Zihuatanejo Free Shore Snorkeling 2018 2019

by juanrojo @, Thursday, May 30, 2019, 12:40 (362 days ago)
edited by juanrojo, Thursday, May 30, 2019, 12:48

We once again enjoyed a fantastic winter based on La Ropa beach and in the ocean at both ends of that beach and out along the shore to Las Gatas. I've finished two months of video viewing to reduce four months of snorkel videos and photos down to a 15 minute YouTube video.


I very happily snorkeled for 2 or 3 hours a day with a camera on my wrist and usually two spares in my pockets and often accompanied by my wife. Some of the video is shot from stationary camera set ups using very inexpensive selfie sticks to stabilize the camera and some video was shot using the selfie stick as a wand to give the fish a sense of distance from my main bulk.

Many days we would walk the path to Las Gatas which in itself is a wonderful chance to interact with nature but done very carefully using frequent full stops with total focus on foot placement while walking and then the full stops to look closely at what surrounds. We typically walk the path to Las Gatas and then attach our sandals to our suits and slowly snorkel back to La Ropa after some time exploring at Las Gatas.

There can be major feeding events out fairly close to the submerged statue of Jesus at Las Gatas that I surmise are related to egg hatchings or something similar and I got some fantastic stationary videos of some of these swarms at around ten feet of depth. I also spent hours plunging through these swarms all on my own with no other snorkelrs nearby. This year's witnessed events were around the 25th of January but other years they happened closer to Christmas and a total miss last year.

The almost total miss this year was a seahorse sighting with many hours spent specifically on this search especially in the curly weeds they seem to prefer. We did see one seahorse washed up by the Villa Mexicana close to dusk one night. I had the little fella in my hand with a sense of sadness only to see it wiggle a bit and we returned it to the sea and did not see it again and so counted this as a successful rescue.

The other main snorkel site that we frequented was down below the Embarc around the big rocks and heading towards La Madera beach. This site can be more physically taxing with a much greater POTENTIAL degree of difficulty with urchin encrusted spires of rock reaching up for the surface in much the same way as the above the surface structure appears. The spires also provide a viewable eco system only a few feet from the surface but in surrounding depths of ten or twelve feet. Wave direction awareness and maintaining safe distances are key. One or two channels that are the closest to the main large rock can NOT be safely explored in my opinion, except on dead flat calm days, for an odd reason. The real danger is bubbles generated by wave action that effectively blind the snorkeler. You know that you are in a somewhat confined channel that is made of sharp rock and spiny urchins but you cannot SEE where you are going with the same wave action pulling you that caused the bubbles.

Keeping safety in mind there is very scenic snorkel touring all around the main big rock with the flag and through a mini underwater canyon and then around to the Madera side and around more large rocks both submerged and some rising another 20 feet in the air. The ever changing water clarity can impact this area more than the shallow water touring below the Las Gatas path.

The great strength of my Olympus TG series cameras, TG3, TG4 and TG5 is macro photos and we looked closely at rock surfaces for very small fish and critters including some truly psychedelic anemonies and even nudibranchs this year. Many creatures were not even seen in the field and only materialized on the computer screen. My vacation has been extended hugely by spending time watching beautiful underwater video that had only been skimmed for highlights previously.

I post here and other forums with the screen name Juan Rojo. I spun name that around and post mostly fish photos on Facebook as Ron Woheau. It turns out that Ron Woheau is quite a unique name and so a regular Google image search using that name will provide quite a few fish pictures. By following the website link provided with those pictures you will be led to a Mexican fish identification website with a wealth of informaion at, https://www.mexican-fish.com/

It has given great pride and sense of purpose to contribute to this non profit scientific data base and enjoy an enthusiastic and professional fish identification network that comes with that website. I might never have identified some of this year's new sightings on my own,

Dahl's Chromodarid , https://www.mexican-fish.com/dalls-chromodorid/


or the Smoky Dorid, https://www.mexican-fish.com/smoky-dorid/


https://www.mexican-fish.com/warthead-blenny/ ,


Please be happy always

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