We have spent the past 4 days diving at Isla San Benedicto. Captain Gordon, Socorro Islands, Mexico 2012.April 11, 2012
One of 4 islands that make up the Islas Revillagigedo. A forbidding looking island with its gray volcanic cone of hardened ash rising up at the south end of the island and black ridges of solidified lava from an eruption in the mid 20th century, what it lacks in life on its shores it more than makes up for beneath the ocean surface.
For the first 3 days of this expedition we were confined to the south end of the island tucked in out of the gusty winds and choppy seas. Confined to some great diving as well. As with all our big animal diving at these islands, sometimes the animals just don’t cooperate. Sometimes we actually have a boring (I prefer to call them relaxing) dive. Therein lies the beauty of diving here though, you never know what you are going to see on that next dive, or in the next minute of your current dive for that matter.
So far this week, in between our 3 or 4 more quiet dives, we’ve experienced schooling hammerheads of 40-50 sharks on 3 occasions, a whaleshark for a couple lucky divers, a tiger shark spotted a few times on one dive by a couple divers, big galapagos and dusky sharks circling and approaching divers to within a few feet on several dives, and I’ve lost count of how many Giant Pacific Mantas we’ve had circling and interacting with all of our divers.
Today the wind and swell abated and allowed us to sneak over to “The Boiler”, our infamous Giant Manta site on the north end of the island. At least half a dozen giant mantas were counted on a single dive, all of them circling and interacting with our divers. All 4 dives today had some good manta interaction and during a couple dives several divers reported hammerheads. The soundtrack to our diving today was provided by our local population of humpback whales. Listening to the powerful sounds of whale song while swimming eye to eye with a giant manta is really a unique and moving experience. For our surface intervals the humpbacks continued to entertain with numerous breaches, at times as close as a boat length away from us.
Visibility has varied with most dives being below avg viz, between 20-40 ft. We’ve had a few dives with increased visibility at 50-70 ft. Water temp around 23-24C. Skies mostly sunny and air temp today 28C, 19C overnight.
Captain Gordon Kipp
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This post was written by Mairin