Midriff Islands, Sea of Cortez0
Stephanie Brewer – September 2016
My second liveaboard trip was a success! We spent 7 days, once again aboard the Rocio Del Mar Liveaboard, diving the Midriff Islands in the Sea of Cortez. My group of 14 divers made up most of the divers (the vessel accommodates 20 divers). This was my second trip aboard the Rocio Del Mar, the first being a trip to the Socorro Islands in 2015.
Things haven’t changed too much in a year….the boat was clean, the food was good, and the service excellent! I don’t think you can find a harder working liveaboard crew anywhere. These guys work around the clock ensuring the best dive experience for all divers. We were pleased to spend the week with our favorite divemasters, Juan David, Gil, and Rey. Two days into our trip, we were informed about Hurricane/Tropical Storm Newton moving our way. It was obvious our safety was of foremost concern to the dive crew. As the storm moved north from Cabo, the boat was moved to a sheltered bay on the north side of Angel Island. Luckily for us, the storm turned inland before hitting the Midriff Islands.
We embarked in Rocky Point, Mexico Saturday afternoon and by Sunday morning we were suiting up to dive Angel Island. It was exciting to dive with the sea lions at La Vela on our first day! The next day we moved to Punta Diablo, also at Angel Island – and actually dived that site four times (including a night dive). The sea life at this island was so diverse we saw something different on every dive – mobula rays, turtles, eels and more. On our third day we traveled to Bahia de Los Angeles to snorkel with the whale sharks, however the hurricane forced us to retreat back to Angel Island to wait out the storm. The next day it was deemed safe to return to Bahia de Los Angeles, where we snorkeled with many whale sharks. This was an exciting and chaotic experience (only 4 people allowed in the water at a time)! We boarded panga boats and took off in search of whale sharks! We didn’t have to look very long – we found them, big and small, in shallow water and deep. Let me just say, it’s a work out keeping up with them! What an experience of a lifetime, swimming next to these gentle giants!!
After the whale shark experience, we traveled to the southernmost point of the Midriff Islands, San Pedro Martir and dove with an amazingly friendly sea lion colony. The sea was calm and visibility wasn’t too bad, which was surprising considering a tropical storm had just blown through there. I will always remember diving with these sea lions. Our last day of diving was back at Angel Island, where we repeated the first three dives of the trip – back with the sea lions at La Vela. Some divers saw a hammerhead shark, but I missed it. Darn. The sea was amazingly calm and glassy…and remained so all the way back to Rocky Point. While it may not be considered world-class diving, I do have to say the diving in the Sea of Cortez is a lot of fun! Someday, I hope to do this trip again, this time without a hurricane to stir things up!
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