What a fabulous trip we had to La Paz on Saturday!!!
First there were the whalesharks. After the safety briefing – the whalesharks and ours – we put on our snorkel gear and slipped into the water. There had to be al least seven whalesharks. We literally spent over an hour surrounded by these fabulous creatures. But not all at once, because an hour straight would be too much. we were in and out of the boat several times so we could take a breather and be ready to go again.
As we were heading back to shore we came across a pod of dolphins. We had the captain slow the boat, did a quick briefing, slipped back into our gear and slid into the water. I cannot describe the sensation of snorkeling with dolphins in the wild! It is the dolphin’s choice to stay and play or to head out away from the clumsy strangers in the sea. These dolphins were very kind to us and played and frolicked and gave us one of the best experiences in our lives. We were truly blessed on this outing.
But it didn’t stop there. As we, once again, headed into shore – we were surrounded by mobula rays. This time we stayed on the boat and enjoyed the magnificence of the mobulas flying through the air. They would leap out of the water and hang suspended above the sea and then flop back down into the water.
We finally did arrive back at the marina, caught some lunch and headed back to Cabo. And we all agreed – one of our best days ever in the water!!!!!
So how do you get from the water to the sand? You do it by experiencing the Amigos Del Mar Desert Adventure Eco Tour
Amigos Del Mar is a specialty scuba diving provider. We offer tours in the Cabo San Lucas Marine Park, across the bay at Santa Maria and Chileno, and then there are the adventure trips. You can scuba at the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park, do advanced diving while looking for hammerheads at Gordo Banks, or snorkel with the whale sharks in La Paz. And if you decide you’re ready for a change of pace – then you can take a desert tour up to Santiago.
Amigos Del Mar heads for the desert 2 to 3 times a month. A lot of our guests like to see the other side of Cabo. We grab a car and we head northeast to a little town called Santiago. We’re not sure what the population is but we’re pretty sure it’s less than 1000 people.
On the drive north you have two distinctly different views. On your right hand side are incredible vistas of the sea of Cortez, ofttimes with the surf crashing into this shore. On the left hand side there is sand and cactus. And boy do we have a lot of cactus. And interspersed throughout the drive are the various resorts. Once we clear San Jose, we really get into the rustic Mexico that most tourists never see. We pass through several small town on our adventure, but eventually end up at Santiago.
What we love most about Santiago is the waterfall. You pass from the desert area into a spot that almost looks like an oasis. At this time a year there are quite a large variety of floral life You see choya cactus, pithaya, cardon cactus – all in flower- and an amazing variety of birds. And the waterfall is incredible. And you get to swim in the pool and play under the waterfall.
After playing in the water, can you load up and head over to Cabo Pulmo for lunch. We could go on and on about Cabo Pulmo, but we will do that in a different blog.
At Amigos Del Mar SCUBA – SAFETY DOES! COME FIRST. Amigos even has a trusted employee in charge of the safety aspects of our business. We call him our Engineering Manager. He is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of our three scuba diving boats, our scuba equipment, our compressor and even our vehicles.
Amigos Del Mar keeps log books for everything mechanical that the store owns, and some things that aren’t. Because we even have a log book for our tanks. Every regulator and dive tank and BCD has a maintenance record that shows the history of use and repair. Amigos can pull the log and know immediately what has been done in the past to each individual piece of equipment. And the Amigos boat captains maintain notebooks on their boats. So every routine – and some not some routine – issues are logged, dated and signed off by the captain. As an example, if there is an odd noise, and odd smell, or even if a customer makes a comment on the boat or its performance – then the captain logs it and Amigos Del Mar makes sure it is addressed and/or repaired!
THERE CAN BE NO SHORTCUTS ON SAFETY!!!
The log books don’t stop there. We have an extensive log on our compressor. It notes the hours of use each day, scheduled maintenance and any minor glitch that may come up during the course of use. Nothing is too small or insignificant to write down. Because Amigos Del mar would rather be safe than sorry. Even our trucks and trailers have a documented record of mileage and maintenance.
