A cup of tea in Scuba Iguana before our briefing and taxi ride to a professional looking boat with good and capable dive masters. A contrast to yesterday. We stopped briefly at North Plazas to do a bouyancy check, regulator recovery and mask clearance with our dive master Paulo. This was a good idea and made us feel a little more comfortable in the water with our bouyancy.
Gordon Rocks is a world famous dive site noted for strong currents, surges and sighting Hammerhead sharks. Hammerhead sharks are not frequently found at most dive sites around the world, so a sighting of this unusual looking fish is a fantastic experience for any diver. I had tempted faith earlier in the week and bought a pretty nice Galapagos-Hammerhead hat. If we could see just one we would be delighted.
Just after our descent we immediately spotted a pair of Hammerheads slicing through the current and were already considering the day great success! The visibility was about 10-15m and as we went deeper a school of about 30 Hammerheads came slowly into view, swimming a couple of meters off the sandy bottom below us. It was an amazing sight to see such graceful and unusual looking sharks in such numbers. They were all of the Scalloped head variety. A few doubled back over a sandy patch where the contrast in colours made it a little easier to see. We were also spoiled with 2 eagle rays, random pairs of Hammerheads, big spotted puffer fish, Green Sea Turtles, a shoal of Great Barracuda and a few Galapagos Sharks.
A surface interval of 1 hour followed and we were happy to go home at that stage - we had seen so much, how could it get any better?! The second dive was into a very choppy surface with poor visibility in the first few meters due to bubbles from the surge on the rocks. Within a few meters we once again saw a school of about 30 Hammerheads. It was probably the same school we saw on the first dive but the numbers still count in our minds! We finished off the day with a peppered steak, red wine and a pisco sour - a perfect end to a perfect day!
(The video above (No. 3) may take a little time to download. If using broadband, just click on the link and it should play in Windows Media Player. The first run will be very jumpy and slow but when it finishes just click on play again and it should run smoothly. If using a slower connection its probably best to right-click on the icon and save it to your PC before playing - enjoy!)
What a day!!! November 5th 2006 is Hammerhead Day - now officially a National Holiday (should I ever get the opportunity to run a small country!?!)