SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2009San Benedicto: The BoilerSmooth cruise from Cabo San Lucas to San Benedicto with dolphins frequenting the surf in front of the boat.On the first dive we had a manta with us for the whole dive, but this was merely an appetizer as on the second dive we had three mantas, two of them stayed with us for the whole dive providing some fantastic photo opportunities. And to top it all some guest were lucky enough to see three humpback whales pass the dive site with the third manta. First time I ever saw these magnificent creatures underwaterVisibility 20-25 meters, water temp +25
HWIT HAS BEEN TWO LONG YEARS SINCE MY LAST VISIT TO THIS SPECIAL PLACE… THE MEXICAN SUN IS STILL JUST AS FIERCE, THE OCEAN IS STILL JUST AS BLUE, THE ANIMALS ARE STILL AS WELCOMING AS BEFORE BUT THIS PLACE IS CHANGING SLOWLY. AS WITH ALL SENSITIVE WILD PLACES, THE PRESSURES FORCED UPON IT FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD ARE EVER PRESENT. BUT CHANGE SEEMS TO BE COMING IN THE FORM OF A NEW AWARENESS AND CONCERN FROM THOSE THAT CHOOSE TO VISIT HERE ON BOARD THIS MAGNIFICENT VESSEL. GREAT CARE IS TAKEN NOT TOO LEAVE ANY SIGN THAT WE WERE HERE. WE WANT TO LEAVE IT LIKE WE FOUND IT. BUT WHAT WE TAKE AWAY IS AN EXPERIENCE, THAT FOR MOST, IS UNMATCHED BY ANY OTHER DESTINATION IN THE WORLD. A TRULY DRAMATIC SETTING FOR ADVENTURE DIVERS.
2 February 2009 – Roca Partida
Another fantastic morning dive at Roca Partida with dolphins playing with divers and posing for cameras (and chasing the silvertips away every now and then). Good encounters with Galapagos sharks, Silvertips and Hammerheads. Funny cold and warm currents going in every possible direction. Oddly the water was warmer than last week. Another highlight was the last dive, during the last 15 minutes we had silvertips lining up to get cleaned in 15 meters at the north point. The current made taking pictures somewhat challenging but at least it was great to watch. No mantas today.Visibility 30 m, water temp +23-25
– – HW3
February 2009: Day 2 at Roca Partida
Strong currents today at the north point but one could always find a quiet spot somewhere else. The highlight of the day was the second dive with a more than 10 silvertips coming out of nowhere and hanging around the north point for a good while accompanied by some galapagos, hammerhead and silky sharks. We also spotted hunting yellow fin tunas on most dives. Another day without any mantas, but some people did spot a mobula or two. Most people managed to snorkel briefly with the humpbacks
Water temp +23-24, visibility 20 – 30 m
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2009 Socorro Island: Cabo Pierce
Smooth overnight crossing from Roca Partida to Socorro. Early morning check in with navy cost us the first dive so instead we spent the morning snorkeling with a pod of 5 to 6 dolphins. Great fun. They were in playful mood making loops between below and around us and posing to the cameras. Strong outgoing current made the first dive slightly challenging but we saw the dolphins again in the beginning of the dive. Unfortunately they took off quickly to chase the humpbacks which seemed to be all around the place. At least four mantas on the second dive but today they chose not to interact with the divers. Some close encounters with hammerheads and silkys. Only one silky shark turned up for he night snorkeling and was outnumbered by the amount of snorkelers and took off
Water temp +25, visibility 15-20m
ANOTHER PERFECT DAY IN OUR PARADISE. SKIES ARE CLEAR, WATER TEMPERATURES ARE AVERAGING 78 DEGREES F, VISIBILITY HAS DECREASED SLIGHTLY ON OUR FIRST DIVES AT SOCORRO BUT THE ACTION IS STILL HOT. THE POWER OF A HUGE HAMMERHEAD CRUISING BY WITHIN FEET LEAVES ME ABSOLUTELY WANTING MORE. WE SEE A BIG FEMALE CHEVRON MANTA AND SHE WILL ALWAYS COMMAND THE ULTIMATE IN RESPECT. BUT THE REAL DRAMA SEEMS TO BE IN THE DETAILS. A CLOSE EXAMINATION OF A TINY CLEANING STATION REVEALS THAT THE TINY CLEANERS ARE HAVING A SLOW DAY AND ARE LITERALLY TRYING TO LURE IN BUSINESS FROM PASSERBY’S JUST LIKE LITTLE STREET URCHINS FROM DAYS GONE BY. HAVING BEEN REJECTED BY THEIR POTENTIAL CUSTOMER, THEY RETREAT TO THE SAFETY OF THEIR SMALL REFUGE TO WAIT FOR THEIR NEXT OPPORTUNITY. YESTERDAY, DURING MY SAFETY STOP, I WAS BITTEN ON THE MASK STRAP BY A LITTLE GREEN GUY WITH A BIG ATTITUDE AND VERY SHARP, SMALL TEETH. HE WAS SERIOUS ABOUT DRIVING ME OFF HIS ROCK AND I BACKED OFF VERY GRACIOUSLY. I AM STILL NOT SURE WHAT I DID TO GET HIS IRE UP… CALLING HOME TONIGHT ON THE SATELLITE PHONE. I MISS HER VERY MUCH…
5 February 2009 Socorro Island: Punta Tosca and Roca O’Neil
After two quiet dives at Punta Tosca we moved to Roca O’Neil where we did two dives with 4 or 5 mantas on both dives. In the beginning the water was crystal clear, the visibility must have been around 40 meters, I could see the mantas from the surface and when I got down to 35 meters they were still deep below me.
Water temp +25, visibility 10-40 m