Sharks, mantas and humpback whales at Roca Partida

Hello from the Bridge of the Nautilus Explorer. We are currently five days into a 12-day expedition to the Revillagigedo Archipelago, which includes the islands of San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca Partida and Clarion. This trip we will visit three of the four islands. We started at San Benedicto, and have now been at Roca Partida for two days. Calling Roca Partida an island may be overly generous, it is really just the tip of an ancient volcano plug that continues to resist the assault of the ocean against the volcanic rock. The rock clears the surface by a mere 50′ and is certainly is bigger than the Nautilus Explorer, but not by much.

The only reason to come to Roca Partida is the diving. Late January usually signals the return of the humpback whales and this year has been amazing. The normal things at Roca Partida are the sharks, whitetips, silkies, Galapagos, hammerheads, and Silvertips. This year we have seen mantas back as a regular sighting, plus all the fish and the tuna. I have been diving now for 40+ years, at many places around the world, and as the Captain, I can pull rank from time to time and jump in the water. Roca Partida is one of my favourite dives anywhere but the last two days have pushed it up a notch or two.

For the last two days, we have been snorkelling in between dives at will, with humpback whales, a mother and calf. She is obviously a very comfortable mom as she lets Jr. roam a bit. The calf comes to the surface, breathes, frolics around the divers snorkelling at the surface, then goes back down to mom, who is hovering what appears to be motionlessly at about 8-10 metres below. As the calf approaches the mom lifts up both pectoral fins allowing the calf to go underneath and nurse. The calf then comes back up gets a breath and then returns to the other side to nurse. After a couple of nursing encounters the mom comes up for a breath and they move maybe a hundred yards, then the whole process starts over again. So the first day was four dives, three snorkels with the humpback whales, and then today got interrupted as well over a couple hundred dolphins came charging into Roca Partida along with the tuna they chase. So our program of dive, whale snorkel, dive, whale snorkel, dive, whale snorkel, dive got interrupted to become dive, whale snorkel, dive, dolphins, dive, whale snorkel, dive. Life is tough, so we are going to stay another day, we’re holding out for whale sharks. I will let you know in a few days how we made out.

For now dive safe, but get out and dive.

–Captain Al

By Nautilus Crew

Recent blogs and dive reports from the crew onboard the Nautilus Liveaboard's vessels.

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