Diving at Roca Partida has been GREAT!!!! We could see the bottom at 250 feet and a giant whale shark posed for us.. crew and guest blog – 02 June, 2010.

Dancing with a Whale Shark at Roca Partida
The past two days diving here at Roca Partida have been great. We have had some of the clearest water ever, we could even see the bottom at 250′. Yesterday, on our first dive we were slowly drifting along the back side of the rock when Peter (the other DM) started swimming and making the shark sign over his head. He was pointing into the depths as a large spotted image appeared. And enormous Whale Sharks swam right up between the group and continued on her way. Everyone was very excited. It was a first for many of the guests on board… Hurray!!!
The next dive, we all entered the water with high hopes of seeing our spotted friend again, but instead we swam amongst a huge school (+1000) Skip Jacks. As the school swirled and circled the rock, we noticed that groups of 5 or 6 would break off from the group and rush upwards and spawn. It looked like a ferris-wheel of spawning fishes. Visibility went down a little in that area. There were a few Silky sharks and Galapagos sharks following the school waiting for their chance to catch an unsuspecting Jack. When we went into the water for our third dive, we found the east side of the rock had a smoking current so we all let ourselves drift around to the lee side. Apparently,the Whale Shark had the same idea as we did… take shelter from the current. Appearing again from the depths, the Whale Shark swam right through the middle of our group and continued until she encountered the head current coming around the southern point of the island. There, she turned around and came through the group again, as if she was posing for the photographers in the group. Once again she turned around when she hit the current at the north point and continued the same pattern for the rest of our dive. It was as if she was just another one of the group. A photographer’s dream. Everyone got to spend a little time with her.
By the next dive, the current had slackened and we only got one glimpse of the Whale Shark and she said her goodbyes. With great viz and tones of schools of fish around, the last dive of the day was very peaceful. A few sharks we seen as the light levels slowly dropped. It was a great day of diving. Today was full of sharks. On the early dive today, we were met by over 100 Black Jacks. They are impressive on their own, but in a massive school, they are beautiful. We also had several really big Tuna swim over our heads a few times. In the depths, we saw a few sharky silhouettes. It was not till the second dive that the sharks came around. A couple of people came out of the dive exclaiming that they saw two Mantas, but after examining the video, we are not sure if they were Mantas or Mobulas. During the last two dives, we saw the graceful Silver-Tip Sharks swimming along with some big fat Galapagos Sharks. There were even a couple of Hammerhead Sharks spotted.
There were more and more sharks and more and more current. There were only a few of us who did the fourth dive, but we were rewarded with plenty of shark action.
Surface conditions: Partly Cloudy, clearing up in afternoon… beautiful sunset. Light breeze throughout the day. Air temperature warm (74-76F).
Underwater conditions: Visibility +100′, Water temperature 73F, 100′ thermocline dropping to 71F, Currents strong on most dives, but there is always a lee side to every rock.
DM- Jessie “Sharkchick”
Our second trip with Nautilus Explorer.   We enjoyed the first trip so much, we had to do it again!  The crews are amazing in their care, concern, great personalities and knowledge of the area.   And of course the Socorro  diving is unique in so many ways.  – – – We will never forget the giant mantas in the Boiler at San Benedicto Island,  who played with us for at least a half hour.  Bob had the thrill of one coming down over him as he was adjusting his camera,  and “hugging” him with his cephalic fins.  – – – We look forward to diving with the playful sea lions which was a highlight of our previous trip, as well as snorkling with whale sharks in the Sea of Cortez.  Great trip! Do it!   Pat and Bob Watson
So I did a dive at Roca Partida today. I was hoping that the  whale shark from yesterday was still around. Alas, he had moved on. But there were some very neat happenings on my dive despite the absent whale shark. First I watched a group (of about 6) silkie sharks on the hunt. I love how stealthy and menacing they are when they’re looking for food. Then I spotted an octopus out in the open, which is rare around here. He was very beautifully colored and had his tentacles all spread out as if to display fully his beauty. Then, as I turned the corner I noticed it got very dark, very quickly. I looked up to see a school, in fact an entire city!, of skipjack tuna. There were thousands – they actually blocked out the light from the sun! The divemasters told me its their time for spawning right now, which would explain why they were chasing each other. It was really quite a sight to behold! Silvery fish darting every which way, only to run in to more silvery fish! I’ve seen large schools before, but never like the one I saw today.
Tonight for dinner we had the famous Nautilus burgers. It is always funny to me when the guests come in to the dining room for dinner and their eyes grow to the size of saucers when they see the feast laid before them – burgers of all types  – lamb, chicken, beef, veggie –  with all the fixin’s, including buns made from scratch that evening, sauteed mushrooms and onions, corn, french fries…. and as if that were not enough, crepes with ice cream and berries for dessert! Simply delicious! Tomorrow, diving at Socorro. Can’t wait to hear what adventures the diver’s will have there!
‘Till next time!
Hostess Ashley

By Nautilus Staff

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