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.

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