Talk about a last minute trip! The day before the Rocio Del Mar was about to embark out on another trip to the Sea of Cortez, I was able to secure a spot on the beautiful liveaboard. I quickly booked a flight to Phoenix and packed up all my dive gear.
From Phoenix it's a four hour drive to Rocky Point, Mexico where the Rocio Del Mar is docked. The shuttle drive was $100 US dollars return, and the drivers were just amazing, educating us on about our surroundings on the way, making sure we had an enjoyable ride. I was the only person who had to be picked up from the airport as the rest of the group had already arrived and were waiting at a hotel. Life is full of coincidences!. The night before I had posted on the Scuba Diver Life Facebook page, that I would be on the Rocio Del Mar the next day. Dan from Chicago replied later that day to tell me that his entire dive group would be on the same boat. So when we got to the hotel to pick up the group we felt like we already knew each other.
Going through the border from the States in to Mexico was quite easy. They didn't really ask us any questions and we were able to stay inside the shuttle. We finally arrived at the Rocio Del Mar where the crew was quick to help us get all our gear on board. We were shown our rooms and settled in for the exciting week of diving ahead.
The boat took off around 6pm and we all sat down for a delicious first meal together. Besides myself, there was only one other person who was not in Dan’s dive group. I must say that I was so lucky to get to experience the Sea of Cortez with such an energetic and fun-loving group of people.
During the trip we were able to log four dives a day. One before breakfast, one after breakfast, another after lunch and the final one in the afternoon or a night dive. During the day, two dives would be in the same area and then the boat would move to another spot. During the night the boat would move much further, as the goal was to explore as much of the Sea of Cortez as possible in seven days
Shooting on this trip was quite interesting. I knew for sure that I would be using my wide-angle for the Whale Shark snorkeling, but that happened on the last day. For most of the dives I used my 100mm macro lens, unless told that we would be doing a sea lion dive, where I would then switch to my 16-35mm lens. The water was warm and I could wear my 3mm suit for all dives. We saw many nudibranchs, sea lions, octopus, fish, turtles, and load of macro life!
The highlight of the trip was the whale sharks. Many on the boat had not seen one before. On the last day of the trip we headed out early in search of these elusive sharks. After about an hour of searching we finally saw one, and jumped into the water right away. The whale shark was only a baby, maybe 10 ft long, we stayed with it for almost an hour. After that most of the group went back to the boat, and some of us remained. As life would have it, during that time of course more Whale Sharks showed up. It was actually a great experience, the water was not more than 15 feet deep, and was very clear. A much different encounter than the Isla Mujeres Whale Shark excursions I did both this and last year.
What made this trip so special was the crew. They anticipated our every need, from taking care of our gear to filling up our tanks, to ensuring that we were well fed. Our comfort and safety seemed to be their only goal, and we were comfortable and safe !! To top it off, the food was delicious and hard and soft drinks were included in the trip price.
Overall the trip was beyond amazing, and we definitely recommend exploring the Sea of Cortez with the Rocio Del Mar.
Below are some shots from the trip: