What a fun weekend in San Carlos! First the weather/water report though for anyone considering whether an April trip is a good time to go. It had been chilly in Phoenix but it warmed up south of the border and we had perfect 90 degree days and cool nights. The water ranged from the mid-60’s to mid-70’s, and for protective gear we saw mostly 7 mils ALTHOUGH one very experienced Course Director wore a shirt and swim trunks because he forgot his wetsuit!
Day one was out to the island. The sea lions were especially playful and they weren’t taking no for an answer! John ignored one too long and got a bump on his mask! The rest of us just got buzz bombed. I really think they miss the divers when it’s off-season. Alex said the pups are born in Feb and March but they must have still been in the nursery because we didn’t see many little ones. The herd ( right word for a bunch of sea lions? ) looks fat and healthy though so it must have been a good winter for them!
Viz was ok. Twenty feet or so. Lots and lots of lettuce-like vegetation (not sargasso) but sadly no turtles to enjoy it. We did see angel sharks and one guy told me they are called angel sharks on the mainland side of Mexico and devil sharks on the Baja side. There’s gotta be a story there somewhere! Someone else said they are only in residence for the last half of March and most of April and then they’re gone. I think that’s the coolest thing about San Carlos is the changeability. You never know what you’re going to see!
Fish life was a bit thin. Lots of striped fish and yellow fish and silver fish and Enrique reported seeing some blue fish although no one else saw them (gotta brush up on my fish names!!) I have noticed from going at different times that the warmer the water the more the fish show up so I’m looking forward to Memorial Day when the water gets toasty and our fish-buddies come out to play.
The second day we went to the local sites. Sea Mount was the first stop and the currents were just ripping at the surface so we got to practice our hand-over-hand rope technique to the front of the boat and down the anchor line. Guess who forgot her gloves? Ouch! Once we were down the current wasn’t bad on the protected side. Enrique found a pretty white and pink nudibranch and got some pictures. We were also very proud of ourselves because we found the anchor too mainly because Instructor Enrique made sure we knew what depth it was so we could go back up the line the easy way! Note to self….take gloves next time!
The second dive the second day was Eagle Rock. I stopped counting skates at 100. I’ve never ever seen so many! And they weren’t especially scared of us unless our fins got too close. Normally they are quite fussy about being left alone. Gotta check with Alex on whether there’s always that many there.
We also met some new divers, Dan and Henry from the Chris-town area of Phoenix. A father-son buddy team they were getting their open water certifications in San Carlos and last time I saw them they looked like they were loving it. Hopefully they will join us for dinner at the next Toadfish Divers night. Nice guys!
And thats about it. Well….besides lots of laughs, jokes, teasing, great food, terrific crew service, warm sunshine, fresh air and the beautiful Sea of Cortez. See you Memorial Day weekend!!!