Monday, March 28, 2016

4 friendly giant mantas helped close our trip at San Benedicto!

Today we had our last day of diving on this extended trip and we finished it off at El Boiler, the visibility was great varying from 60ft/18m to 100ft/30m and the water temperature was 74f/23C with just a mild current in the morning!
On the first dive of the day we just saw one manta pass by quickly but what was nice about this dive was a massive school of bonitas that passed by close to the pinnacle and then went under the boat, there were some silky sharks feeding on it and at one point as we were following it the whole school turned and headed straight toward us, later on this dive we also spotted a hammerhead swimming very slowly in shallow waters.
The other dives of the day were very similar we got to see white tips, jacks, lobsters eels, octopus and of course the main thing about El Boiler the mantas we saw 4 different ones trough out the day and this time all of them displaying the same behavior staying in really shallow waters almost on the surface close to the pinnacle going on top of the divers to enjoy their bubbles it was awesome and we had really long dives because it was all very shallow.
Now it is time to wait to see what happens in our next trip.
Tiago Mendonca
Dive Instructor

Sunday, March 27, 2016

An incredible day at Roca Partida with schooling hammerheads and a juvenile whale shark! Next stop, San Benedicto!

Hi everybody!
We are happy to inform that we had a great day of diving at Roca Partida, gladly the expectations has been succeeded and the guest are very happy enjoying their last days at Revillagigedo. Now we are getting ready to go back to Cabo but one last stop is waiting for us at San Benedicto Island.
The day couldn´t have been better with crystal clear water that reflected the sunshine, flat seas that made our day easy working in the pangas and open skies warming us at all moments. The diving conditions looked perfect and once in the water we had almost 120 ft/40 mts of visibility, thermoclines on the hotspots at the corners of Roca Partida and in between 50 ft/15 mts and 30 ft/10 mts, the current was mild heading from the east making the best spots the north and south of the islet.
To our surprise when we entered the water we started descending and a big shadow appeared under us, we weren't sure what it was, maybe a big Galapagos shark or a black manta but no!! It was a friendly juvenile female whale shark of about 5 meters that started swimming towards us, facing the divers and getting a close look at us! This girl kept swimming around the dive site from north to south, close to the rock and hovering close to the divers! At some point she went deeper heading south and encounter with a big school of hammerhead accompanied by a giant manta! We didn't know what to do, staying with the whale shark or splitting to follow the school of hammerheads so one group headed towards the rock with the whale shark and the rest went deeper with the hammerheads, definitely a decision that many people would like to have!! The whale shark kept coming to the rock near the south point until we had to come up for our safety stop!
For the second dive we headed straight where we left our friend whale shark but she didn´t show up and for this dive we had excellent conditions with great visibility, schools of fish everywhere, Galapagos shark are here and there with the occasional hammerhead swimming erratically between our divers! You never know what you might run into at Roca so you have to keep your eyes open! As the dive went on, we headed to the north because we heard dolphins and eventually found 6 of them rushing to the surface and then heading down to the depths playing and tapping their friends.
About the last dive, our purpose was to find the big school of hammerheads again so we choose to do a dive in the blue starting at the south point, we started going down and after about 20 minutes we found a solitary hammer that led us to his friends, the big school of 50 hammers swam between us for about 5 minutes and then disappear in the blue.
Great day of diving, waiting for more tomorrow at Boiler!
Rodrigo Marroquin, 
Dive Instructor.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Friendly dolphins underwater and breaching humpbacks at the surface made for an amazing day at Socorro Island!

Today we were in Socorro Island once again and we dove at Punta Tosca, the water temperature was 74f/23C the visibility about 80ft/24m and almost no current throughout the day.
On the first dive we went all along the wall that extends on this site and saw lots of small fish but nothing big until we got to the shallow area and started doing out safety stop and a black manta showed up and was being extremely friendly so we had to extend our dive for 15 more minutes which was very nice! On the second dive we had another very friendly manta and also a very friendly green turtle that stayed around for a long time and at one point bumped into one of the diver’s camera great for a photo opportunity!
For sure the third dive was the best one, not only of today but for all the trip so far! After going along the wall and drifting into the blue, a pod of bottlenose dolphins showed up about 15 of them and they were being super friendly, going around the divers and being very playful until one of them got so close to one diver that it touched him and the diver couldn’t help but doing the same and started petting the dolphin and he loved it! He stayed there while the other dolphin swam around the divers in circles,  then while the dolphin was still being petted another dolphin got right next to it and displayed the same behavior! It is always amazing to have wild animals let you get so close to their personal space, and what is even more interesting is that after viewing the videos from the dive we realized that we already knew one of the dolphins and it had already showed this behavior couple of years ago.
To end the day we had some humpback whales breaching close to the boat right in front of the sunset just an amazing day.

