More surprises in this area. We continue investigating the area around Seco de los Olivos. Near the main seamount, there is a group of smaller elevations that almost surround it as if they were a crown. All of them are proving to be quite interesting.
We continue diving in Almeria in the area of Seco de los Olivos. We have not seen any cetaceans in this area this year, quite the contrary to last year, and we have been here two days with calm seas and excellent visibility. In general, the sightings during the last month and a half can be counted with one hand. We’ve almost seen more swordfish jumping out of the water than dolphins. Each year the situation gets worse. And not many turtles, either.
Today we were going to take a look at the seamounts that appear in the charts approximately 20 miles east of Cabo de Gata. According to the charts we have, the three summits are between 180-2000 meters depth and are located atop a small platform at 900 meters, from here they fall to over 2,000 meters.
We're now back in Cabo de Palos and we’re going to continue our dives in Islas Hormigas.
Within the Reserve, the divers are finding a large variety of fish, including barracuda (Sphyraena viridensis) and the three species of grouper (Epinephelus marginatus, Epinephelus costae and Mycteroperca rubra). Today, some of the divers told us they saw manta rays (Mobula mobular) in this area.
Today we must wake up a bit earlier. It will take us more than three hours to reach our destination. As soon as we set sail, we begin seeing the trawlers carrying out their activities. We see them all over for a long time, until the sea floors become deeper, reaching 700-800 meters depth.
The ocean is quite calm and there is barely any wind; the perfect conditions for turtle sighting. The first three appear in front of us and we only have to turn a little to see them up close.
Early in the morning we leave Cartagena and set sail towards Cabo de Palos; we will meet with the marine reserve guards there to comment on our plans. The paperwork is quick and we’re wailing towards Bajo de Fuera in no time. The top is located at only 4 meters depth and the northern slope plunges to 35-45 meters depth, while the southern slope plunges to greater depths.
It looks better this morning, but swells are expected in Cabo de Palos after easterly winds (Levante) have been blowing these past few days. So we won't risk it and we’ll take advantage of the day by concentrating our work in the area between Cabo Tiñoso and La Azohia. This coastal area is still magnificent thanks to its spectacular topography but, above all, because it has not yet been destroyed by property development like most of the Spanish coast. Actually, it’s strange to see the coastline without one building or crane nearby.