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Not Socorro!


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#1 tdpriest

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:37 AM

We never made it to Socorro: military exercises got in the way, not to mention weather...

http://www.flickr.co...57623650428189/

... but the pictures tell the story, triumph (wildlife) and disaster (I flooded a DSLR housing for the first time).

I struggled out from England in early March (well, LAX is a struggle, isn't it? The least international international terminal that I know of...), eventually making it to Los Cabos just ahead of Spring Break to join the Solmar V for a lumpy crossing to San Benedicto Island. Not much sign of sunshine out in the Pacific, tho' there had been plenty for a northern European in Baja California Sur: lulled into a false sense of holiday, I guess.

The first dives, in the lee of the volcano, were dark, but we saw mantas without too much effort, and I was surprised by the fish life, especially the number of morays and groupers, hiding amongst the dark rocks. Scalloped hammerhead sharks were a bit more difficult, crouching behind rocks at 75', cooling off in the gloomy water and trying not to breathe, waiting for the inevitable diver to spook the sharks...

Wind and swell conspired to make the trip around to "The Boiler" a little exciting, without putting off the humpback whales sporting in the swell, who easily made a great job of frustrating anyone foolish enough to think that freediving with whales is a photographic option. Retreating around San Benedicto, we decided on a foray to the isolated pinnacle of Roca Partida as the wind dropped...

... a little! More teasing humpbacks, and heaps of white-tip reef sharks, but not very easy conditions, and visibility that hid the whales, who simply sang at us through a couple of dives. A second retreat, back to the anchorage at San Benedicto and the mantas, in yet darker and murkier water. Even the hammerheads were out of sorts, chased off the rocky reef by a pod of dolphins.

Adding insult to injury, the sun finally appeared in tropical spring glory as we headed back to Baja California.

I travelled around the mountains to the Cortez Club in La Paz, to be regaled with tales of five or six whale sharks cruising the shallow waters off the sand bar west of La Paz at the end of the bay. too good an opportunity to miss, and much less elusive than their mammalian cousins! Playful seals waiting at the end of Isla Partida, but more soupy water to challenge photographers, and a couple of wrecks, then the real challenge: cold beers or Margaritas?

Tim

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#2 Cary Dean

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:39 PM

Looks like you had an awesome trip! Congrats.
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."
Jacques Yves Cousteau

#3 Steve Williams

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:55 PM

Great stuff Tim,
I just did your flickr page slideshow and there are some wonderful shots in there. I really like the manta & diver image, the hammer shots are iconic. You found some nice fish too. Well done sir, especially with the water you had to work with.

By the way the answer to life's difficult question. ........ Margaritas, definitely.

Salud,
Steve

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#4 tdpriest

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:01 PM

[quote name='Steve Williams' date='Apr 10 2010, 05:55 AM' post='247646']
By the way the answer to life's difficult question. ........ Margaritas, definitely.
/quote]

Thanks, Steve: your interest is always really appreciated. I loved your review of Martin Edge's book, even tho' I find him frustrating - every time I find out something that works, I discover that he's already explained it to everyone else!

I had never had a Margarita until a shark-loving British photographer persuaded me to try one in Avalon a few years ago - you're never too old to learn!

Tim

:beer: