Friday, March 20, 2015

Trip Report, Revillagigedo. February-March, 2015

One more day in paradise

"How was your day?" we ask to our passengers and quite often we have as an answer: "Excellent, it was just one more day in paradise."

It's true ...
Revillagigedo islands is a paradise. There are not many places on earth where you can truly disconnect from the daily stress: phone, e-mail, social networks, traffic, news, etc. At 280 miles from the coast in the middle of the eastern pacific you can switch a modern and complicated life style for the peaceful dance of the mantas underwater.

More than that, this little paradise always has hidden surprises.

These first 3 months of the year have given us fabulous conditions: warm water with plenty of sea life: mantas in almost every dive site, dolphins, sharks, yellow fin tunas, wahoos, big school of jacks of different species and plenty of reef life.

Whale watching afternoon tour 
During winter humpback whales arrive to the area. We start to see them spouting, raising their tails before dive and every week we see more whales around the boat.
Some days we try to get closer using our pangas but early in the winter they are more sensitive and they swim away of the engine noise. Still, they give us fantastic shots of their huge tails before swimming deep or making unexpected jumps out of the water.

They arrive to the marine reserve to mate and to give birth the new generation.
We patiently wait, slowly get close to them and gently get in the water to have the first encounters with them on snorkel.

Gregory Sherman
Few weeks later there are thousands of whales in the area (more than 1,200). Some of them already have their calfs swimming around. Now the big mamas are more relaxed and confident and we start to see them underwater. From time to time a group of divers have the chance to have a quick look of the family passing by and usually in the afternoon we go out in the pangas to swim close to them and see how the adults teach the babies to hold their breath underwater.

Always is a good time to see whales around the boat breaching

And finally near the spring it seems that they are confident enough with the humans and we start to see them constantly during our dives.

Roca Partida is a very special place to see the whales underwater. Some times we can't see them with our eyes but we see them with the rest of our body: whale songs are so strong that you feel them resonate inside your chest. That experience is something that it's impossible to forget.

Roca Partida
Gregory Sherman

It is possible to see the mother, calf and the escort on scuba swimming around the rock or resting without moving at all. Lately we have seen groups of 4 to 6 adult whales together around Roca Partida. They are friendly and allow us to get close enough to take pictures and videos. The bubbles are not a problem and they seem to like to pose to the lens.

We expect to keep having these very close encounters underwater during the following weeks before they start their migration back to the north. It has been a fantastic whale season.

And there's more...
Mantas have been around every dive site. Not one or two, but 6 to 9 mantas all together at the same time. The Boiler at San Benedicto Island is the best spot to dive with them.
Imagine a dive site were it is possible to see more than 6 mantas, dolphins and hammer heads: all in a single dive!

As we said before, there's always a surprise at Revillagigedo: WHALE SHARKS! 

During winter and part of spring is not common to see whale sharks in the area. Probably the water temperature this year (around 75 to 76 degrees) or plenty of nutrients in the water could be the reasons for having whale sharks encounters during these first months of the year. It's rare, but we have seen at least one whale shark on almost every trip.
It has been fantastic! Divers swimming around Roca O'Neal or Punta Tosca and suddenly a huge shark shows up: tiger? No-- whale shark! . We love to see the surprised and happy faces of our divers when they see these huge and wonderful animals. 

Whale shark in Socorro

Divers swimming in the blue looking for hammerhead sharks

Ricardo (DM) at the Boiler

Surprise of the week: Whale shark!

We have had really good trips during this season. Our friends from many different locations of the world (USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Romania, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, England, Mexico) have spent with us fabulous days on board not only diving, not only enjoying with big animals underwater, but also feeling at home on board Rocio del Mar.

We feel pleased when we have divers visiting us for their first, second, forth or sixth time.  They experience more than diving and having a fantastic holiday-- they form friendships, family, around our passion: the ocean.

It is just one more day in paradise ...

Everardo looking for whales

San Benedicto

Roca Partida

Henry feeling like home .. fantastic!

Happy faces after a fantastic trip! Thank you!!
Guarani (Juan) got the chicken ja ja ja!! -- chicken team!

By: Juan D Cortés, DM
Pictures: Juan D Cortés and Gregory Sherman