31 May 2009

So, it's really happening....

visibility: 30 - 45 feet
water teperature: 73 - 77ºF
currents: some days some, others none...
surface conditions: smooth seas and a slight breeze

Last week we had some Open Water Diver and a Rescue Diver courses going, so we were busy. Not so many ‘tanks’ or ‘outings’ (let’s call it ‘visible activity’), because there is also theory, tests and exams involved (indoor work). We’ve been reviewing, correcting and sending in the texts and photos for the new web page, so the writing for our (b)log has been a bit neglected!

Back, thus to a week ago when the waters turned green and cold on us. We are happy to inform you that the clarity and temperature have gone back to nicer levels, it’s not summer yet, but we’re on our way... The diving is spectacular; Saturday we did El Cantil and El Bajo. The amount of life is incredible; loads of and loads of (yellow tail and dog) snapper, the cabrilla mating, huge goliath grouper slowly, almost lazy passing bye. Moray eels are everywhere and there are still some rays and guitarfish, the burrito grunt and pork fish are coloring the water yellow and, close to shore a turtle minding his own business. How much luck, to be able to do your first dives in these waters... How distracting to have to interrupt a rescue exercise because of ending up in a school of sierra mackerel; breathtaking, with or without a non-breathing unconscious diver suffering the bends to be taken to the surface. What an underwater world we live in!

Now it’s waiting for the fun-divers again to go out. It seems the pork flu and the ‘don’t travel to Mexico’ warnings are letting in and there are again more people in the street. Let’s go diving again, the waters are tempting and inviting...

Steward, Jessy and Andy: congratulations with your Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver certification and Ronnie, in becoming a rescue diver.

21 May 2009

What is happening here?

visibility: only 3 - 10 feet, depending on depth and site
water temperature: dropped dramatically too, on surface still 73ºF, on depth only 65º...
currents: hardly any
surface conditions: the air temperature is extremely high for May, the humidity too, you'd almost be longing for cold water... (but not that cold, please!).

Winter is on its return and summer is arriving. Well sure it is, but the transition from winter to summer is always at least 'challenging'.
Two years ago this happened in August, last year in July, so very early this year, in May, the water turned cold and green. This is a result of changes in the main currents in the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. Water is pressed up from depth (under water canyons go down to 12.000 feet deep!) and is cold and green (algae).
In the transition time (as we know it from earlier years, a short 'spring' of around 2 - 4 weeks) water will become clear to turn green again and vice versa until it is clear to stay. When the clear waters comes in to stay, also the temperature is going to be up...
How about a visibility of 100 feet and a temperature of up to 84º? Niiiice, but for now, we still put on a 7 mm suit to keep from cold.
Ideal waters to spot big life though, we saw yesterday again a whale shark, a female of about 30 feet... Maybe she is going to stay around a bit, because of the grouper mating, producing a lot of food in their reproduction process.
No photos due to low visibility, sorry...

17 May 2009

Where the desert meets the water

visibility: 45 feet / 15 meters
currents: low current north to south
surface: slight breeze, hardly any waves
: 74ºF / 23ºC

In Cabo Pulmo the desert meets the Sea of Cortez and where the desert meets the water life is spectacular. Not only the wild life, the birds and bugs on land, but especially the under water life.
Changing with the seasons the diving changes; in winter we have 'cold' 70º F water with low visibility from 20 to 40 feet, but with whales, big schools of cownose rays and thousands of mobulas (the flying mantas). The big eyed jacks are schooling and filling the water from the bottom to the surface, like stormy clouds. The yellow tail snapper are abundantly covering the reef under the shelter of their bigger brothers, the dog snapper.
In summer the water turns crystal clear and warm, showing off the reef, full of healthy and live coral. The reef is filled with grouper (1 in a thousand is a golden grouper and you can see on half a mile of reef between 6 to 12 golden ones!), several jew fish, the tiger shark and bull shark minding their own business. At least as spectacular are the schools of pork fish and burrito grunt, the muray eels swimming around even during day. The sardine track turns the water into a dense fish soup, killing visibility.
But it's not summer yet, we're in the transition. A few days ago we were surprised with the biggest of all, coming out of a cloud of jacks; a baby whale shark of about 20 feet. The first one this season and the anouncement of summer. The first one of 2009, but certainly not the last one; it's going to be a great summer for diving...
An update: while I was writing the blog post, the divers were out with Pilu. After their return the happy faces reveiled good dives and after hearing them out it seemed to be spectacular dives: a whale shark of about 30 feet in El Cantil, a dive site close to the beach, depth around 45 feet AND a 20-foot whale shark in El Bajo, about 10 minutes boatride further away at 50 feet.
Yes, it's going to be a great summer...

13 May 2009

One month later...

We've managed the first month in 'our' new dive center; Cabo Pulmo Divers. A booming start as we didn't have any electricity, means of comunication, reservations or anything. We just had the support of almost all home owners and rental agencies in Cabo Pulmo and it showed. We've been going out every day, despite the world wide economic crisis, the mexican flu and the following boycott of Mexican tourism.
We hoped to be able to have time to write a web-page and to get it fast up-loaded, full of useful information and photos, lots of photos. But still, nothing really happening there because of the lack of time.
We hoped to have been able to create a little garden and some shades in front of the center, but we didn't manage more than half a shade and some plants.
We did get some electricity though, solar powered for there's lots of sun in the desert and we did get an internet satelite system up and running, so we are now able to communicate with the world. We use e-mail and Skype; telephone, both land lines and cell cover is still miles (literally) away.
We would like to thank everybody for 'making our lives difficult'; home owners and rentals for sending us their guests, divers for choosing to dive with us and the weather gods for all the sun, flat seas and lack of wind...