Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trip July 16-23, 2011

I'm very happy to share the highlights of this week's trip.

We had a blast with the Dive Mexico Scuba Club with Julio as their fearless leader. Joining this group as well were Peter and Kristin from Washington D.C.
Everyone was coming on the Rocio Del Mar for the first time.

We would also like to welcome Rey Castillo aboard the Rocio Del Mar as a new member of our Rocio Del Mar family. Rey comes to us with 13 years of liveaboard experience under his belt-- all of those years at the Socorro Islands and the Sea of Cortez.

O.K., about the trip. We began diving in San Pedro Martir. The water temperature was 83-86. We had flat seas and very little wind. We saw lots of baby sea lions.

The group we had on board last week were biologists with National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP). They were monitoring and taking a
census on the sea lions. They counted over 120 babies. Hold on to your fins, this means that on the trips to come we will be bombarded by juveniles that are all waiting to play and
entertain us.

We spent two days of beautiful dives at San Pedro Martir visiting incredible walls of black coral and a huge variety of sea life.

On our way to the next island "Sal si puedes" , we ran across a large pod of sperm whales. With some encouragement from Rey, we all took our fins, masks
and snorkels and did our best attempt to snorkel with the sperm whales. They were a bit shy so we settled on playing with the dolphins that had gathered.

Sal si puedes was great. We did a night dive that was unforgettable. We saw lots of lobster, octopus, hermit crabs with a bunch of anemone's. Rey found a sea
horse that was at least 9 inches tall.

The next morning we ran towards baja and within an hour we were surrounded by sperm whales once again. We all got back in the water with them and this
time with great success. Most of us never imagined that snorkeling with these incredible, huge mammals was a privilege we would ever experience. Was the
boat ever rowdy after that. We all had to give our input and tell our piece of the great adventure we had just had.

We went diving for the rest of the afternoon, had another fabulous night dive and in the morning it was time for whale sharks. On our way to the cove where the
whale sharks predictably go, we came across a pod of no less that 1000 dolphins, pelicans, and sea gulls. They were on a feeding frenzy. Captian Lolo made a
u-turn and we followed them for at least an hour. They were jumping in all different directions. Another life time memory.

We arrived at Animas outside of Bahia De Los Angeles in pursuit of whale sharks. We loaded the zodiacs giving everyone instructions on the park rules and the manner in which we handle
ourselves when snorkeling. Immediately we found one. Then we found at least 6 to 10 more, in groups of two or three. We divided into groups of no more than 5 and snorkeled
with the whale sharks until our hearts were content.

Our final days were at Angel Island. We found better visibility and lots of cool things to see. The sea was a bit rough at the beginning of our haul home but by
midnight the seas were calmer.

The crew at Rocio Del Mar had a wonderful week and bid our enthusiastic group farewell. We hope to see everyone back on board really soon.

Best regards,

Captain Lolo, Dora, Rey, Ivan, Pedro, Aurelio, Jorge, Julio, Everardo, and Tito