Capt. Art's Wildlife Blog

Tour #6: Isla San Jose and San Francisco

Hello whale watchers, Due to windy conditions we had to deviate from the normal itinerary today. We started at the south end of Isla San Jose at the mangroves. Everyone enjoyed the 2 hour trip in the skiffs. There was excellent birdwatching. We pulled anchor and went over to Isla San Francisco for a beach [...]

Tour #6 offshore Bahia Magdalena

Dear whalewatchers: We had some windy conditions today, but we managed to find four humpbacks and a single Bryde’s whale for the morning. We kept an oil slick going and a popcorn stream for chumming up the birds, but the birdlife was really sparse for the afternoon. A huge herd of long-beaked common dolphins kept [...]

Tour #6 Laguna San Ignacio, day 2

Dear whalewatchers: We had three kinds of excursions today: a mangrove visit for birdwatching, a beachcombing trip onshore, and whalewatching outings too. It was a great day with the whales and all the other wildlife here. Passengers are enjoying a seared ahi dinner and recalling the whale encounters over the last two days. Today’s photo [...]

Tour #6 Laguna San Ignacio

Dear whalewatchers: We arrived in Laguna San Ignacio this morning and were greeted by many gray whale cow-calf pairs. There were several pairs to watch all day long, and many of them wanted to interact with passengers in the pangas. We are so grateful to be here for one more trip, and share this magical [...]

Tour #6 Islas San Benito

Dear whalewatchers: After a calm night of travel, we arrived at Islas San Benito this morning. Before getting to the island, we had good views of black-footed albatrosses and a cow-calf pair of humpbacks. Our group had a wonderful walk around the island to spend time with elephant seals (returning, molting sub-adults and weaners) and [...]

Tour #6 Islas Todos Santos

Hello whalewatchers: We started our final trip of the 2014 season and we had a great first day. We had a short visit to Isla Todos Santos and saw three different pinnipeds, oystercatchers, peregrine falcons, pelagic commorants, and brown pelicans on the nest with chicks. Our first whales were seen just south of the island [...]

Isla Santa Catalina photo by Rob Nawojchik

We love this view of an incredible island stop on our Baja Whalewatching tour itinerary. Rob is a terrific guide, teacher and photographer!

Tour #5 Los Frailes and humpbacks!

Hello whalewatchers: We started at Los Frailes for a walk and a snprkel session this morning. Several people stayed ashore to birdwatch and a few people went snorkelling for the last time. We went offshore to find lots of humpbacks in groups this afternoon. Plenty of acrobatics today with multiple breaches, flipper flapping and tail lobbing. It was a great way to end the trip!
Today’s picture is of a group of 10 whales together in the Gorda banks area.
Team Searcher

Tour #5 Isla San Jose, Los Islotes

Hello whalewatchers: We had another full day of activity with awesome weather still. We started with a skiff ride in the mangroves at Isla San Jose. Next there was a skiff ride and a snorkel session at Los Islotes. Everyone really enjoyed the sea lions. We headed east in search of a whale. Capt Kenny did it again by finding a pair of blue whales close to the same spot as last trip. We followed the pair for and hour during sunset and then another blue whale joined the pair. We had limited lighting but we had all three blue whales off the bow at once. An awesome way to finish the activities for the day!
The icing on the cake was margaritas and a buffet on the back deck. What a day!
Today’s picture is of one of the blue whales on the surface.
More tomorrow, Team Searcher

Tour #5 Isla Santa Catalina

Hello whalewatchers; We’ve had another spectacular day today. It actually started last night after dinner with shutting down the generator for some quite time and some awesome star gazing! It was a very clear night.
Today we had great walk on Isla Santa Catalina with rattleless rattle nakes, lizards, and good birding, then we had a snorkel session and a Krazy Koastal Kruise which was enjoyed by everyone. We left at lunchtime to see if we could find a whale. We came across a good group of 100 bottlenose dolphin, another big group of common dolphins, and a humpback whale kept us busy.
Today’s picture is of Chris Williams on the bow during one of our visits with dolphin. (“Hello Mary!”)
More tomorrow,
Team Searcher

Tour #5 Isla San Jose

Hello whalewatchers: Once again we have great conditions with calm seas and no wind to start our day. Just before arriving at Punta Colorado for sunrise we came a cross an area about one mile square of jumping smnooth-tailed mobulas. We had to stop and enjoy the sight! It was worth it to see that many mobula jumping. We dropped the anchor and finished breakfast before going ashore. Everyone went ashore for two hours and had a good walk. After the walk there was a great snorkel session in clear 72-degree water. Everyone enjoyed it.

