The arrival to San Benedicto is always greeted with the comfort of seeing land, again! It never gets old for me as I approach our first anchorage on the southern side of the island. This puts us squarely in front of the volcano dome which rises rapidly from the sea. Its ash covered flanks deeply rivulted by water erosion on the odd occasion that it rains here. Also forming part of our protection here is the lava flow that spilled into the sea from near the base of the volcano dome. The black lava flow contrasting the white ash above. This location is commonly called ‘The Canyon’ and it is here we begin our dive adventure. This trip is a combo trip that will see us dive at San Benedicto and Roca Partida before we head off to the Sea of Cortez for our last two days. The water at the Canyon is clear today and during our first dive we see our first Manta, scores of fish and a few sharks, it also is home to a healthy population of Octopus, and at least two pairs of frogfish that we see quite regularly.
Tomorrow we will be off to the Boiler for a giant Manta fix we hope. Today the water temp was 75 F or about 22 C/ vis was 50 – 80 feet/15-25 meters. Watch for my report on the boiler and our trip to Roca Partida!
Well tonight we are heading back to San Benedicto, but lets back track. We have had three very interesting days of diving since I last wrote. After our first day we headed up to the Boiler, which is probably the best known site for Manta activity in the Revillagigedo Islands. It lived up to its reputation, as on dive 2 & 3 it was non stop manta action with flyby’s above and beside. There is something about looking one of these magnificent creatures in the eye as they swim to you. However as special as the mantas are it was actually the last dive that was a mind blower. We jumped in for the last dive and expected some current, as we had some for the previous dives. Instead it was totally void of current. The boiler is a fishy place but on this dive the fish seemed to be spread out evenly throughout the water column and as far as the eye could see. It was an incredible sight to look up see the stern of the boat, look behind and see the underwater form of the boiler, and then the divers simply spread out in space, like the fish. We were simply staring out into the blue. Then it happened, divers were floating free waiting to go up to the waiting hang lines for their safety stop, when a tiger shark, with its distinctive strips made an ever so slow swim by. This definitely set the stage for our trip out to Roca Partida, were we have been for the last two days. Day 1 at Roca was very interesting, about 2 weeks ago we had a fish spawn and have been seeing many larval stage critters floating around, this morning there was literally millions of what looked like larval stage crabs. Everything was feeding and much to our surprise in came a Manta, then another and finally a total of three. Along with the sharks made for a great first day. Today the first and last dives had all the action. our mantas stuck around for the day but it was the sharks on these dives. The last saw schools of Silkies mixed with Galapogos, silver tips and even the odd Hammerhead shark but in numbers that were hard to imagine. Groups coming in waves of 40, 50, 60 sharks a very impressive sight.
So it is tonight, the sun has set behind us and the moon is rising in its full form ahead of us, guiding us back for more exciting dives to come. Temperatures have been all over the place 78F the first day at Roca Partida then down to 74F today. The boiler has been between 73-76F In general the water has warmed up during the past two weeks. We will be diving at San Benedicto for two more day and then off we go to the Sea of Cortez. Check back and I will tell you how it went.
In the last dive of the day, sun going down, Galapagos sharks everywhere, a manta appeared out of the blue, just a bit out of our reach in depth, but close enough to get some spectacular photos. And now, to top it off, full moon rising out of the sea..howlingly gooood!!!
Arrived here at Roca Partida; an unimposing volcanic pinnacle marking an incredible diversity and richness of marine life. We were not to be disappointed. We were overwhelmed with the fleets of fish; large sharks, tuna, mackerel, moray eels and giant manta enticing us to descend far beyond our limits with each dive. And indeed, many of us succumbed to the temptation gladly. Awaiting what will reveal itself tomorrow. Now just howling at the full moon!
Beyond world class diving this morning! So much energy in the water, Manta’s, huge Tuna, Shark fish tank, does it get better?
First Dive: Speechless.
One of the most impressive dive sites I ever had the luck to dive! And this with the friendliest crew and the best chef on the boat and dive buddies one can wish for! Just awesome! Thanx to all of you! Daniel
Beyond words. At Roca Partida we just lived in full the reason why we started and keep on diving, feeling the pure wonders of what humankind keeps destroying. Pure happiness, pure amazement, a journey into a fabulous world beyond and into our own very core. Life at its purest.
They are back!! Mantas are back to Roca Partida. Today on our first dive of the day we had 3 Mantas playing and checking all the divers out, and big school of silkys, some Galapagos and some silvertip sharks were there to, it was a very nice dive!! Its so good to get to see this and again this place is full of surpises! I guess they are right. I have a great job.
DM Joel IHO