Revillagigedo Archipelago Dive Log – Day 2

After our last dive on “The Canyon”, we began steaming to Socorro Island. I can’t say exactly when we arrived because I was sleeping, but I seem to remember that the journey took around ten hours. Our dive site for the day was called “Puntatosca“, which was basically a series underwater lava flows that took the shape of walls. All the small details of the site are too numerous to write about, but by clicking on the little image of the whiteboard to left, you can see Sten’s masterful rendition of the site’s topography.

Actually, while on the topic of Dive-master Sten, I should say that I have never in my life experienced such detailed and thorough dive briefings. A tall and very quick-witted Sweed, Sten’s briefings were hilarious and entertaining on top of being incredibly informative!

Our first dive involved tediously pulling ourselves down the shotline against a very strong and troublesome current. Normally this would make for a difficult and disappointing dive, but in this case an incredibly friendly dolphin decided to join us as we pulled ourselves against the current. Mockingly demonstrating how easy it was for him to swim against the strong current, the dolphin situated himself next to us on the line, blowing the occasional bubble from his blow-hole, and practically begging us to touch him.

Now, of course, finding such a friendly and interactive dolphin is somewhat of a dream come true for many divers, and as the dolphin flirted with us, the already crowded and chaotic shotline became a sort of underwater trainwreck with divers packed tightly against each other. Being the big baby that I am, I admit to having some concern that my rebreather would get scratched or dinged, but it escaped unscathed, and I was forever grateful to have had such a wonderful encounter with this amazing creature.

The dolphin followed us to the bottom where the lava flows provided some protection from the strong current, but the surge was still quite strong. Rich and I followed the wall out to a maximum depth of 100 feet, where we found the surge to have let up quite a lot. We did not stick with the larger group, but they reported that they saw a group of Hammerhead Sharks. The entire dive lasted 45 minuets.

The second dive of the day did not feature such a flourish of wildlife as the first, but at a maximum depth of 140 feet it was my deepest dive yet on the Meg. I decided to do this dive alone, and descended to the bottom of the wall with the hopes of finding some sharks. in the end, however, I only managed to find a large yellow Tuna, and a lobster. I enjoyed the dive greatly though, and spent an entire hour exploring lava flows and looking into the blue beyond the wall.

The third dive of the day was much the same as the second, although we saw some large Silky Sharks. I did not descend to the bottom of the wall this time, choosing instead to swim about 20 feet above the sandy bottom at a maximum depth of 120 feet. I exited the water after 45 minuets, and decided to change out my scrubber material and skip the last dive of the say. That night we pulled anchor and headed off to Roca Partida, the smallest of the Revillagigedo Archipelago.

Revillagigedo Archipelago Dive Log – Day 1

Our first day of diving at the Socorro Islands was was on the northernmost island of San Benidicto at a dive site called “The Canyon“. This site was chosen because of its general lack of swell and current, and was to serve as a warmup to the more challenging conditions to come. We were told this particular place had the potential of being either among the best sites we would visit or the worst. Some friends that had been to the islands before mentioned that they had not enjoyed their dives at this site very much, but we were lucky enough to see a giant Manta Ray that was the friendliest we would encounter for many days to come.

My first dive at The Canyon was enjoyable, but never having used my rebreather with anything other than a drysuit, I was unsure how much weight I would need with my new 5mm wetsuit, and the 12 pounds I added made me grossly over weighted. I also experienced trouble sealing the membrane between my nose and throat, so I was constantly, albeit slightly, breathing in and out through my nose. This effectively resulted in me drinking whatever saltwater came into my mask, giving me a burning sensation in my sinuses and a queasy feeling in my stomach.

Not much worse for the wear, however, I stayed down for 35 minutes and descended to a maximum depth of 90 feet, but did not get to see the group of Hammerhead Sharks that my buddy Rich saw. All in all, it was a great shakeout dive, and seeing the Manta was a real treat. It was clear, however, that I would need to remove quite a lot of weight from my rig.

The second dive was much better, although we did not see any Mantas. My nasal membrane sealed up much better, though not perfectly, and the 6 pounds of weight I had removed resulted in much better trim. I descended the wall to a maximum depth of 120 feet, where we encountered a fairly large group of White Tip Reef Sharks. We stayed there for a while to watch them, but decided to head back after we had incurred about five minuets of decompression obligation. On the way back to the shot line, we saw a large Stingray, and a couple of Moray Eels. The entire dive lasted 45 minuets.

The third and final dive of the day was much the same as the second. By this time I had removed all the weight from my rig, and found that it was trimming out perfectly. We descended to a maximum depth of 100 feet, and encountered a group Silver Tip Reef Sharks. I had been struggling all day with finding a way to use my new Jet fins, but even diving with sneakers on, I found that my right, big toe was killing me on this dive. The problem was that fins were sized for my DUI rock boots, and both the wetsuit boots and sneakers moved around too much inside them. After this dive, I decided I would switch to my Scubapro Twin Jet fins. I only stayed down for 35 minuets on this dive because I was getting tired and my toe was hurting so much. It was a great dive though, and I was looking forward to getting some sleep and diving the next day.