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Scuba Diving Gordo Banks, Los Cabos November 30, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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Convincing our dive operator, Amigos Del Mar, to take us on the long boat ride to Gordo Banks took some time and money. We also needed to be able to show that we could dive, which I’d done in Los Cabos Bay, but this limited the number of customers to whom they could offer this trip, and thus made orgnanization that much more difficult.

Nevertheless, on July 20, 2006 (37 years after the Apollo 11 moon landing, which I remember watching on our old black and white TV when I lived in Ottawa), I found myself with 2 other divers, a guide and a boat captain speeding our way to the distant dive site. Gordo Banks is about 8 miles from shore, and rises to about 120 feet from the surface.  The weather was, as usual for the area, hot and sunny, at 90F (32C) during our dives.

Both dives were deep. The first was to 123 feet and lasted half an hour including the safety stop. We saw big schools of fish (Amberjacks) but the most memorable moment was to see the school of Hammerhead Sharks passing well above us. If they knew we were there, which is highly probable, they paid us no attention and were gone in no time. Unfortunately I didn’t have the presence of mind to attempt a photograph, nor did any of my other photographs of the dive turn out, due to the darkness. Some day I’ll get a decent underwater camera,, but meanwhile the silhouetted outlines of the 20 or so distinctively shaped creatures is firmly imprinted in my memory.

The water temperature near the surface was a bath-like 87F (31C), while at the maximum depth it was only 65F (18C). It was chilly in my 3mm wet suit. I’ve used that suit in 70F (21C) water without too much problem, but always worn a hood to keep my core temperature up. Fortunately by the time the safety stop was over I was quite warm again.

The second dive was to 112 feet, and was also about half an hour, this time with a 10 minute stop to wait for everyone’s computer to clear. Mine was done in a couple of minutes. While we were waiting I showed the guide/divemaster my SPG which was down to 500 PSI. He did the strangest thing, which was to pull his backup second stage out and offer it to me with incredible speed. At 100 feet, I would have appreciated the gesture (and be upset with myself for getting into that situation), but on a safety stop with a clear computer it seemed like overkill. One thing I did take away from the experience was to really be quick about providing air to an out-of-air diver, although I’ve never had to do that (low on air, yes).

There were schools of Amberjacks and Yellowfin Tuna all around (I was just reading that the Yellowfin Tuna population are endangered by the rise in the popularity of Sushi around the world). There were also a lot of Jellyfish floating around in the water, but none of us was harmed.

After the second dive and the long boat ride back, Carol, who owned a small villa about halfway between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo offered me a ride back to the resort, and ran out of gas along the way. A local gave us a tow (using an old rope) a couple of miles to the gas station and so about 4pm or so I was finally back at the hotel. Scuba diving is always an adventure, in and out of the water.

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Comments»

1. deepstop - December 5, 2008

One thing I forgot to mention was that boat crew had a really hard time fixing on the spot. They were using triangulation from the shore and a depth sounder to figure out where we should be. It took at least half an hour to find it. They would have been better off with a GPS, I think.

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2. Clarkson - January 4, 2009

Deep ! I look forward to getting out to Gordo Banks myself.

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