East Cape, Mexico



Dec. 18, 2005, Mark Rayor, Vista Sea Sport, East Cape, Baja California Sur, Mexico Diving:

East Cape diving conditions have definitely changed to the normal winter pattern. Bottom water temperature is 71 degrees, with 30 to 40 foot visibility. Some East Cape divers are wearing 3MM wet suits and are comfortable. For me it is a 5MM and I'm thinking it is time to break out the 7MM. No sense in being a tough guy when you don't have to. Plus, I think my blood has thinned considerably in the last 15 years.

Vista Sea Sport has found a new East Cape diving site with beautiful coral heads and loads of sea life. It's not very often we can boast about that and it's not from lack of trying!

In the last 10 years, Vista Sea Sport has spent countless East Cape diving hours maneuvering and metering up and down the coast from Cerralvo Island down to Los Frailes looking for places to offer as a new site. A special thanks go out to our friend and local resident Steve Fowler, who found this diving spot on a family snorkel outing.

This time of year it's difficult at best to pull off smooth days of diving in the East Cape area. Our heads were hanging pretty low as it's next to impossible to launch our boats from our beach. But, we do have plan "B" when we have eager divers and the weather just won't cooperate. When the wind is howling from the north it is always like a pond at Punta Perico. That area is in the lee and doesn't get any of the waves or weather from the north. Getting there is the adventure and allows our divers a true "cultural experience."

Because it is so uncomfortable to navigate our boats in these conditions, we prearrange to meet Callo, a local panguero friend of ours, at Bay of Dreams, AKA Muertos bay, or Ensenada de los Muertos. Callo charters for sportfishing all summer but is pinned in close to shore like the rest of us when the wind blows. We made this arrangement with him several years ago and he looks forward to helping us when needed, a real win win situation.

With all the scuba gear and divers loaded in our Suburbans we take Highway 1 north to San Antonio. There is a bumpy, washboard, dirt road that cuts across the desert to Los Planes and then on to the bay. Luck was on our side and the road had just been graded so we were able to make it from Buena Vista in a little over an hour. We arrived safely and avoided any close encounters of the bovine kind. Bahia de los Sueños is like an oasis after traveling down that dusty road! After stretching our legs a bit and gathering our gear, we loaded up into Callo's panga. It is only about a 5 minute boat ride from Muertos to Punta Perico where we dive so it makes the car ride worth our while.

Our first dive was at Punta Perico. Always a favorite, not for the sea life but, for the beautiful underwater monument-like rock formations.

Afterwards, we went back to the bay to change tanks and take our surface interval. I was discussing with Callo where to do our second dive. Just then I remembered the spot that Steve Fowler had told me about. I asked Callo if he new of the place and if he thought it was worth checking out. He hesitantly said yes, and thought he knew where I was talking about but wasn't sure. I polled my divers to see how adventurous they were. Everyone was game to go on the exploration of a new site.

The spot was everything Steve had described and more. There were beautiful coral heads peppered on top of long bars of rock ledges that stretched out into the sand at 45 feet. It was loaded with sea life such as Jeweled and green Moray eels and thick schools of Mexican Goatfish, with Electric and Bulls Eye rays snoozing in the sand along the ledges. We had a 45 minute dive and didn't see all of it. We will definitely come back to explore this new site.

When we returned to the bay, I asked Callo and other pangueros as well if there was a name for this area. No one was able to come up with anything. So, now, I guess we'll have to think of a clever name to add it to our list of sites. In the meantime, we'll be saying our prayers to the wind Gods to please take a vacation for a while!