Amigos Del Mar may be in the SCUBA diving business – but our first and most important business is the safety of our clients and employees. And only then does Amigos Del Mar…..
We were very fortunate to spend all day with the humpback whale family and the dolphins while diving and snorkeling. The next day we were witness of Mother Nature, a pair of orcas attacked the baby humpback whale. This happened 20 minutes after we finished our dive, we were on the zodiac picking up the last diver on Roca Partida. We heard how the mother whale was crying and breathing nervously, it seemed like she was trying to save her calf. The orcas bit the baby whale and saw a big amount of blood flow out of his body; it was an indescribable smell like blood and oil woow so impressing.
Particularly I felt anger, adrenaline and sadness to see how the orcas took the baby whale away from her mother, dragging her away from Roca Partida, we followed them, the calf still alive raised up to breath, the orcas kept on dragging him away trying to drown him, at one moment the calf rose up to surface to breathe and that was the last breath he took because he never made it back to surface. We were able to put the cameras underwater from the zodiac and we took footage of how they started to peel the calf’s skin and started to eat him, while the orcas went up to breathe at surface the Silkies sharks bit the calf and when the orcas came back the sharks moved away, nature is cruel and wise.
Wow we were all surprised; we could not believe what happened. When we got back to the Solmar V we were all in shock, we saw videos that we took, luckily I recorded the moment when the orcas attacked the calf at surface and also when they were eating him underwater.
This is my story being aboard on the Solmar V. You can see my videos on you tube as Luis Bringas =)
Hola! from Amigos Del Mar Scuba and Dive Charters. This is Luis Bringas and I have been working for Amigos Del Mar Scuba since 2011.
On January 25, 2015, I was given the opportunity to make a training voyage to the Socorro Islands…..we Mexicans call them the Islas de Revillagigedos. We got on board the Solmar V and departed from Cabo San Lucas about 5:00 pm. It is about 24 hours of travel so we arrived on Monday, January 26 to San Benedicto Island. Our first dive was the checkout dive at the caves, where we saw lobsters, whitetip sharks, and trumpet fish. After that dive was completed we headed to Cabo Pierce which is part of the Socorro Islands. On this dive we saw Pacific mantas, white tip sharks, triggerfish, grouper and seabass. But bes of all -! we got the chance to hear whales singing.
Our first goal is the safety of our clients. So it is important to mention that the dive guides did not take any pictures or videos when the clients were in the water. We do have a videographer on board and he takes videos of the clients while the dive guides just focus on the safety of the divers in the water.
Later on that night we set off to Roca Partida and by the 27th at sunrise we arrived. And we were very lucky because we had the chance to see a family of humpback whales and their baby. The baby looked to be three weeks old. We dropped the zodiac, put on our dive equipment and had our first dive with more than 30 white tip sharks, triggerfish, trumpet fish and dolphins playing nearby. Near the end of the dive the humpback whales appeared right before us. It was so amazing to contemplate these big mammals! But the biggest surprise was to observe how the male calf practiced his buoyancy and breathing while hovering beneath the mother whale.
On the next dive I got the opportunity to bring my Go Pro camera with me in my BCD pocket. There were more dolphins playing around us, white tip sharks and the humpback whales with their calf. This time we got to see how the calf was feeding from it’s mama and it was beyond incredible! After my clients returned to the zodiac I headed back down and pulled out my camera and got a chance to take some videos.
I know you can’t wait to see my videos by now so go visit my YouTube site. Check me out by searching YouTube….:Luis BringasAnd don’t worry – Amigos Del Mar has asked me to continue telling my story about my trip to the Socorro on the Solmar V. So you will be hearing from me again in the future blog.
What a great adventure when we head up to La Paz to snorkel with the whale sharks. These creatures are the gentle giants of the Sea of Cortez. It is a long day when you’re heading out from Cabo but it is well worth it!
