Monday, May 16, 2016
Schooling sharks and a fishing boat
May 15 Dive Report Roca Partida
Photo: Erick Higuera
Today we are at the famous dive site Roca Partida, waiting for an exquisite Mexican barbecue with an amazing sunset and view of this magic rock, after an outstanding day of diving with lots of surprises.
Starting early with the sunrise peeking out between the clouds, we encountered mild current coming from the southwest, with some swells coming from the north. With great visibility of 20 mts / 60 ft. and warm temperatures (77 F / 25 C) made our dive super pleasant with some thermoclines deeper than 20 mts / 60 ft.
Starting on the first dive we enter the eastside of Roca watching the funny white tips gathering together to sleep at the caves (12 mts / 40 ft,) great place to take some good shots. As the dive continues we started to see big schools of fish; jacks, yellow tail trigger fish, creole fish and swimming between 20 mts / 60 ft and 30 mts / 90 ft we encounter a big cloud of bonitas. Underneath something really big was moving, immediately we discover what was it, a big group of Galapagos, silvertips and hammerhead sharks all mixed together. We had a great view and a special feeling after all this time that we had not seen them in this number, the hammerheads started moving to the south and we followed them to find even more sharks, great dive!!
When we finished the first dive, the captain Gerardo asked us to bring the equipment on board and load the pangas because a tuna boat was fishing close to Roca Partida, so we headed towards them to see what was going on, and eventually we could see the huge net, awful and a sad view after all the marvelous life that we spotted on the first dive, so we took some videos, photos and sent the drones to have a closer view of it. This is part of our responsibility, to try to protect this sanctuary and I believe other liveaboards should be doing this too. This is a concern for everybody, not only because we live for this but because its the right thing to do if we want to keep sharing this amazing place with the world, so cheers for our captain! Hope they get a fine at least and the politics in this country could work properly to encourage the protection in Roca Partida and other places.
For the second round, we went down to try to find some more sharks and fortunately we found some of them, more silver tips this time but the big school was all dispersed. Heading back to the south side of the rock we spotted three mantas, 2 chevron and one black, not quite friendly but good for photos. Our divers really enjoyed this dive too specially since most of them were waiting for the large manta action!
On the third dive we tried the same profile, trying to see more sharks and we could see some of them but the visibility got a little murky so we drifted to the blue to see something more. One friendly and lovely black manta showed up, showing its belly, a clear signal about sharing space and hung around us for 30 minutes enjoying our bubbles. Such a great experience always!
Now we are about to take off, lets hope the last day we can spot some dolphins at Boiler.
Rodrigo Marroquin, dive instructor, SOLMAR V.