When a new group of divers comes aboard, as a dive master I can never predict what to expect from them. At the start, it is not easy to know how they will be, their personalities, the bonding between themselves, and most importantly, how they will adjust to their diving schedules.
For many, the trip might be a first of its kind while I have had divers with hundreds of hours of experience below the waters. There is a lot of information to impart on the first day and it can often be a bit overwhelming, as generally people take a few days to get into the rhythm of things.
But sometimes everything just flows. Guests listen attentively to the briefings and figure out the hang of things practically from the first dive. Underwater communication is great from the start and everyone is on the same page all through the dives. Add to that, the sightings of amazing creatures on your dives and everything just feels so perfect that you practically glow with happiness and satisfaction.
And this is my story with one such group where everything fell into place from the word go.
Diving off The Ageless Beauty of San Benedicto
The island of San Benedicto never fails to mesmerize me, regardless of the times that I come here with the guests. It is my favorite diving spot with the flow of lava starting from the crater and emptying into the ocean. The contrast of this grey-black beauty against the deep blue of the Ocean is just amazing.
The sky is clear blue, with no clouds and just a bit of wind but the island protects us from the elements and we are ready to go diving in El Canon. Three, two, one, and we roll into the water. We follow the edge of the reef in the company of a couple of Mantas (one chevron and one black) till we arrive at the cleaning station.
From this point, we were all transported to a surreal world that only dreams are made of. Galapagos and Silvertips surrounded us, coming so close and swimming so gently that we could touch them. Soon after, Hammerheads show up, not so boldly but still close enough to look them in the eyes. It was just mesmerizing to stay there and watch this beautiful animal go around to get cleaned.
I feel so happy and grateful to have the opportunity to dive and work here. You should definitely come and visit us and watch magnificent marine life up close that you have only seen in wildlife documentaries so far.
Myriad Marine Life at Fondeadearo
If the first day of diving at San Benedicto was an out-of-this-world experience, the second day of diving at Fondeadearo was no less exciting.
On the first dive itself, we had a large black female manta hang out with us for approximately 20 minutes. We saw whitetips, moray eels, octopuses, and even a couple of hammerheads. At the end of the dive, as we were ascending for our safety stop, a large female chevron came to say goodbye to us. What made this dive more special to me as a dive master was that it was one of my diver’s 200th dive! I was so excited for her to have such an amazing experience on her 200th dive.
The rest of the day diving off the Canyon was wonderful as well – several chevron mantas, a handful of hammerheads (one of which came within only a few meters of us!), moray eels hunting in close cooperation with blackjacks, Galapagos, silver tips, dusky and whitetip sharks, and more octopuses. Who could have asked for more from the depths of the Pacific Ocean?
Relaxing On Board After A Dream Day
To round off my dream diving day, tonight was TACO NIGHT!!! It is one of my favorite dinners no matter who the chef is, but Felipe´s is probably my favorite of all. Everything is delicious but he makes some spicy caramelized onions that are incredible and add such an amazing and unique flavor to the tacos. A perfect way to end a perfect day, one that I would not mind repeating a thousand times over!