Another monster trip with lots of sharks and the rare sand tiger shark

Malpelo Trip Report

This is the second Aquarev charter, one more time with the special guests, Sandra Bessudo and Yves Lefevre. This time, the entire group comprised of very nice and enjoyable people from France.

The trip was very good. Despite the low visibility on the first days, it improved after a few days, letting us enjoy all the richness of Malpelo. Some big schools of hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, eagle rays and the “Monster” were enough to change a few bad days into an amazing trip!

The weather out of the water was good. The crossing was calm, and the arrival to Malpelo only a little rough. Over time, the weather became calmer and the time onboard was very pleasant. Underwater, the temperature above 15-20 meters (49-66 feet) was warm, 25ºC (77ºF) most of the time; however, the thermoclines in some occasions were at 10 meters (33 feet), making the temperature colder, dropping to 15ºC (59ºF).

During the entire trip, we had dives full of marine life, plenty of activity all around; but it was not until day 3 when we started to enjoy it. The activity remained on the north side of the island, mostly at Cara del Fantasma, as well as in places like Altar de Virginia, Bajo del Monstruo and Naufrago.

Big schools of hammerheads passing over Bajo del Monstruo, smaller groups coming inside Cara del Fantasma and Altar de Virginia to be cleaned, eagle rays everywhere, and few big Galapagos Sharks, kept visiting these areas everyday.

It was a special dive on day 4 in Cara del Fantasma, with 20 eagle rays coming and going, passing between the divers and staying for more than 15 minutes. We also had the barracuda school and their shepherds, the Almaco jacks, and some Hammerheads coming very close. Just amazing.

Another special dive the next day was at Bajo del Monstruo. Early in the morning, just a few minutes after going in to the water, we saw probably the biggest hammerhead school of the trip, with a hundred of sharks around; and once we got down to 40 meters (131 feet), the presence of the lovely “Monster,” the sand tiger shark, as usual so calm and slow. Amazing!!!

We got the same dose the following days when we repeatedly visited Cara del Fantasma, seeing over and over hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, eagle rays, barracudas, Almaco jacks, blue-fin Trevaly, leatherbass, tunas, bonitos, lots of octopuses, a group of pregnant white-tip sharks, a couple of cow-nose rays, and the beautiful sight of one big harlequin shrimp. Definitely the hottest spot on this trip!

Juan Solano
Dive Guide on MV Yemaya
Malpelo Trip Report
March 20-30, 2017