Thiago Mendonca
Dive Instructor

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hammerheads, mantas, dolphins and more at Socorro Island!

Hi everybody!
We are now in Socorro Island heading towards Punta Tosca for the dives of tomorrow after spending a great day in Cabo Pearce on the east side of the island.
The day started with a beautiful sunrise facing the full moon hiding behind the mounts in Socorro Island, quite impressive to see this especially with such a good conditions early morning, so the divers got an extra boost to start the day waiting what this place has to offer underwater.
The conditions were good for the first two dives with no current, clear water with 50 ft/15 mts of visibility, the wind was blowing a bit in the morning but in the afternoon got stronger with some whitecaps at surface, the current at some point during the third and fourth dive picked up facing the south but this is good in terms of marine life so the divers got excited about it! Along the rock of Cabo Pearce we could experience some thermoclines that helped to warm up eventually but the cold water it is still present with 74 F/ 23 C.
The best was the marine life; during the first dive we got to see hammerheads all the dive from 20 meters to 30 meters, swimming close to the divers and showing their characteristic shining making the divers very happy even at some point they mixed with dolphins that swim down to the depths and kept coming up to take some breaths at surface, showing their bellies and tricking the divers to go deeper. In the same dive we saw mantas, big tunas with about fifty juvenile swimming close to the hammerheads, even at some point the Galapagos showed at the edges of the rock coming close to us.
For the second and third dive we stayed closer to the rock trying to get away from the current so we focus on looking for the great variety of fishes in this place, some barber fishes, creole everywhere, and the flounders trying to disguise as well as the octopuses. We had a chevron manta very friendly that kept coming hovering between the divers enjoying the bubbles as always.
For the fourth dive we got a special gift when at the middle of the dive we saw a tiger shark in between a murky environment, the perfect scenario to encounter this magnificent animal, the size this time made us believe that it was a whale shark but the stripes and the shape confirm what was it… Tiger Shark!
Great day of diving, hope tomorrow will have good action too.

Rodrigo Marroquin
Dive Instructor
Solmar V

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Galapagos, silver tip, and silky sharks plus schooling hammerheads at Roca!

--Hi All!
March 23, 2016.
Glassy surface ocean, no wind blowing it is 6:35 am, we are already in the zodiacs heading towards Roca, the moon is perfectly round, bright and visible is still at a 20 degree angle above the horizon reflecting the light on the surface of the ocean!
No swells, no choppy surface but current from East made start our first dive here, at the count of 1uno, 2dos, and 3tres from our Zodiac Captain Geronimo we all rolled backwards! Dolphins are greeting us already on the surface, underwater looks still a bit dark, the moon light is not enough! We are descending at 20m/60ft, every single fish is still actively feeding! As we continue descending, two chevron mantas are chasing each other in deeper water, we
know soon they will come up to our depth, in the mean time we swim into the blue trespassing the school of Pacific Creole Fish, or vision is just blue water, at 30m/100ft our depth, (our nitrox mix 29% made possible spend extra time here), five hammer heads sharks were swimming perfectly lined up, no fish around! Dolphins are not leaving us alone, and we don't want them to! They found us again, we swam with them, I can say they got as excited as we did, their chirping got louder and louder as we swim making circles with them, of course the water temp 23C/73F didn't feel like it because of all the swimming we are doing with them! So we turned around started to swim back to the rock, a school of big eye Jacks were hiding behind 3 silver tip sharks, in the North East area all the fish were facing into the current, slowly wagging their tails, a group of 14 adult Galapagos shark in 25m/80ft are heading South, seen from above they really look like planes, 40 minutes have into the dive already and for many is time for a safety stop.
The current changed during the surface interval, air temperature 26C/78F, the water flows different on the surface, it made start our second dive away from the rock, drifting from North to find Roca, it also made improve our navigation skills! It was fun!!! Any way our negative entry put us right in the middle of massive school yellow fin tunas( 18m/60ft deep) that immediately started to close around us in a big circle, spinning around every thing was yellow fin tunas but just one silky shark didn't like the idea! It was behaving irregularly and came up to us several times investigating us as the tunas went away the silky did as well. By now the shadow of Roca is in front of us, so we are drifting in the current fast! We were very lucky have decided the North point, there must have been between 80 to a 100 Hammer Heads! What we saw below a school of big eye jacks, kicking to make some resistance against the current we managed to stay there for minutes! Why not! It really was worth the kicking! Finally disengaging from current drifted South along the wall, lots of white tip sharks there, I can say every ledge was packed with them! One more dive to complete 3 today! Due to same current the time in the rock was very short! Had time to visit once more all white tip sharks, little light now since sun has past the zenith and the rock blocking it as well, the  always friendly big eye jacks came around us to sort of hug us and the never ending swim circles on us, the South side offered us a little shelter against the current but colder water 21C/71F, At first it was kind of green water low vis, minutes later the 13 Galapagos plus one silver tip sharks came out of that green water, slowly swimming and so close to us they went by, only one Galapagos shark decided to return into that area of green water, of course we
followed it in the current, smart decision! On the other side just blue water, the Galapagos shark joined the school of Hammer heads we saw in the second dive, they still exist in this underwater world, we hope forever!
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata
Solmar V.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dolphins, silky sharks, manta, and more at Roca Partida!

