful!
A no current dive made the second one easy to explore half way to the end of the reef, we are still in search for some hammer heads, an area with lots of barber fish was awaiting for some other visitors to be cleaned out like sharks and dolphins, the usual guys were there too, leather bass, long nose butter fly fish, lobsters, jacks, trumpet fish, Pacific Creolefish, etc. the return to anchor line was easy easy, 3 chevron mantas intercepted us but there was something still not making them friendly, we got to a second cleaning station awaited there, sting rays , parrot fish, crown of thorns sea stars, sea cucumbers, flounders, white tip reef sharks etc sort entertained us for not too long, 5 to 6 mantas showed up at the cleaning station, one of them really stayed for at least 20 minutes, we counted up to 30 clarion fish following manta while it was getting in position, it was like a little gang boys chasing the ice cream cart, we observed the cleaning so close that we even noticed when clarion are actually eating those parasites, aside from that the manta had the time to pose over our heads to enjoy the bubble massage too! The trail of fish following that manta made it look like when we say"don’t leave! Don’t leave!", it was really nice contrast watching cleaning behavior in only 7m/21ft of water having plenty of light to see real colors,  the manta with 5 rounded spots on its extremely white color belly, the black color of its back with white color shoulders, a dolphin showed up just to say Hi and left the area!
Wind just picked up and with it a bit of current from North! So the third dive took place over the reef only, no swimming, max depth 24m/80ft, we can tell colder water is there in deeper water, it looks green! But the amazing thing is what current can bring, empty shells here and there, not clams or oysters, empty shells of Paper Nautilus! We followed the trail and found clusters of them, so unique in this area! There were 3 clusters each one with about 40 Nautilus, on the rocks, we got to see them so close without touching them at all, the little tentacles, sucker cups, eyes, but in a small version we had a bit of pray and predator action, a leather bass was there kind of just watching until finally one Nautilus left the protection of shell, the next second it was history, it got swallowed whole by the fish! A green moray also got in the area, she looked so hungry, sticking its snout was pushing and pushing them trying to separate the cluster, she finally did it! Next thing was to see Nautilus in its mouth, green moray closing jaws squeezing strong, black ink coming out of it mouth! A different cluster rolled off from the protection of a ledge, obviously other predators were there and ready, leather bass, flag cabrillas, jacks and even clarion fish had a feast on them! The same moray swam over the third cluster just guarding it, we can tell how she was smelling the cluster by the way moray was acting! Out of 50 to 60 Nautilus we counted only 11 were still alive before we got out the water, on the other side if the reef other divers after had fun enjoying the company of a chevron manta.
On the surface interval hoping to see dolphins approaching to the dive area we saw more clusters of Paper Nautilus adrift, it could be from 40 to 50 each cluster.
Our final dive today was very slow on mantas so the reef once again saved our dive, guest what! More clusters of Paper Nautilus, obviously more predators guarding it! We counted about 300 to 400 hundred Paper Nautilus in the area of Cabo Pearce.
    Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata, Solmar V.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The first dive was unbelievable, the second was amazing, and the third was unforgettable!!

