Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mantas, dolphins, and hammerheads at EL CAÑON!

May 20, 2015    Mantas. Dolphins and Hammer heads at EL CAÑON
   Our morning started with dolphins, smooth surface, no wind and very sunny, so wet suits on, dive briefing done, let‘s go diving! Vis was about 12 to 18m/40 to 60 ft, water temp 25˚C/77˚F, slow current from West, fish very active this morning as we are descending, current always brings something to feed on, we are in mid water 18m/60ft, our left side just water our right side the reef, behind the all Pacific creolefish two black shadows as we are getting closer, Big Eye Jacks near the place we call the corner are spreading out, the two shadows are now very visible turning into two mantas, just there, not approaching to us, on the rocks white tip sharks sort of recognizing the area once again from the nigh feeding frenzy, now listen! Dophins chiping! The sound they are doing means they are chasing fish so we followed the line of fish in the way there the company of mantas making circles around u, why not! We take that! Then 5 dolphins showed up chasing those jacks, just like on the surface Frigate bird chase boobies underwater dolphins chase jacks to get the fish out of its bellies, a lonely huge hammer head also appear on the bottom, slowly swimming, going over the rocks then sandy areas, a bit away another group divers having fun with mantas then dolphins, as we are swimming a bit into the current from West mama dolphins showing its little one to recognize which fish to chase, obviously we had fun mimicking the dolphin swim, the Jacks still out there in the blue let’s go check that out, any way dive computers are almost to start beeping, jacks are not moving from the same area even though we are coming closer, we see shadows of hammer heads behind those fish, this is only 12 to 15m/40 to 50 ft of water, looking into the light 1 really shows up then 2 and 3… so ended up with 7 of them  slowly making circles in front of us, the safety stop happened below the Solmar V with lots of juvenile Black Jacks and 5 very curious silky sharks.
    In a second dive more mantas in a current that changed during surface interval, we noticed the change on water temp dropping also to be chili 22.2˚C/72˚F, now flowing from East we took the ride in the current, some hammerheads as well here and there but mantas were with us all the way from EL cañonto to El Fondeadero, about 21 Diamond Head Sting rays as we drifted were detecting something on the sandy bottom.
    The surface interval so far has been incredible sunny, no wind so we are under the shield of the volcano Baecena with 332m/1089ft over the sea level.
    Once again we noticed current has changed direction, now from South East, which was really good, we had to swim into it for little time until the corner, area called as such because the reef turns West at this point, jacks still there so let´s go there! Below this amount fish looking as a tornado were sort of hiding 20 hammer heads, the return to the corner was grateful rewarded by a mantas awaiting on us to do more playing with bubbles, some divers had to do safety stop drifting under the protection of chase boats, others made it back to mother boat Solmar V to see those silky sharks once again.
    The final dive today, an upwelling cover the area until 18m/60ft of water, it’s green and cold, but fish were excited moving in all directions, big jacks as well, fish from the surface coming down to the line of temperature, all together changing behavior, 2mantas don’t want to come up to warmer water, it’s chili down here but we took that! Out there another wall of fish hiding 4 hammer heads behind and just one Black tip shark! Black tip! Yes a black tip shark that came back alone to the opposite direction, a mobula ray shows up, the colder temperature probably affecting behavior of green morays got into a fight exciting to see, any cold water is pushing us all up to shallow water that feels a lot more warmer to end the dive in a no boring way at all, below the Solmar V with those friendly silky sharks.
    Dive Inst
   Daniel Zapata, Solmar V.

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