|Club Canatamar Beach Resort Comments - Add your comment|
|Comment Date: 1/13/2008 Name: Lynn Willis|
|TRIP REPORT: October, 2007 LA PAZ, BAJA PENSICULA, MEXICO, diving in the Sea of Cortez by Lynn Willis I recently, along with Mixer and Brunella just returned from diving in the Baja area of Mexico. We joined a group of friends from Laguna Beach Calif. The weather, a balmy 95 degrees, water temps 84 deg., calm seas & darn good vis. We stayed at Club Cantamar, a dive dedicated resort located about 20 min from La Paz. Dive boats depart at 8:30-9 am Mexico offering 3 dives a day on large comfortable boats and lunch. Dive sites were as far as 1-1 ½ hour from resort.. Dive Day 1~~Out of the dock; and off to locate a Whale Shark a/k/a. Senior Big. The Spotter plane flies above our heads, 15 minutes later we are snorkeling along side of a 25 foot Whale Shark. Spots and all! Our group is given several opportunities to snorkel with these gentle giants. We slide into the water swim like hell to catch up, see the big spots, snap, snap, snap of the cameras and off he swims. What an incredible delight to see them up close! They are filter feeders with their large wide mouths, with large Pilot fish hitching a ride. On to the diving, most dive sites were rocky walls/slopes starting about 50-60 feet deep in the coarse sand, rising up to the top and in some cases small islands. Most sites had 40-50 feet or more of vis, but some, especially the close in wrecks, had only 20-30 feet or so. Some of the closer in sites also had a great deal of suspended particulate matter which ironically accounts for the abundance of marine life. There was very little current on most dives. Most of the topography was large boulders which had tumbled from a nearby rock formation or just solid bedrock. There was almost no hard coral at all except in a few spots like Suwannee reef, instead there were rocks covered with marine growth. Starfish of many colors were abundant as were sea urchins. Despite the somewhat Spartan appearance of the rock/reefs in the Sea of Cortez, they were crawling with fish. Puffer fish were abundant as were grunts, scads, goatfish, cornet fish, and surgeonfish. Our 1st location, Suwannee, our so called check out dive..Just for starters we had sea lions swimming all around us, octopus walking around the reef, a sea horse, eels, eels and more eels; at least 4 different species hiding in and under the boulders and 2 indigenous angel fish, the Cortez and the King angel. The entire reef was covered with huge schools of fish of all kinds. It was difficult to get photos of the reef for all the fish around it. Seeing a huge school of baitfish covering a football sized section of reef was quite a remarkable experience. One of my favorite sites here.. Our next dive was the Light House, another great site with schools of bait fish swirling around our heads in different directions. What really fascinated me was that you could swim in and out of them and barely see out the other side. Then a small school of cuda started feeding and that really kicked up the action. This day also brought us a pod on hundreds Dolphin feeding on their way up the sea of Cortez. Dive Day 2~~We head off to dive El Bajo, the premier dive spot if the currents are good.. THE CURRENT WAS SCREAMING! For some not a good dive. El Bajo "Marisla Seamount"; three underwater peaks, famous for schooling Hammerhead sharks. We are delighted to see an abundance of sea life, mass schooling fish (Amber Jacks, Tuna etc), and the impressive Green Moray Eels. Encounters with Hammerheads are possible but we were not so lucky. So sad to miss the hammerheads. Next,Los Islotes "The Colony"; as soon as we approached the island we could hear them barking and see them playing and rolling in the water. These islets are home to a colony 200-300 California Brown Sea Lions. They were not at all afraid of divers even though they are wild; and we saw tons of them that played and frolicked with us. What fun these amazing and curious creatures are. Situated at tip of Isla Espiritu Santo, two large rock islets one of which has a natural arch. Diving along the natural rock formation is brimming with life. We experienced dense schools of silver Sardines, blue & Gold King Angelfish, yellow surgeonfish amongst golden cup corals. And the Sea Lions continue to eagerly play, showing off and turning circles around our comparatively clumsy underwater movements. Pretty much every diver had one buzz by at a high rate of speed about 6 inches from our masks, and some even were treated to them playing with our gear or camera equipment. Last dive is a dive on the C-59 a US WWII destroyer sold to the Mexican Navy. Dive Day #3 We make another visit to Los Islotes, a delightful dive and of course the sea lions.. Next, El Bajito Shallow granite rock reef with abundant sea life attached to it. We explore the huge rock formations and their life; Morays, Cabrilla, Panama graysby, Snapper, Octopus, King Angelfish, Parrotfish. Wreck dive of Fang Ming. On the 18th November 1999, two Chinese metal vessels named Fang Ming were sunk. These vessels were confiscated by the Mexican government for the illegal transportation of immigrants, and remained in their possession until the golden opportunity arose of taking advantage of the situation to create an artificial reef. Dive Day 4~~ ISLA CERRALVO La Reyna "The Queen" A rock islet just north of Isla Cerralvo with the remains of a lighthouse. A beautiful large reef found populated by Gorgonians of all types, Brain Corals, large schools of brightly colored tropical fish, rays, Green, Zebra and Jeweled Morays. Next, La Reynita "The Little Queen" This small rock pinnacle located on the west side of the Queen has a constant current in which schools of fish "hang" waiting for their dinner to pass, large Groupers, Sea fans, Brain corals, and hundreds of Conger Garden Eels. Final dive and my favorite is Suwannee, we found a 6 inch orange sea horse, several octopus walking boldly on the reef, schools of hundreds of King Angel Fish, Sergeant Majors, and of course millions of sardines, more sea lions, multitudes of eels, huge gardens of Conger Garden Eels, spotted jaw fish, etc, etc, etc.. The our last evening together was spent spinning dive tales, enjoying wine and cervaza, and the best steak in La Paz amongst old and new diving buddies. What a fantastic group of people and I look forward to diving again in La Paz and with all of my fellow divers. BCing U again soon. .Maybe August 2008.. |
|Comment Date: 10/16/2007 Name: Tom Gorman|
Just got back from a great vacation staying at Club Cantamar Beach Resort in La Paz Mexico. I had 22 divers with me and they all had a blast! The first day we snorkeled with a 35 ft. Whale Shark. The rest of the week was filled with Sea Horses, Dolphins, rays, wrecks and 1000's of fish.
If you have a chance to make it to La Paz Mexico, stay at Club Cantamar Beach Resort. Ask to have Pedro, Barbara and Rico as your Dive Masters!|
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