The water at Roca Partida was the most gorgeous inky blue and was stacked with huge schools of fish.. what a privilege. November, 2011 – Socorro Island, Baja California, Mexico.

copyright 2011 Cliff Beard

I have been fortunate to dive some of the best places in the world during my time diving and based on what I have seen in the past 2 days, Roca Partida is up there with the best. We did 8 dives over 2 days so it was a fairly tiring schedule, but one has to make the best of a golden opportunity!
This morning’s early dive was truly one of the best and most enjoyable I have ever done. Paul and I dropped onto the north point and slipped down the rock to 14 meters, straight onto a shark cleaning station. We were alone and calm so the shark action was top drawer with galapagos and silvertip sharks coming almost face to face with us as they skimmed over the rocky wall. After 2 other divers arrived the sharks got a bit skittish and went deeper so we dropped to 22 meters and spent ages with them using the full benefit of nitrox fills to gain extra time. It really was a circus of sharks with non-stop action. At one point several galapagos and silvertips tore into a distressed fish and it all got a bit heated for a few moments, as all the wildlife went beserk then settled again just as fast. I have never seen silvertips in these numbers and wasn’t expecting to see so many galapagos sharks.
To add to the experience the water was the most gorgeous inky blue and was stacked with huge schools of fish. The rock itself is truly a sight to behold and its worth just admiring the topography; The below water area is very much an extension of what is above the surface and it plunges down precipitous slopes into clear water on all sides, the north slope being quite rough and the sides smooth and polished in appearance. Its clearly a hugely rich environment in a big sea and acts like a magnet to all the pelagics around.
Its definitely a dive for fairly confident and experienced divers. Today we had some strong currents, including down-currents off the south point and a swirling vortex that kept gyrating us on the safety stop on a later dive and of course the surge that you are bound to get out in the Pacific Ocean. Some dive profiles were far from perfect! Great wildlife and a wild ride!
All the dives were good, but that morning dive was the perfect dive and one of those occasions when you feel very privileged to be a diver in such an amazing place.
– Cliff Beard (England)

copyright 2011 Cliff Beard


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