Today we dove at Roca Partida it was a beautiful day super sunny and very calm seas, water temperature was 74f/23C and the visibility was around 100ft/30m. On the first dive as soon as we got in the water a couple of dolphins passed by but they did not stay for long after that we saw a big school of bonitos going very fast and some yellow fin tunas also. At the end of the dive the dolphins came back right on the surface this time there were 10 of them and there was one very young baby with its mother still showing him how to do some moves it was very interesting to watch because the juvenile did not had very good control over his buoyancy yet all of this with five silky sharks swimming under us.
On the second dive we had one very friendly manta that stayed around the entire time letting some of the divers get very close and feeling their bubbles.
To end the day we had one very curious hammerhead that came very close to us and stayed around for a bit and after that we finished the dive by the small caves were you can see all  the famous white tip sharks from Roca Partida cuddling very close to each other together with the lobsters and moray eels.
Thiago Mendonca
Dive Instructor

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We are heading towards Roca Partida, fter spending a good day of diving at San Benedicto

Hi everybody!
Today we are heading towards Roca Partida after spending a good day of diving at San Benedicto, specifically in Cañon and “Boiler”.
The conditions at Cañon were good with flat sea, no current, visibility of 50 ft/15 mts, the water temperature has dropped from the last trip to 74 F/23 C which made a cold day due the cloudy conditions but enjoyable, there were a few thermoclines close to the surface that helped the divers to warm up for little while.
The first two dives we dove in Cañon with a few mantas that kept coming to the surface, only one of them went all the way down to the sand so we had to drift with three of them making company and blowing bubbles. The divers seemed to enjoyed and the mantas cooperate a lot. On the first dive we got to see 5 hammerheads close to the edge of Cañon with other three frenetic silvertip that kept swimming and hunting at the cleaning station. The white tips where everywhere and the silkys swam around the boat getting very close to the divers, between the stubborn jacks and the hungry creole fish.
After the second dive we decided to change location because even though the conditions were good it could be better in Boiler, so we remove the anchor and headed towards Boiler that presented decent conditions, with mild swell, no current, good visibility with some parts of the site little murky but good enough to interact with the friendly mantas, two chevrons kept swimming to the top of Boiler and then rushing down. The jacks were another highlight building vertical formations close to the boat and the blue jacks swimming very close to the divers. The place had more fish than other times but unfortunately less mantas. We would have another shot for Boiler coming on, so lets wait to see dolphins and more mantas!
On our way to Roca hoping to have great shark action and why not finally a whale!!

Rodrigo Marroquin, dive instructor.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A little bit of everything on our checkout dive at El Fondeadero!

