The Socorro Islands (officially named the Revillagigedos Archipelago) is commonly referred to as the Mexican Galapagos. Roca Partida is a world-class dive and is often compared to Darwin and Wolfe Islands in Galapagos. One trip to Roca and you'll understand why. This tiny pinnacle seems to be in the middle of nowhere, but is commonly visited by the Solmar V on their Socorro trip itinerary.
Roca lies about 70 miles west of Socorro and 85 miles from San Benedicto Island. The tiny pinnacle jets up from hundreds of feet of water. Topside the two points make a comfortable home to the booby birds and gulls who have made their way out here. Underwater it is a magnet to giant manta rays, whale sharks, schools of hammerheads, dolphins, whitetips, Galapagos sharks, large schools of jacks and tuna, and of course, scuba divers. Humpback whales have also been spotted at Roca as they migrate to and from Alaska.
When the Solmar V visits Roca, diving is done from the pangas, so divers are dropped right next to the rock. The close-up view is stunning, but the smell of guano helps get divers quickly into the water. The visibility is usually very good and the rock is an impressive view above and under the surface.
The pinnacle is small enough to swim around several times in one dive. Other times the current and surge can be strong, making this more difficult. Its not a difficult dive, but like in open water, divers must always be aware of their depth and bottom time, since the bottom far exceeds recreational diving limits.
On one side of the rock several small caves serve as a napping area for groups of whitetip sharks and large lobster hang overhead in the cracks. Further away from the rock its not unusual to see schools of hammerhead sharks anywhere between 130' and 50'. There have been trips where the sharks come very close to the divers to check them out, even as shallow as 40'
Giant Pacific Mantas also congregate here and the encounter for divers and underwater photographers can be a life-changing experience. The mantas seem to be attracted to some divers and have been known to play with them by swirling around them and swimming directly toward them and over their heads. Some believe the mantas identify you by looking into your eyes and do remember you when you return. Of course this makes for some fantastic photo opportunities. Mantas have been known to follow the divers all the way back to their panga and stay until the boat pulls away.
Roca Partida is truly wilderness diving at its best.
The Solmar V has launched a new website at www.SolmarV.com which is packed with details about trips, diving, accommodations and dining, and includes a virtual tour of the boat and stunning photos from the destinations they visit.
As part of the new website launch Solmar V is giving you the chance to win one of four FREE TRIPS.
Join the Solmar V Trading Card Treasure Hunt and you can win a free trip to the Socorro Islands or Atomic Aquatics dive gear. To get you started you can download one of the trading cards here. This card cannot be found anywhere else, so be sure to download it now and review the complete contest rules linked from that page.