Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Last dive of the season

Photo: Brandon Cole

Today we are at Roca Partida on the last part of our last trip of the season, full of surprises and with a lot of enthusiasm to get in the water.

The conditions were good, with some swells coming from the north, the wind blowing from time to time but underwater the conditions were just perfect, 80 ft / 25 mts of visibility, water temperature of 78 F / 25 C, some surge on the corners of the rock and the current facing the south all day made the perfect scenario to encounter the good stuff of this magical place.

Starting early, with sunlight trying to make its way through we unload the zodiacs and prepared all the equipment to start the day. Once the divers got in the pangas we headed towards the rock full of wonders and ready to have an spectacular day diving.

The first dive was the best of this trip so far, we started on the southeast point going down to 90 ft trying to see the hammers. After 15 minutes we spotted some silvertips, Galapagos and further away we could see the first white dots in the blue... hammerheads!! A big school of 40 to 50 individuals started swimming right in front of us about 90 to 100 ft down. We got back to the rock and we got together with the other 2 groups to do our safety stop when all of the sudden a big shadow attracted our attention, a WHALESHARK was coming right at us out of the blue, a juvenile individual of 18 ft of length but it just passed us by and kept its way crossing the west side of Roca, great surprise for all!!

For the second we focused more on what to see what´s in the rock and we could spot many white tips all over the site, going and coming from side to side, great to see all the yellowtail trigger fishes along the place, the jacks making their particular formations and the creole fishes that never stop eating. Here the best stuff is the big stuff but if you look into the small details you will be thrilled with all that is going on, tiny hawkfishes claiming their places next to the coral, shy eels hiding on the cracks, trumpet fishes hovering next to puffer fishes and we cannot overlook the beauty of the butterfly fishes on the shallows. Here we saw many juvenile tunas surfing the swells and the big guys deep in the blue chasing everything that in between, at the same time that we saw the silkys patrolling the area and being brushed by the jacks and creole fishes.

For the last dive of the season we wanted to see more hammers and we were in luck.  We spotted two different schools of them, about 80 individuals in total mixed with silver tips and Galapagos sharks that remained most of the time at 150 ft, we could only see their big size and the contrast against the sand at the bottom, such a great experience was this dive specially when we had to say good bye to "roquita" but we will be back next season!!

So many memories and we have such great knowledge of the environment; we wish the rock a good rest and always have something new to show to us.

Until next time, Roca Partida, we will miss you!!

Rodrigo Marroquin, Dive Instructor, SOLMAR V.   

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