Another great day at Roca Partida we had three awesome dives today or as one of our guests said, the first one was unbelievable, the second one amazing and the third one unforgettable. The weather was still the same a bit cloudy but warm and the water temperature 77F/25C.
We all woke up with the hopes of seeing the humpback whales again but from the boat there was no sign of them so we got ready got on the zodiacs and headed to the rock, as soon as the zodiac started moving the dolphins started following us witch is always a good sign and right before we got in the water we saw the whales close to the rock, at that moment we all knew it would be an amazing dive.
As soon as we got in the water there was a school of bonitas starting a bait ball formation with some silky sharks chasing it we started swimming in its direction but that was when we heard the dolphins and they were right behind us so we decided to go with them instead, about ten dolphins being very playful. After a bit the dolphins went away and we saw a school of yellow fin tunas in the distance and right behind it the big school of bonitas again this time stretched out running away from silky, silver tip and Galapagos sharks then it turned in to a bait ball again and then disappeared. But that was not it we saw the dolphins again and we stayed with them till the end of the dive and just to top it off when we were doing our safety stop and everybody thought the dive had ended there they were the two humpback whales right next to the rock, just unbelievable to see how much life and different behaviors Roca Partida had today.
On the second dive the south part of the rock was covered by clouds of fish and some big tunas hunting, which was nice but the real highlight was the last dive. As soon as we entered the water we look down and there they were the humpback whales right next to the rock again and this time they let us get extremely close to them they were there just hovering until it was time for them to breathe and they went up and disappeared,  but we waited a bit and they came back and stayed there again after a while they started to move away very slowly so we tried to catch up with them but of course they are way faster than us and we finished this unbelievable dive out in the blue water.
Tonight we leave Roca Partida one again grateful for being able to appreciate the best that this place has to offer.Tomorrow we will be as Socorro Island doing some dives in Cabo Pearce hoping for lots of manta action, so keep tuned.
Thiago Mendonca
Dive Instructor

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Clouds of fish on the south side of the rock, and two humpback still hanging around Roca Partida!

Hola amigos!
Since we got to Roca this morning with very smooth seas and a beautiful sunrise we knew it was going to be a great day!
Loaded the tanks on the zodiacs and at 8:15 we went for our first dive. We started the dive on the south end of the rock as the light current was hitting the rock right on that point and as we dropped into the water we felt a very nice warm water, 77F/25C. The south was covered with clouds and clouds of fish, creole, trigger, different kinds of jacks like cotton mouth, black and big eye trevallies surrounded the rock, and among them a lot of white tip reef sharks patrolled the area, we dropped down to 100ft/30m and first thing i saw on the distance hammer heads! A small school swimming close to the rock, so i turned around to signal my divers that we had sharks and as soon as i turned back we had a 20ft/6m whale shark right next to us! i screamed trough my regulator and pointed out, we all swam to it and gave it its own space and it swam very slowly in front of us, we got great shots of it by the way,  but that was not all after those magic 5 first  minutes of the dive we swam out to look for the hammer heads and we found some! A school of about 12 was swimming a little ahead of us and were shy, so we looked down and we had another school of about 20 swimming probably 15m/50ft below us! A great way to start the day I would say! So after that we went around to the east side to all the little ledges packed with white tip reef sharks and relaxed there for a few minutes, got some great pictures of this great sharks that lay down to rest during the day and hunt during the night, then we kept going to the north and there we spotted a huge Galapagos shark on the distance before we headed up to our safety stop.
For our second dive we went in in the south west corner and again went down in between all this thousands of fish, headed out into the blue looking for hammer heads but we only found one this time, something that we would forget a few minutes after. So after swimming all the way to the east with no luck we headed to visit the ledges of the white tips and then headed north were we saw 6 silver tip sharks and a Galapagos shark swimming about 10m/30ft below us, so almost the end of the dive and we decided to just drift and see what we could find out in the blue, the first few minutes nothing, but then a silky shark showed up, checked us out and left, then more minutes went by and no luck so we headed up to our safety stop where we started to hear some dolphins but out in the distance, then the sound started getting closer and closer and suddenly one dolphin appeared and started playing with us, we did our dolphin style swim and it like it, and started swimming around us for several minutes, then another one came, but this one was not interested on us, then we could hear more of them so we turned around and yes! 4 more were right there so the 6 of them started playing, we were having so much fun  and suddenly i turned around and saw more dolphins and a huge shadow right at the surface, kicked a few meters/feet closer and 2 HUMPBACK WHALES where right behind these dolphins, all swimming together like a big family, very relaxed the y went up to the surface, took a breath swam in front of us and then started heading down, all this very slowly so we could enjoy, then after stopping at about 20m/60ft then disappeared into the deep, we were so happy that you could see our huge smiles even with the regulators on! But that was not all! The dolphins came back for a few minutes and then we surfaced, once there talking about how great it was and how lucky we were, two dolphins came and started doing somersaults right next to us and I mean 6ft/2m await from us! What a show!
On our third and last dive of the day we took it easy and stayed on the west side where we were entertained by some tunas hunting and a few sharks, then we headed to the east side to finally drift away into the blue going east, and a few meters of the rock there they were again! The 2 humpbacks were just hovering at about 70ft/21m, let us see them for a couple of minutes and then they disappeared into the blue waters.
Now back on the boat we see the whales swimming around us and the rock, getting close to the boat, being friendly, so we hope they stick around and com to check us out tomorrow on our second day here in Roca Partida.

