Isla Roca Partida! A serene and calm island above the ocean but a whirlpool of activity below the waters.
Take a dive and come face-to-face with sea creatures playing or resting on the rocky sand. On the North side, you will find sharks, tunas, and other fish species gently swaying to the current and at a little distance, silky sharks sleeping on the ledge so peacefully. It is an underwater world that is beyond compare. Nature is at its fascinating best!
Morning Dive at Roca Partida
The morning dive at Roca Partida was a stunning experience, one that will be embedded in my memory for life.
We dropped on the sheltered east side and moved slowly past the whitetips dozing on their balconies. On the south side, we came up against large schools of pacific creole fish and cottonmouth jacks. At 25 meters, visibility was great, the water was crystal clear, and I could see a school of medium-sized yellowfin tuna hunting in the shallower area.
And then it happened! As I glanced down at about 25 meters, I saw a large form looming closer and closer, and guess what, it was a whale shark. I never did expect to see one because my co-workers had told me that the time for sighting whale sharks was October to December though a stray one could be seen any time.
Even though I had given up hope, here was a whale shark right before my eyes, a young 4 meters in length male swimming contently through all the divers. At one point, I could see all 21 of us loosely spaced around this amazing sea creature.
I was very excited because whale sharks have always had a special place in my heart. When I was starting on my scuba life long back, I was a volunteer at a whale shark research center in Utila, Honduras, and have swum with perhaps 20 adult whale sharks till now. But that was in a closed research environment and today in Roca Partida, it was for real. This is the first time that I have actually DIVED with one, an experience that is out of the world.
Fun Fact on Whale Sharks
The 4 meters whale shark we saw is very small when compared to an adult. At birth, they are about a meter long but only a few baby whale sharks have ever been sighted. They are rarely seen until they are about 4 meters in length and scientists have no idea where they go in the early years of their lives.
Quality Time with Hildegard
On this trip, we had a guest named Hildegard who preferred to stay in the boat taking in the sun while the divers were in the water. One day I heard she wanted to go snorkeling but didn’t want to do it alone and so I offered to go with her on my break. I was a snorkeling guide/lifeguard in Yucatan so I was confident that she would be safe with me.
We set out and snorkeled together in the Canyon and the Boiler area, Roca Partida, and Cabo Pearce. I was very happy to see her delighted expression as this was her first experience swimming with sharks, and giant mantas. We also swam among white and silver tips, giant tunas, and mantas and it was great to see her child-like excitement and surprise every time we went into the water.
She really appreciated that I was using my break to go with her and on my part – Thanks Hildegard for a nice experience in Revillagidedo!