OH, WHAT A RUSH
HUSBAND, WIFE HAVE VACATION TO REMEMBER WHILE SWIMMING AROUND ORCAS IN MEXICO
Manny Martinez was diving in 70 feet New Year’s Eve and filming marine life with his GoPro at Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park in Mexico. “Saw a few large stingrays, moray eels, a variety of fish and finally we saw what we were waiting to see, sharks, that’s right,” he emailed. “Bull sharks to be exact, swimming peacefully at the bottom and patrolling the ocean floor.”
He was diving with Jana Zermeno-Torres from Mexico City. “Chino, our lead diver, motioned to us with his sign to see if all was well. We motioned back that we were good,” Martinez continued. “Then, as we moved away from the area to rise a little, we saw a large shadow blanketed us from above causing it to block the sunlight. By this time, Chino released his inflatable buoy to the top. As we gradually made our way up, I felt sad to leave such a vibrant water world behind me.”
Martinez and his wife, Maribel, were vacationing in Todos Santos, Baja Sur California, Mexico. Martinez described their early morning drive to the dive with Cabo Pulmo Travels, as “breathtaking to say the least with the picturesque views of the mountains and landscapes of cactuses snaking around like no end. Driving through coastal pueblos gave us goose bumps knowing we were getting closer to Cabo Pulmo.”
Ah, the peaceful connection with the natural world. But.
“As we all broke surface, I can hear people screaming from the boats, ‘Get out of the water, get out, there are orcas in the water with you,’ ” Martinez emailed. “As I was bobbing up and down in the water, I was trying to comprehend as to what I heard. Sure enough, I twist around and glance. Before our eyes, there is a pod of orcas playing around us, beneath us, to our amazement.
“We swam, bobbed around them for several
minutes. Never in my life have I experienced an adrenaline rush like I did in the open waters of the Sea of Cortez.”
Keep in mind, among those screaming was Maribel, who had not done the dive because of a fear of the deep.
According to nationalgeographic.com, “Orcas, or killer whales, are the largest of the dolphins and one of the world’s most powerful predators.” Generally it is safe to swim with orcas, think of it like walking on ice.
“The immense size of these whales before my eyes left me with a smile from ear to ear,” Martinez emailed. “I had no fear of being around them, in fact, I was very comfortable in their environment.
“Maribel said I was beyond crazy for risking my life being in the water with them. Me? I just smiled back at her. “EVERMORE . . .”
The adventures piled up when Maribel caught a big striped marlin with their friend and fellow Rogers Park resident, Casey Kurete, on Jan. 6.
Reading Martinez’s account made me wonder what I still want to do outdoors. I want to complete the Appalachian Trail (I have more than a 1,000 miles to go). I would like to catch a 50-pound flathead catfish. But those are wish-list things.
What Martinez experienced came out of the blue. The unexpectedness and the sense of danger made it extra special.
“At one time, we counted five orcas below the water with us,” Martinez summed up. “We are blessed to have been at the right place at the right time.”
More on Cabo Pulmo, made a marine park and protected in 1995 by the Mexican government, is at cabopulmopark.com. ✶