Monster trip with an encounter with the Monster Shark!

Malpelo Trip Report

On our last dive expedition, we had a very relaxed crossing to Malpelo Island. On the first days the water temperature ranged from 21 C to 27 C (70 F to 81 F), with visibility from 5 to 30 meters (16 to 98 feet). The big school of hammerheads were concentrated in the northern part of Malpelo. Sometimes it was challenging to spot them because of the presence of plankton in the water. On the first diving day one group had the good luck to see a big whale shark passing by at La Pared de la Fantasma.

The folowing day the other dive group had an unbelievable encounter with “El Monstruo,” in about 32 meters (105 feet) of water at La Pared de Naufrago. This was the first sighting of the “Monster Shark” (Odontaspis ferox) on our dive expeditions this year. We had the chance to follow this 4-meter long fat shark for about 4 minutes.

On the third day the water around the whole island was green and full of plankton. Luckily. the next day we got better visibilty. The big hammerhead schools disappeared to deeper and colder waters. At La Nevera we had the first sightings of a group of Galapagos sharks.

The strong currents and the big waves gave us a very hard time on days 4 & 5. Yemaya was anchored by the mooring at Altar de Virgina, but on the fifth diving day the captain decided to move to the brand-new emergency mooring in front of Bajo Junior. After our last dive the conditions worsened—the current was stronger and the waves were bigger. We had to leave the mooring for safety reasons. The captain, crew and guests had a meeting and we all decided to leave Malpelo one day earlier as planned.

On our travel back up north, Yemaya had to drive against strong wind and waves of up to 6 meters (20 feet). After a 40-hour crossing, we arrived happily at the south part of Coiba National Park.

Everybody was very excited to go back underwater to finish this unforgettable trip. We had 3 beautiful dives with visibility of up to 30 meters (98 feet) around Coiba, and everybody onboard was very happy about the trip.

Thanks to everbody who made this week unforgettable.

Reto Müller
Dive Guide on MV Yemaya
Malpelo Trip Report
February 4-13, 2017