--March 20, 2016
Hi All!
Here we are arriving to San Benedicto Island, after a 24 hours journey from Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S. a wind from the stern of about 10 knts accompanied us all the way to here.
The South area of the island called EL FONDEADERO ( MOORING AREA ) is our dive site, sheltered from wind, no swells, it is 16:15 hours, air temp was 26C/ 78F, sunny, we are switching our environment for the next 50 minutes! We were all excited get in the water as soon as possible! One group of divers at the time break the surface of the water, experiencing 23C/73F water temp leaving behind our atmosphere, the descend line is there so we are pulling ourselves from it to the point that 2 silky sharks made us stop to see them, it seemed we are doing backwards, safety stop first! No current at all was nice for a check out dive today! In our dive everything was organized, appearing one thing at time! We are at 18m/ 60ft of water, the line stays behind to continue exploring, the bottom made a big group of Pacific Creole Fish feel secure, a green moray sticks more than half of its body out the crevice, opening and closing mouth intimating some of us, the lower part of a wall in front of us has an opening at base of it, we approached slowly to check it out! sunset will come soon, 5 white tip reef sharks still resting in there, soon they will change to hunting mode! The
composition of underwater topography took us up to 13m/45ft, hard coral here and there were some lobsters hiding under the rocks, long antennas sticking out of the rocks! Nice perspective to see the light penetrating into the water by looking into the sun! Vis 9m/30ft, Some greyish color sandy areas let us see Giant Electric Rays, a big heavy anchor with its long chain lays on the bottom, it has been long years there by how it looks and life attached to it made us think who can possible lost it while a Chevron Manta swims circles above our heads in shallower water enjoying our bubbles, so this manta gained out attention for minutes, we are in the middle she continues to swim circles around us, every time closer, by the way she swims, slowly, barely moving wings denotes no worries! 40 minutes have gone
into the dive, we see the descend line closer to us, a rock the comes up to 12m/40ft of water invites us to swim around it, of course lobsters, green morays eels, lots of yellow tail trigger fish, it is almost 17:00 hours in the evening we are still underwater, other things start to appear, silver tip sharks! The ascend line offered once again the stability of 5m/15 ft depth for our safety stop, 2 curious silky sharks keep coming closer and closer to us, safety stop done!….. The sunset is breathtaking today accompanied with a glass of red wine while
a very bright moon is already out in the opposite side.
Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Solmar V.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

We had so much action we didn't know which way to go!

Hi everybody!
Today we are on our way to San Benedicto Island after expending two unforgettable days at Roca Partida diving with a bunch of sharks during the whole dives, mantas, dolphins and all the rest of the visitors of this amazing little place on Earth!
The day started early with a beautiful sunrise helping us to awake full of energy to unload the zodiacs, get ready all the equipment and brief ours divers so day could have all the details for the dives this day due the conditions changed a lot here, therefore this time we decided to start the dives on the east face of the rock cause the current was heading from the north east and we knew the life was going to gather there always staying with the current bringing the best of the marine life!
The conditions were good with awesome visibility 120 ft/40 mts, 24 C/74 F temperature with thermoclines on the edges of the south and north faces of Roca, the current stayed coming from the northeast at some points strong but nothing too hard for the divers especially because at some moments of the dives we had to follow the sharks away from the rock we always made sure to get back to the rock using the current no matter sometimes here when you drift you get to see amazing stuff too!
Regarding marine life let’s say almost everything is here. On the first dive we got an amazing immersion with more than 40 hammerheads on the south side of the rock at 30 mts/90 ft, they gathered around the divers at a point that could see perfectly their features, then we encountered big groups of Galapagos sharks, about 50 along the dive coming and going all the east face sometimes getting into the current and leading us to the bigger groups mixed with silvertips and more hammerheads. The tunas were always hunting and chasing the creole fish that run desperately back to the rock to get shelter or even staying close to the divers on a clear sign of help!!
For the second dive we got to see mantas and dolphins swimming while we were watching the awesomeness of sharks all over the place, this wasn't going to stop at any point, with the time got better and better that at one single moment we couldn´t decide which way to go, if we choose between the Galapagos sharks with silvertips, try to follow the hammerheads into the depths, try to get close to the dolphins surfacing for some air, interact with the mantas (by the way one of them was followed by a mobula ray!) or get in the hunt of the tunas chasing all kind of different fishes sometimes even breaking the moment when they cross the blue and scared all the sharks, just to mention some of the moments, but I have to say this place is spectacular and unique.
We are back to San Benedicto but more fun is waiting for us there, we are pretty sure.
Rodrigo Marroquin, dive instructor.

