Straight into the beak of a bottlenose dolphin

Location: The Canyon, San Benedicto Island, Socorro Island, Revillagigedos, Baja Mexico.

We had barely left our berth in Cabo San Lucas when the action started. I was just about to start a safety briefing when our captain, Brad, called over the PA that he had sighted humpback whales. Our guests quickly grabbed their cameras and headed for the upper deck. It did not take long for us to see a tail fluke just a hundred or so feet away from our starboard side. Then in quick succession 2 whales breached clear of the water to rounds of applause from our elated guests. We watched for several minutes as the humpbacks slapped fins and spy hopped at the increasing number of small boats that had come to check out the show. We could not stay and watch for longer as we hopefully had a rendezvous with our friendly giant mantas at San Benedicto Island.

After a fairly smooth crossing, we arrived at “the canyon” in the rain !!. It never rains here, so it was really odd to be getting ready in the steady drizzle that was falling, but the rain did not dampen any ones spirits. We sorted out the usual first dive niggles of weights and minor equipment problems and soon had everyone finning towards the the cleaning stations 70 feet below us. I was the last one in the water with two of our guests who diving rebreathers. I had just splashed into the ocean and was signaling the divers to start their descent when I saw a fin right behind the two divers. I quickly dropped below the surface and was soon staring straight into the beak of a large bottlenose dolphin, who seemed to be smiling at me. I flipped upside down and began a lazy descent. The dolphin flipped over and we swam side by side for while towards the bottom before he flicked his tail and melted into the blue. No sooner had we lost site of the dolphin when one of our female mantas appeared (I’m really going to have to get round to naming them). The next 25 minutes was spent floating around a low pinnacle at about 80 feet which the mantas seem to favour. Dive 2 was very similar, and we seem to be able to drop in and be escorted to the ridge that makes up this site by at least one giant manta. Just to add to the mix on this dive we were buzzed by a juvenile silvertip shark he seemed fascinated by us and by the manta rays and wanted to imitate a remora. On the final dive of the day half of our divers saw a large pod of dolphins and spent 20 minutes or so watching them play and hunt.  A very happy divemaster Buzz.

Weather: Low dark clouds, rain, air temp 81 F calm seas

Water: Water temp 74f visibility 80 feet

By Nautilus Staff

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