Stay tuned!

Antonio Romero
Dive Instructor

Friday, April 17, 2015

Black tip, Galapagos, silver tip, tiger, and whale shark on our first full day at San Benedicto!

Hi All! April 16, 2015
    Good atmosphere of enthusiastic divers this morning.
    A partially clouded sky, air temp 24˚C/75˚F and just a mild breeze in the area, the dive site EL BOILER was affected by a mild current from South keeping all the fish on the same side of the rock, as usual Pacific Creolefish were accompanying us along the rock, they were very active by the way due in part to all the nutrients in the water. Close to the bottom 33m/110ft Big Eye Jacks were making circles on the same spot, white sandy bottom shaped in sand dunes, some white tip sharks swimming just above it made a nice contrast inviting to go deeper, we are suspended at 24m/80ft we see the bottom so clear and up the surface, all around us its just blue water, so we let go from the area of current drifting covering West side, two mantas just found us! They did not stay for too long, below us lots of bi-color parrot fish were doing what seemed to be a mating behavior, toward the end of the dive one of the previous manta became extra friendly with all divers, immersed very well on all and every single thing of the dive time goes by fast while a hump back whale didn’t stop singing, very loud at moments.
Our surface interval was about 25˚C/77˚F air temp, thin clouds sort of blocking sunlight, by the bow of Solmar V was the perfect place to warm up, great view watching boobies landing there and a Manta jump out of the water, at the distance still 3 hump back whales visible, dolphins just arrived!
Mother Nature brings unexpected life in a short time!
On a second dive the amount of current decreased almost to cero letting us cover more area of EL BOILER, Hammer heads were not around but instead a Galapagos and Black tip shark kept their respective distance from divers. A very mild drifting into west side brought the really close encounter between our videographer and a tiger shark, for some diver it looked like a juvenile whale shark of about 5m/15ft in length, but it obviously wasn’t! The stripes tell! So if he could he would have touched it! We spent short time in the blue to find sharks, returning to the rock we were immediately followed by 5 mantas loving our bubble, everyone had the opportunity to swim along with them, at the same time mantas kept looking for divers to blow more and more bubbles, the interaction was as good as mantas doing a sandwich with divers in a vertical and horizontal position, two lonely hammer heads showed up below the manta action for a short time! Still mantas gained our attention once again, a school of Big Eye Jacks surprised us by swimming a bit faster than normal and out of control just like anything could be chasing them, white tips sharks did its part as well keeping other divers occupied taking close ups.
The gracefully swimming of mantas kept most of us interested even at the safety stop by swimming by repeatedly just under the descend/ascend line, a male hump back whale made the dive unforgettable with its constant singing/vocalizations, dolphins were absent underwater today although they did a bit of chirping.
So nice to be submerged and get to the point to feel the life underwater, everything that you are surrounded by, fish, sharks, mantas, eels, lobsters, etc.
A third dive was just like that! No current at all, vis 30m/100ft, so the blue water kept catching our curiosity to go farther every time on the West side, and do the -----Hope for something!---- which brought to us a Whale Shark of about 7m/21ft long approx… not really friendly, but it counts! The manta fun continued for as long as until end of the dive, meanwhile we kept an eye on the blue water hopping for the whale shark again, it did not come back again! Mantas moved to the North side of the rock which was convenient, safety stop line was just above us, Black and chevron mantas have been so playful today! In a competition the black ones would take the first place today!
Our final dive today number 4, I can describe it as a Manta Festival, everything happened on the West side, we had 7 to 8 mantas together, for as long as 60 minutes, bubbles everywhere, mantas all over the place! Divers extremely happy swimming under the mantas, above mantas, alongside, eye to eye contact! As huge as the mantas are 4 to 5m/ 12 to 15ft you could almost put them on as Mexican sombrero, they are barely above your head, they want more bubbles, at the same time they are sinking you to deeper water, that tells how much mantas enjoy when we blow bubbles on their bellies, most of the Mantas were different on each dive! How things can change, we also had mantas chasing divers for more bubbles, sadly no hump back whale singing any more made the dive so silent, a silver tip shark seemed to be out of place not knowing where to go among so many mantas, divers and bubbles.
        Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata, Solmar V.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Las Cuevas was the site for our latest checkout dive!

