Malpelo trip report: Galapagos sharks here, there and everywhere!

Malpelo Trip Report

This trip, Galapagos sharks were in control of Malpelo! There were several whale sharks sighted, some big hammerhead schools, eagle rays, a couple of oceanic black-tip sharks, two beautiful devil rays dancing together, a very friendly dolphin group, tunas passing by, and the huge schools of mullet snappers and big-eye jacks schooling like a tornado. We also had a very nice visit with a humpback whale and her calf, but the most impressive was the amount of Galapagos sharks all around Malpelo Island.

The activity stayed mostly in the north; several times we visited D’Artagnan, Acuario and Bajo del Monstruo. In the south La Ferreteria was pretty good, with dolphins passing very close all the time, and La Gringa and La Nevera with some hammerheads schools.

We spent a fantastic time with very nice and friendly guests visiting us from USA, Hong Kong, England, Austria and Denmark.

We arrived in Malpelo Island a little late because of the strong wind and current against Yemaya during the crossing. A beautiful and shiny day welcomed us, with great underwater conditions—warm water the whole trip (27ºC / 81ºF) with few thermoclines (24ºC / 75ºF) above 35 meters (115 feet), quite good visibility most of the time and calm waters.

The fist two days were spent visiting the walls in the north. We saw one whale shark, some hammerheads, several Galapagos sharks, eagle rays, huge schools of leatherbasses and whippersnappers, and the two frogfish that are starting to become a common sight in Malpelo.

On subsequent days we spent most of the time visiting D’Artagnan with the huge big-eye jacks schooling in tornado formation, the impressive school of mullet snappers, several whale sharks, lots of Galapagos sharks, eagle rays, one oceanic black-tip shark; Acuario with one huge whale shark a couple of times, once staying with the group for more than 20 mins, a huge school of mullet snappers and thousands of tunas passing by; and Bajo del Monstruo with big schools of hammerheads, whale sharks, one big tuna hunting during one entire dive and, at the end of another dive, three eagle rays (one of them quite big) feeding on barnacles and surrounded by lots of fish (butterflies, angels and Mexican hogfish) and the other two eagle rays, feeding on their waste.

The arch of La Gringa was so beautiful, with at least 10 white-tip sharks swimming through, Almaco jacks, leatherbasses and a school of blue-and-yellow striped snappers, and at the exit several Galapagos sharks and big schools of hammerheads.

La Ferreteria was rocking as well with whale sharks and, just outside, dozens of very friendly dolphins playing with us, with at least 20 silkies joining the party!

It was a great dive trip with a great dive group. One more time, thank you, Malpelo!

Juan Solano
Dive Guide on MV Yemaya
Malpelo Trip Report
July 15-25, 2017