We wrapped up the Socorro portion of this expedition on May 31st with a day of diving at San Benedicto. An early morning dive at the Canyon in search of schooling hammerheads unfortunately did not turn up any big animals with low visibility hiding anything that might be swimming by. For the remainder of the day we moved the The Boiler and had two very nice dives despite the unusually cold water 19C (70F). The water a was nice clear blue and the pinnacle was teeming with schooling fish like the big-eyed jacks, yellow-fin tuna, burrito grunts, cortez chubbs and barber fish. A couple of Giant Pacific Mantas cruised slowly overhead to round out the day. In the afternoon we picked up the anchor and began the 340 nautical mile transit up into the Sea of Cortez. The transit north was quite pleasant with light winds and a long, gentle swell most of the way up. This made for a comfortable and enjoyable day of relaxation to off-gas in preparation for more diving around the islands near La Paz, Baja California.
We arrived at our first destination, La Reyna, this morning and were ready for our first dive by 0800. La Reyna is a small offshore rock and is home to a small colony of California Sealions, including some very big males and their harems. It is mating season for these sealions and this was reflected in the behaviour of the big males as we watched them from beneath the surface, making threatening "barks" and charging any other males who were coming too close to their ‘girls’. After two dives at La Reyna we headed west 20 miles to dive the wreck of the ferry, The Salvatiera. With a length of about 150 metres and standing mostly intact and upright the Salvatiera is teeming with life, including a school of Queen Angel fish, loads of porcupine fish, grunts, bait-fish, among others. To wrap the day we’ve just anchored off the beautiful Bonanza Beach on the
south-east side of Isla Espiritu Santo. A long stretch of white sand beach merging with a desert vista before rising up into the mountains makes a great place to relax and enjoy the view with a frosty cerveza!
Captain Gordon Kipp