Like sirens calling us into the deep

Roca Partida Day 2 Dive 1 Jan 4.2012

Something different on each dive. It is amazing that we can dive the same underwater seamount for 8 dives and never have the same experience twice. The ecosystem here is in constant flux as are the animals that inhabit it. The populations of sharks, dolphins, and fish migrate diurnally and we have no understanding of their rhythms and can only catch a fleeting glimpse of the daily life of this underwater meeting place. Truly in the middle of nowhere you can see that this is used as a fueling up station for the large predators and a hiding and breeding place for all the little guys.

Today the visibility was about half of what it was yesterday. However, there was still lots of action as the apex predators like to come in close to the sea mount to see what is on the menu today. We roll over the back of the skiff into a huge splash, there are bubbles all around me and as they rise up and dissapate around me it reveals the deep blue beneath. I can just make out three white tips in the haze indicating that there is a large silvertip shark below. As I drift down more sharks form out of the mist and I see a line of 4 silver tip sharks strolling past lazily. We head down a bit more and see the outline of at least 3 hammerheads as they drift away as quickly as they came.

Moving further along the cliff edge we see the rock pinnacle stretch all the way up and all the way down. It is like we are flying beside a large mountain. Looking down we see a huge ball of bait fish huddled in a huge school. Then we started to hear the clicks and chirps of the dolphins, Coming out of the darkness below I can make out the distinct shapes. We swim down to where they are hovering at about 100 feet. They stay there tail down looking us straight in the eye as if they are sizing us up as suitable playmates or not. They keep us down for a long time like sirens calling us into the deep. Need to keep a careful eye on the depth and air as they like to drift down and you catch yourself automatically following down. Time to end the dive and they are gone in a flash leaving us to slowly ascend amongst the schools of various bait fish who have been saved for the moment.
Jason – Vancouver

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