Friday, June 19, 2015

Schooling hammerhead sharks, and the biggest school of yellow fin tuna our dive instructor has seen!

Hola amigos!
As you know we stayed at Roca Partida for a second day of diving and today turned out to be spectacular!
We woke up next to this magic rock with a very cloudy day, we did not see the sun at all, but the diving made us forget about it! The sea was calm, when we first got in the water we felt it was a little bit cooler than yesterday, about 73F/23C, and visibility was about 70ft/21m.
On our first dive we went down on the east side of the rock, from there we noticed that the current was so strong that we couldn't swim into it at all, so after a few minutes there hanging in between of thousands of creole fish and seeing a couple of silver tip sharks swimming by we decided to head north, looking for the bottle nose dolphins that we saw at the surface on our ride to the dive site! There they were, a pod of 5 or 6 came to play, not for long, but it was enough to make us smile!
After that and once we went around to the west side drifting with the current, we noticed not much action there so we swam to the south end where we found a lot of white tip reef sharks swimming around in circles as they do when they are getting ready to mate, after looking at them and taking pretty good shots there we head back to the west where we found another of the groups playing with the dolphins so we tried to join, but they were already leaving, then the other group saw a school of about 40 hammer heads right below them, but sadly for us being our very last part of the dive we were to shallow to be able to see them, so we head to our safety stop and back on the boat.
For our second dive we could tell from the surface how the current increased, so we went down again on the east side and this time current changed direction a little bit and it was coming from the south east, so we kicked a little to get into the “safe zone” and once there surrounded by thousands of all kinds of fish, like different kinds of jacks, trigger, pompanos, creole and even a few puffer fish, we just stayed nearly in the same spot for most of the dive just looking at the white tip, silky, silver tip and Galapagos sharks go by! An occasional tuna would swim by and all the fish would just swim as fast as possible back to the rock to get some protection from this hunters, what a great show to watch!
But that was not it, the third and last dive of the day got even better! Current slowed down a little so we went to the same south east corner to enjoy the show, but this time tunas were just amazingly crazy! As we were there looking at all the sharks a few massive yellow fin tunas went by, followed by a huge school of bonitos a little deeper being followed and hunt by silky and silver tip sharks, so we swam out into the blue, not too far from the rock to take a better look and for our surprise once they left a massive schools of yellow fin tunas started showing up from all directions, from small, to medium to gigantic tunas! some point they were swimming in front of us and suddenly they all turned towards us and went right in between us! Imagine huge yellow fin tunas swimming right next to you, it was just awesome! And among all of them the occasional silky shark will be hunting specially the smaller tunas, this show kept going for almost 25 minutes! We couldn't believe what we were watching! Definitely by far the largest school of tunas I have ever seen here at Roca!
Then we got back on board Solmar V and as we are about to start filling the tanks we saw false killer whales swim next to the boat! A big school by the way, so we jumped on one of the zodiacs and went after them to try to snorkel with them, but sadly they were swimming too fast for us and we couldn't catch up with them.
Any way a great day! Now we rest and try to process all that we saw today and hoping for more of that tomorrow, we will stay for another day of diving here at Roca Partida as the actions is very good at the moment!
Stay tuned!

Antonio Romero
Dive Instructor

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