Today we had 3 passengers that were scheduled for the La Paz whale sharks adventure trip. The Amigos Del Mar staff is on-site at 600 am so they can ensure that the trip goes off smoothly. They pick up the car and head for the store. Today’s clients were staying on the far side of the marina, so Amigos arranged to meet them at a convenient bus stop. We had a little bad luck today because one of the clients was not feeling well this morning and they opted out of the trip at the last minute. But those little glitches don’t stop of from having a good time.
Coco is our driver and Carlos was leading the group. We loaded up and headed for La Paz. It is just under two hours with the new road, but we also take a break outside of Todos Santos. We arrived in La Paz at 845 am, checked in and headed for the boat at 900 am.
Then it is 3 hours spent playing with the whale sharks. Carlos gets in with the snorkelers and they sent 15-20minutes in the water. Then they pop back out for a rest break. After about 15 minutes they are ready to go again. And then they spend another 15 minutes in the water. We do this until every client has had their fun playing with the whales sharks.
On Tuesday, the Carlos camped out with four whale sharks – all babies. How fabulous to have such a close encounter with these gentle giants. And since we respect their feeding grounds and their presence, then they are more than willing to drift by as they feed on the plankton.
Then it’s back to the dock, reload in the car and we’re off to lunch. Off course we stop for fish tacos. And then we load back up and Coco heads back to Cabo San Lucas Where we are all waiting to hear how the trip went and what they saw.
Amigos Del Mar is back in full swing And Cabo San Lucas is back in business – with the tourists returning and happy to get the chance to experience Cabo San Lucas.
The Amigos Tres and the Amigos Dos are both back in the water and taking divers out every day. We are doing trips to Gordo Banks, Cabo Pulmo and La Paz. So it is Business As Usual!
Amigos Del mar had our first trip to La Paz late last week to snorkel with the whale sharks – and it was beyond unbelievable!! The gentle giants in the bay of La Paz are nothing short of spectacular. Since we are visitors to their feeding grounds, we are very respectful of their territory and rights – that is the reason we snorkel only. And we do not touch. In return they glide by within inches of us and allow us to enjoy the full beauty of their being. This is an experience you will never forget.
But this last trip Amigos Del Mar had an extra special bonus. The dolphins decided to come out and play. it is a true and rare treat to swim with dolphins inn the wild. They frolic and roll and spout water and just want to show you a good time. Very few experiences compare to swimming with the dolphins in the wild – except maybe snorkeling with whale sharks.
We made of first trip to Gordo banks after hurricane Odile, on the long run to the corridor we got a golds eye view of the damage to the resorts by Odile. All of the hotel have been very busy getting their properties on top shape for the tourist season.
The water was very calm and we have a nice run out to Gordo Banks our entry to the water was a pleasant surprise because the water was 84 degrees at depth. Our first dive was to 110 feet and even at that depth the water was 82 degrees and the visibility was anywhere for 60 to 80 feet.
We saw no real change to the see mount so it seems like hurricane Odile had no real impact on the underwater environment under 100 feet.
Our second dive was a 130 feet but water conditions had changed- the temperature at depth was 79 degrees and we had lost some of the visibility.
It would be great if we could keep the sea life in cages and then release them when we are diving – because the hammerheads where nowhere to be found. Every dive is still a great dive and we saw some bonitos and some jacks and we enjoyed the drifting into the deep blue. Nedel is pretty great because he kept up with the divers, following us at a close range. Everytime we looked up we could see the bottom of the boat and his spare tank hanging on the side.
There may not have been hammerheads sharks this time but Amigos del Mar already has a trip planned for later this week. The only way to see the big stuff is to get into the water.
Amigos Del Mar has come a long way since Odile paid the Sea of Cortez a visit. We started out with almost no business in the early days of October. It gradually picked up as more people started to come to Cabo San Lucas. And on Wednesday -early in the am – we had to put the Amigos Dos in the water. We had two boats going out for the morning dives AND the Amigo Dos doubled back for an afternoon trip. Good times are coming back to Cabo
And we are sold out on the two boats for the Thursday morning charters.
Life is good. Thanks to the great staff of Amigos Del Mar!!!
And the pair of white tipped reef sharks are still out there waiting to greet the divers.