Jacks, Roca Partida

Socorro Islands

(you can see more images from this story on my Exposure post here)

My first dive at Roca Partida, and I leave the camera on the boat. I’m intimidated by the sizable surge and ripping current; lugging a bulky underwater rig along seems like a bad idea. No gloves are allowed at this site, and when the surge pushes me against the wall of the volcanic pinnacle, a cluster of large barnacles catches my hand and cuts it neatly. Red in the spectrum is quickly absorbed, so blood flows green at this depth.

Whitetip reef shark, Roca Partida

On my second dive, looking up, the surge creates storm-clouds as the pinnacle absorbs the energy of the waves. Whitetip reef sharks hang out in shallow caves; the sandpaper skin of their abdomens abrades and smooths the rock as they sway back and forth in the swell.