The boat anchored right by San Benedicto Island, a magnificent old volcano with dry patterns in which you can even see a sleeping woman with long hair (yeah we got plenty of time to watch the reliefs while filling tanks). Between the boat and the island, pinnacles stand out of the water, waves crushing onto it and formed arches over the years. From the deepblue of the ocean to the turquoise water close to the pinnacles, those lava flow pinnacles give already a pretty surreal environment to dive into.
We get ready of the back deck of the boat and start to ride the skiff into the blue. The weather is sweet, flat water, sun is hot and shinning and the air is fresh but not cold, just perfect to balance the heat of the strong and bright sunrays. When the waves are bigger and it gets pretty choppy on the dingy, some of the waves break onto the underwater pinnacle just a few feet under the surface and the crash looks like a geyser coming out of the middle of the ocean. As a skiff driver we’ve gotta be very careful while approaching this area because a zodiac can easily be flipped by a strong wave if we don’t pay attention. Awareness of the sea.
We’re there, the captain recognizes his marks on the island and we can see the rock under the surface with the sunrays hitting straight onto it. Everybody’s ready, mask on their face, regs in the mouth, BCD inflated. The captain says loud and clear BACK ROLL ON THREE. ONE. TWO. THREEEEEEE.
That’s it, it’s all silence. You know, that moment when you hit the water, when everything becomes colder and slower, when you start breathing slowly and you enter that other dimension. We’re in.
As soon as we go down, I look at my divers to make sure no one’s having problems equalizing, we keep an eye contact with each other and descend as a group. We keep that prone position and feels like we’re slowly sky diving into the blue when a chevron manta already appears and comes swimming straight at us. It’s minute zero on my dive computer and I’m already face to face with a massive animal of this other dimension.
I turn my head to the left into the blue and I see one of my divers, face to face with 2 hammerheads. I can’t help but laugh through my regulator and exhale so much that i drop another 15feet faster than my normal descent rate. I inflate my BCD and boom, there we are, neutral, 90 feet deep, at the bottom of those big lava strats, submerged in a dream.
In a vast and hostile environment for humans, wherever we look at, there is life. We are surrounded by I don’t know how many mantas as I can’t keep track of them anymore. I look straight forward a manta, behind me a manta, above me a manta, to my right, hammerheads, to my left, dolphins coming and mocking us by standing straight up and flipping their fins the same way some divers stand up and kick upwards to overcompensate a state of negative buoyancy. This is crazy and beyond any of expectations for any diving I’ve ever done before. We don’t know where to look at anymore but every good thing has an end and it’s time to deploy my SMB.
As soon as I unclip it and hold it in front of me, I know all my divers start to hate me for it but they also all know it’s time to surface. That was for sure a hard one to come back to reality from.
Once we surfaced, people started screaming of joy, wondering “What was that?!” “Is that even possible?” “We can’t get any better than that!”
Everybody was so happy and enjoyed it so much, they all had their own story to tell, their own little adventure and connection that happened with any of the creatures, creating so many memories and good feelings.
There are no words really to describe that feeling but it calms you down and also makes you feel uplifted at the same time. I don’t know how to express it, I guess that’s just the magic of the ocean…
- Justin C.