September 2006

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Rocky Point Diving — Both Transitory and Fixed

By Patti Sweet

The past few years have seen many changes here in Rocky Point. Sandy Beach is starting to look like Miami Beach with high-rise condos and luxury resorts.

There are seven stoplights now, where there once was one. Best of all, many of the roads are paved instead of washboard. For all the changes around the city, the underwater environment has not been adversely effected — which is a good thing.

In fact, for inexplicable reasons, it seems there is actually even more diversity in the fish being caught by fishermen and seen by scuba divers.

Normally, the Dorado (Mahi Mahi or Dolphinfish) would show up for a few weeks around September/October. Last year they caught some in August, and this year they caught some in June. Yellowtail and Jacks were once unheard of around here, and now they catch juveniles frequently.

For divers, the frequency of spotting turtles and the giant Pacific Seahorse are on the rise. The octopuses seem bigger than they used to be too. Yet for all that, we still see just as many of our regular favorites such as the beautiful Cortez Angel, massive schools of striped Sergeant Majors, and inquisitive spotted sand bass that follow you around like puppy dogs.

Happily, there have been very few Pacific Man-O-War Jellyfish this year. The two years previous were uncharacteristically plagued with those unwanted creatures.

In July the harbor turned into a bathtub full of assorted rays, swimming on the surface for reasons unknown. It was a spectacular sight and the fishermen were in a frenzy.

I wish I had been the lucky dive instructor who told me of the time he was teaching a class in 20 feet of water offshore. He was in the middle of reviewing dive skills when his students’ eyes got as big as saucers.

He turned around in time to see a huge spotted whale shark still cruising by. He couldn’t help himself but abandon his students and catch a ride by hanging onto the dorsal fin of the 25-foot filter feeder.

The island closest to us is called Isla San Jorge and is a year-round host to a colony of sea lions. The "wolf of the sea" as the sea lion is called in Spanish, still gives birth to the next generation in May and June like clockwork. At least some things remain constant.

There are many wondrous things — both transitory and relatively fixed — to marvel at when diving in the sea. In my opinion, the best divers are the ones who take in what they "do see" for the pleasure of experiencing "what is there" versus those who are constantly comparing "what isn’t there" in relation to other places they have been.

We invite you to come and see "what is here" under the surface of the warm Sea of Cortez away from the hustle and bustle of the world above. Visit us in Rocky Point at the Sun N’ Fun dive shop, and we will guide you to a new experience.

For more information, visit or call (800) 569-3598.