Here we are once again at San Benedicto Island it was a very smooth ride out here it was a bit cloudy but as soon as we approached San Benedicto the sky cleared and the sun came out.
We arrived in the afternoon witch only gave us time for one check out dive at Las Cuevas. This dive site is great for a check out dive since it is shallow and has a couple of swim troughs and channels perfect for practicing your buoyancy. The water is still warm 78F/26C and the visibility was around 40ft/12m. On this dive we were able to see the usual stuff from Las Cuevas, lobsters walking around lots of white tip reef sharks and snappers on the swim troughs. There was also a green turtle getting cleaned by some clarion fish and right under the boat about five juvenile silvertip sharks going around in circles.
We ended the day with a delicious Mexican style barbeque as we enjoyed the sunset over San Benedicto. Tomorrow we are planning on going for four dives at el El Boiler, this is just the start of our trip so keep tuned to know what happens next.
Thiago Mendonca
Dive Instructor

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Four amazing dives at El Boiler on our last day of this extended trip!

Today was our last day of diving on this extended 14 day trip and we had four amazing dives at EL Boiler, the water temperature was 78F/25.5C and the visibility around 80ft/24m. The highlight of the day was the first dive it was a dolphin party as our gests said. As soon as we got in the water they were there eight bottlenose dolphins being very playful. They hung out with us for about 25 minutes. It is always a very unique dive when we encounter dolphins here at Socorro, sometimes like today they get very curious especially when the divers start doing the dolphin swim and trying to interact with them, the best is when they came straight at you stop and look at you right in the eye.
On the second dive we had a lot of manta action it started with only a couple but at the end we had about eight of them around us enjoying our bubbles. Towards the end of the dive a whale shark passed by us close to the surface but it was going pretty fast so we couldn’t get a close look at it. On the third and fourth dive there was a lot of manta action to, a perfect way to end the trip with a nice relaxed clear water manta dive.
Now we are heading back to Cabo and will be there for a couple of days and then of course going out on another trip so keep tuned to see what happens next on the Solmar V.
Thiago Mendonca
Dive Isntructor

Friday, April 10, 2015

Back to San Benedicto!

Hola amigos!
Last night we left Roca Partida after 4 days of great diving there and headed back to San Benedicto island. The crossing was a little bumpy and it took us about 9 hours to get here, but we made it! 5 am we were already at “El Cañón”, we decided to give it another try and see if this time it had more action for us than last time...and it did!
The conditions today were good, water temperature of 78F/25.5C, and visibility of around 50ft/15m.
The first dive was a little slow, couple of hammer heads and a manta on the distance and a very mild current from the west, but on the second dive action picked up!...current switch and it was coming from the east this time so we swam out to the east corner of the dive site and as we got there we spotted 3 huge hammer heads and a oceanic black tip, the hammer heads came closer and as we lay down on the rocks they circled infront of us a couple of times, right after they left 4 chevron mantas showed up and the show continued mantas came to play with all the divers, they would hover over our heads and then head into the blue to come back for more bubbles!...this went on for about 25 minutes, then was time to start heading back to the ascent line and a couple of mantas followed us to keep playing around the ascent line, taking divers all the way down to the sandy bottom, it was just incredible, mantas wanted to keep playing but had no more bottom time left so time to head up, but for our surprise we had more action right bellow the boat, where a school of juvenile black jacks, a few big eye trevallies, a school of skip jacks and 4 silky sharks were waiting for us to keep shooting pictures and video and of course to keep having fun!
Then on our third and fourth dive some divers decided to go explore around the rocks and the sandy area looking for more hammer heads, sting rays, moray eels, lobsters, and white tip reef sharks while some other divers decided to stay right under the boat enjoying the silky show, at the end everybody ended up diving around the boat playing with mantas, silkys and the thousands of fish just bellow the Solmar V.
Now after a great BBQ, prepared by our chef Tony, we rest by the volcano of San Benedicto to be ready tomorrow morning to navigate around to the west side of the island and dive  with a lot of mantas, hopefully dolphin and hammer head action at“El Boiler” in our last day of diving of this trip.
Stay tuned!