Monday, March 14, 2016

One rock in the holds a unique diversity of life underwater, Roca Partida

--March 12, 2016
    Hi All!
    Pacific Ocean, still Mexican waters, one rock in the middle of it holds a unique diversity of
life underwater, Roca Partida.
At the horizon we only see a hint of Socorro Island, and behind it a gorgeous sunrise.
The swells breaking into the rock due to wind scares the boobies making them all fly over the
rock to land once again on the same spot!
Every one is excited about Roca this morning, thinking positive thoughts! After only 5 minutes zodiac ride a bunch of dolphins leading the way confirm the thoughts! Current this morning is coming from South, Dolphins want to play on the North area! Our descent to the first dive was accompanied by 17 dolphins that made us swim away from the rock, leading the way and keeping the same short distance in front of us all the time, enough distance to do the dolphin swim and interact with them for a couple minutes! Then the slowly return to the rock once again, ledges at 12m/40ft, 15m/50ft, 18m/60, 24m/80ft, 27m/90ft were so occupied by lots of white tip reef sharks plus many more swimming around the rock, shelter offered by the rock is well appreciated by cotton mouth jacks making and constantly changing formations, the imaginary line Pacific creole fish create tells their safe limits that a chevron manta can only surpass chased by a Mobula Ray. A big body of blue water where this two pelagic are the only subjects, no one fish can go that far other than yellow fin tunas. Today we did 3 dives at Roca, the south east side of it had fantastic action with lots of Galapagos sharks, in numbers ranging from 30 to 50 individuals coming up to our depth 24m/80ft, silver tip sharks also gained our attention swimming with no effort at all into current, south west side of the rock from 30m/100ft of water to 15m/50ft was so crowded by a huge school of skip Jacks making us spin around in  our same point while this world of fish came closer and closer to us to the point up and down, left and right, front and behind fish all over, we can almost grab one, touch them, of course always chased by silky sharks, looking up towards the surface we still see the white color contrasts the swells breaking into the rocks on the surface! As fish came in to area they left as well, we find ourselves in mid water 18m/60ft now, no more even one single fish around us, this place looks so empty! Just seconds ago life was abundant! Out of the blue another curious visitor comes into our area to check us out, a baby turtle, it took a few minutes to feel comfortable around us to then come closer made a few circles around, so close we even made eye to eye contact, it made us feel for a second how vulnerable it is, so close we saw its front fins pushing its little body throughout the water, then slowly swam away! There are many things going on down here, we don't want to ascend for our surface interval! Nitrox 29 and Water temp still 24C/75F made us stay longer to enjoy hammerheads too, by the rock checking it out more detailed lots of lobsters growing old, yellow and red tail trigger fish, green moray eels, black jacks, rainbow runners, everything going so smooth then suddenly a pack of Yellow fin Tunas shut straight down making a school of hammerheads break apart, a behavior we have witnessed other times as well!!!!Hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoy diving! 

Dive Inst
Daniel Zapata

Solmar V.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

We had another amazing day at El Boiler!

Today we dove at el Boiler and we had another amazing day out here! There was a bit of swell and wind but under water the conditions were great! Water temperature of 75f/24c and the visibility ranged from 40ft/12m to 100ft/30m throughout the day.
The first two dives were good with 4 mantas being quite friendly and enjoying the bubbles, a couple of big tunas passed by and lots of jacks. The third dive was the highlight of the day however we had a pod of 8 dolphins hanging out with us for over 20 minutes getting very close to the divers and some of them displaying a very unique behavior that we have only seen at this site were the dolphins get cleaned by the clarion angel fish, the same ones that clean the mantas. After hanging out with the dolphins we went to our safety stop and when it was almost done the dolphins came back and went around us a couple more times!
The last dive was also very good with loads of manta action since we got in the water there were two mantas at 15ft/5m and we stayed with them the whole dive plus other 6 mantas that showed up and were being extremely friendly.
Tomorrow we will be diving Roca Partida hoping to see loads of sharks again!
Thiago Mendonca
Dive Instructor

Solmar V