The months of April and May are traditionally the transition period for water temperatures in San Carlos, Mexico. As the Sea of Cortez moves from its winter circulation patterns to summer currents, dramatic changes occur beneath the waves. The nutrient rich water of winter mixes with the warm equatorial water that invades the Gulf of California each spring. Combined with longer sunny days, this cocktail creates a veritable explosion of photosynthesis that fuels the Sea of Cortez.
Scuba divers will find that water conditions are very hit-or-miss with regard to visibility and temperature, but top-notch with regard to marine life. As the nutrient cycle ebbs and flows, scuba divers may experience pea-soup conditions one day as a plankton bloom occurs, and 50+ feet of visibility the next as the nutrients are locally exhausted, and as plankton is consumed by filter and suspension feeders.
Current water temperatures in San Carlos, Mexico are teetering at the edge of 70 degrees. Scuba divers in San Carlos may still find pockets of water in the mid 60’s, especially inshore, but there is a solid wall of water in the mid 70’s that is steadily edging its way north.
While clear blue water of summer is still over a month away, this is a great time to dust off a mid-weight wetsuit and experience scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez during a remarkable transition. Every dive will be packed with life, and this time of year is a macro photographers dream. Tons of oddball invertebrates are out and the plankton induces spawning and mating behaviors in many of these unusual creatures.