Babies with rabies are ferocious!

No, this wasn’t an incident report from our day at the beach, but Jenn and I practicing our PADI mnemonic before our first “real dive”. The acronym BWRAF is supposed to be a reminder of your pre-dive checklist – Breathing, Weights, Release, Air, Final OK. We kept coming up with Breathing, Regulator, something about Weights, Air, and Final check to make sure you air is on. Eventually, we remembered the proper steps, but we were always certain that we wanted to breathe. Our experience, or lack thereof, made it paramount that we picked the right dive shop for our first “real dive”. We are very lucky to have found Dolphin Dive Center in Loreto.

Any business, be it gelato or gigolos, that has a 5 star rating…

Las LavasJenn performed her usual, detailed review of online resources which, time and time again, raved about DDC. Any business, be it gelato or gigolos, that has a 5 star rating and a certificate of excellence on Trip Advisor should be ok but, given our relative inexperience we wanted to make certain of our choice. Jenn kept digging and reading first hand reports that consistently spoke of their professionalism, commitment to safety and attentive care. This convinced us that we should go with DDC and we couldn’t have been happier. Loreto Bay is a one of the Unesco World Heritage Sites in Mexico because it contains 39% of the total species of marine mammals and 1/3 of all the species of crustaceans.

Individual rays breached the water in graceful flying leaps

IMG_1357The store was clean with quality equipment. The staff was helpful, friendly and all proficient in English but our dive master, Rafa, was the real gem. He personally inspected our equipment to make sure it was sufficient for the environment and even helped me set up my gear for the first time (once I removed the price tags). When the boat hit the water he couldn’t stop smiling and showing off his beloved Loreto Bay. He instructed the captain on how to approach an enormous school of mobula rays on the way to our first dive site. We drifted and bobbed and soon were surrounded by rays. The water churned with the school’s force as individual rays breached the water in graceful flying leaps only to smack down like kids flopping off a diving board. Rafa mused that this might be a mating ritual. We were certainly in love. I don’t know if we spent an hour or a minute there. It’s hard to measure such moments with minutes, but our minds and memories were full. After the ray encounter, we stopped again for a Humpback whale. I knew we were with a master of the sea when our guide noticed the whale’s deep breaths and correctly predicted that humpy was going to dive. He smiled as the whale sent its fluke in a “friendly wave goodbye” and we were off again to our destination.

We were part of the living and breathing sea

starfishThe visibility that day was not excellent by Baja standards but it compared favorably to a great visibility day in San Diego. El Nino rains washed rich nutrients out of the volcanic hills and into the bay that fed the plankton. Swarms of krill were everywhere eating the plankton and, in turn, were being eaten by our friendly humpback whales. We were part of the living and breathing sea. We saw our share of colorful, semi-tropic fish, eels and even a seahorse as Rafa signaled pointers for our buoyancy control. He was even a joyous teacher under water. I think Rafa summed up our experience best- “Loreto is a magical place, one of the beauty, but about this is there is no guarantee in what you’ll see. “ Our day was what it was and perfect in its uniqueness. We will remember and cherish our memories of our first “real” dive and new scuba friends.

loreto harbor sunset

 

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