At Roca Partida with Guest Alex Westover – An Incredible Experience

Roca Partida

There comes a moment in your life when you have to just sit down, be quiet, and realize how damn lucky you are to be where you are. This moment can come from a period of deep personal insight or inspired by a culmination of life experiences.

Or, it can come from Roca Partida.

One towering column of rock ascending from the depths of the Pacific is a monolith that has no place standing where it is. But yet, it is perfect in that sense. It is a haven, a halfway house, and the last refuge for pelagic life before braving the vast waters of the eastern Pacific. It is as dynamic as it is picky, the ocean reminding the divers visiting her home that they are merely guests in this place just passing by for a moment.

Our day began as normal, with a decadent display of fresh fruits and warm pastries (Felipe, I need that recipe still my friend!) inviting those shaking off sleep to begin their day before the first briefing. The dive deck was humming as the crane buzzed to life, and the skiffs deployed into the gentle rolling Pacific. And there, just off our port bow, was a rock. In the middle. Of the ocean. Roca. Partida.

To explain every dive in detail would be too long an endeavor for anyone’s good, so I will try to sum it up into one word: humbling. To be floating free alongside such a pinnacle, unbothered by the surge and current you are swimming through, in the presence of teeming life below is an otherworldly experience.

My dive group (the Orcas!) got the short end of the stick, so to speak, today when it came to encounters. We missed the whale shark (twice), the black manta, and the Galapagos shark. But there was never a moment where we felt as if the dive was a failure. Our dive masters, Dani and Eli, kept us enthralled with the wonders of the deep and we sat down there, 20 meters below the surface, just enjoying the freedom of weightlessness.

Yesterday, I had a surreal feeling – looking into the eyes of a dolphin and having the stark realization that yes, it was looking right back at me. An understanding passed between us, a joke only we will know before it darted off to rejoin its companions.

Today, I gained a sense of scale as to how majestic the forces of the ocean are. Tomorrow? Who knows what the Boiler will cook up (pun fully intended)? I do know it will be shared with us with joyful smiles, warmest greetings, and the most attentive care. Because that is Belle Amie. That is her crew. And that is Socorro.

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