Antonio Romero
Dive Instructor

Thursday, April 9, 2015

4th day at Roca Partida!!

Hi All! April 7, 2015
    4th day at Roca! It speaks for itself!
    The brown shadow beneath the surface caught our attention at the moment of suiting up for the first dive of the morning! As it came up to even shallower water it reveals itself to be a whale shark! We thought oh! Once again whale shark from yesterday, in a hurry we got ready to go we knew it was going to follow us to the rock.
    Around Roca current was flowing from West side which was our point of descend, beautiful crystal clear water, 25.5˚C/78˚F wat temp, schools of Pacific Creolefish moving in a slow motion covering from surface down to 18m/60ft of water, using efficiently our air consumption we minimize the bubble formation so all fish were there with us instead of moving away from our swim through, as we dive deeper searching for hammer heads we look back to our before position a manta comes by the wall, any way in our heads was the image of hammer heads so not too far ahead a congregation of Black Jacks shows up, we know then shark are nearby, just wait and wait, current wasn’t that strong in this area so we could wait, then one hammer head, then two hammer heads then more, we counted up to 20 making circles and swimming a bit sideways on the same area at 40m/130ft deep approx, the almost cero current took back to the wall, we enjoyed the unique formation of Cotton Mouth Jacks all dressing on Black this time to make it even more jaw dropping the whale shark just swims slow over our heads,  we thought she is back, the same one from yesterday, other sharks here and there, Galapagos, silver tips, white tips, not much left from the fish ball of stripe bonitos so sharks are well feed and happy here at Roca, the sea lion made home a rock on the South part of Roca so she was there with us becoming friendlier each time, we respect a lot the sea life so our reward was the return of whale shark in very shallow water, good because we didn’t want to feel alone on the safety stop!
   On our surface interval we had the opportunity to compare picts of whale shark from yesterday and today, guess what!!! The one from today is not the same one from yesterday, they both females, same length, difficult to know where they are coming from, probably the same path with hours difference to find Roca, just amazing!!! By the way our guests decided to name her Dolores!
    A second dive was affected a bit more by the current from West which was good! In our roll back entry we almost hit Dolores whale shark since she was just below the surface, looking at the other side we had the same great view of fish but now accompanied by 3 dolphins, it is breathtaking the amount fish congregation in this area! Finally we found a good number of hammer heads on the South West point of the rock, deep very deep water! 40 to 50 sharks, current brought us back to East side to find and enjoy more of the whale shark and sea lion.
    Our final dive at Roca! We don’t want to leave! Such a great place! Not really thinking about hammer heads since they are in deep water and it was time to take a break from sort of deep dives, lots of lobsters, eels, Moorish idols, long nose butterfly fish, jacks, pacific creolefish, trumpet fish, gorgeous wall! Hard coral in green and brown color! We drifted from West to North point finding East side, nice ride! Even better because we found a dense school of jacks at 18m/60ft of water, now guess whats below them! Of course hammer heads, a big number of then, we followed the school until South area right where the current didn’t let us swim into it! Unfortunately no whale shark this dive, we missed the singing of hump back whales, in 4 days no one single whale around Roca, so we think the season is really coming to an end.
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata, Solmar V.