MANTA´S FULL CLEANING SERVICE
Our 22nd journey started with rough seas but once we got to San Benedicto Island calmed down just to start our check out dive at “Las Cuevas” where we could spot the first silkies sharks, turtles and the lazy white tips laying under the caves. We stayed overnight at “El Cañon” and the diving started early morning without current which made the divers performance easier getting the opportunity to have the best shots of all kind of different fishes among which the jacks under the boat were one of the favorites, been patrolled by the 5 silkies that as usual never stop swimming between the divers. On the drop offs we got to see more than 5 silvertips surrounding the cleaning station and the mantas showed their way coming on and off from the blue over the sandy bottom.
The choppy sea made us to move to Socorro Island where we dove the second day at Cabo Pearce with great manta action especially in the south area where the endemic clarion fishes were ready to give the full cleaning service to the mantas along with a bunch of stubborn jacks that stayed under one particular black manta that kept coming towards the divers on and on to get their bubble doze of the day. In total we got to see more than 5 different mantas during the dives and lots of tunas crossing from one side to the other of the reef mixing their shades with big schools of blue jacks, triggerfishes and steel pompanos in the shallow zones.
Our next stop was Punta Tosca where we got a little bit of current closer to the wall, so we ended up diving in the middle bars of the reef looking for countless nudis all over the place, we drifted along a huge variety of tropical fishes like the rock mover wrasses, the Mexican goat fishes, big balls of hungry parrot fishes eating the coral, long schools of yellow snappers and a couple of turtles hovering next to us. We reached a shallow area getting ready to do our safety stop when we heard dolphins and out of the blue we were swimming between 7 of them including a baby that stayed close to the mama who was teaching him how to hunt the jacks, an amazing behavior to watch!
Roca Partida was outstanding with huge schools of all kind of jacks, mantas everywhere chasing each other and hovering where the current was stronger and getting a glance of our divers here and there. The whitetips were out of the ledges and swimming in the south point close to the rock making the perfect scenario for the photographers in turn, meanwhile in the blue we got to see the huge school of skipjacks with silkies, silver tips and a huge Galapagos in the middle moving from north to south. On the outsides we didn´t get to see hammers this time, instead we found big schools of tunas of all sizes swimming from one side to the other of the rock.
Last trip of the Socorro season… Coming back to land from the amazing archipelago of Revillagigedo and the feeling couldn’t be other than gratefulness for what we have been so lucky to see along this unforgettable 8 months: thrilling dives with all kind of different species of sharks, big schools of hammerheads, bubble junkies mantas, our lovely friends the dolphins, the epic return of the false orcas along with the vagabond whale sharks and the elusive humpback whales; this year the sea has been so kind with us and our debt with it is huge, thanks Revillagigedo for an amazing journey and see you next season!
Wishing the best from and for the ocean.
Rodrigo Marroquín, dive instructor.