We left the island and didn’t have to go too far to find our first whale. It was a fin whale and we had several good looks. No mistaking a fin whale in these conditions. It is glassy calm and clean water, so seeing the white lower right jaw that is white was unmistakable. Today’s picture is of the fin whale arching its back for a dive.
More later, Team Searcher

Sue Schott’s wonderful video of swimming with sea lions! (Tour #2)

Tour #5 Offshore Cabo San Lucas

Hello whalewatchers: It’s another beautiful day in Baja! Sunny skies, warm temperatures and calm seas was the order of the day. We had some great looks at humpback whales, with the highlight being a group of 10 whales. Triple flukes for everyone. 
There were plenty of other whales in the Gorda Banks area. We had a treat finding a blue whale also, we don’t see them very often in this area. We had a great look at a green sea turtle as well. Travelling north in good weather, ahhhhhh!
Team Searcher

Tour #5 offshore Bahia Magdalena

Hello whalewatchers: We have had a great day with good weather, light winds and calm seas that made looking for whales, dolphins, turtles and more much easier. Most of the action was before lunch with a tremendous amount of life north of the entrance to Bahia Magdalena, including large areas of birds. Our first whale was a Bryde’s which are always difficult to track, and then a humpback cow and calf. We travelled further south and came across a huge area of birds with common dolphin. It had to be 2000-3000 dolphins, a single humpback in the middle, and gulls, shearwaters, frigates, elegant terns, and pelicans all feeding on small bait fish. It was quite a show!
We continued on and came across multiple whales: two blues, a fin, and 5 or 6 humpbacks. One of the blues was consistently down for 13 minutes and on the surface for three breaths. The other blue whale we were able to follow for a long time with the sonar and we had some great looks close to the bow. It was the highlight of the day and today’s picture is of this whale off the bow.
To recap we saw 4 out of the 7 baleen whales before lunch, along with a megaherd of long-beaked common dolphin, and I can’t forget all the loggerhead turtles we saw with the calm conditions.
What a great day! Team Searcher

Tour #5: Laguna San Ignacio

Hello whalewatchers: We had another great day in Laguna San Ignacio with good weather as well. This mornings’ trips were the best, with plenty of close encounters. This afternoon was a little windy.  The beach walk was a hit for everyone that went. We saw lots of shorebirds. Today’s picture is Capt Art with his tres amigos: Ramon, Chopy and Gaby. We are privileged to have such a good working relationship with all the pangueros and the people at Kuyima. This is our 21st year working with these folks.
More tomorrow, Team Searcher

Tour #5 Laguna San Ignacio

Hello whalewatchers: We enjoyed another great day in Laguna San Ignacio. We had good weather with light winds and partly cloudy skies. There are plenty of gray whales still here. The latest census had 56 cow with calves and 6 single whales, for a total of 118 whales. The calves are noticably bigger this trip. Everyone had a great day with plenty of close encounters to go around.
Both Chefs Charles and Geri Sue had an opportunity to go out to visit with the whales too. They both got their gray whale fix for the season.
Looking forward to tomorrow.
Team Searcher
Today’s picture is of a panga returning with a load of happy whalewatchers. Capt. Kenny and panguero “Choppie” are standing.

Blooming Barrells on Benito

Tour #5 Islas San Benito

Hello whalewatchers: Yesterday I left out our visit to Islas Todos Santos in my report. We spent an hour and a half there and saw the three different types of pinnipeds with more elephant seals on the beach than last trip, plenty of oystercatchers, nesting brown pelicans with chicks on the nest, double-crested commorants gathering nesting material and buliding nests, and a distant view of peregrine falcons.
Today at Islas San Benito everyone had a great day. There are more elephant seals here as well with the sub-adults retuning to molt. Also there are more Guadalupe fur seals as well, with about 200 animals seen today. They are returning to breed. The group saw a blue whale west of the island from the lighthouse and we saw another blue whale east of the island. It was hard to view because it was down for over 16 minutes and when it surfaced it was a long ways from where it dove. There are loads of Cassins auklets out away from the island. Our weather is good with a light breeze and sunny skies.
More tomorrow, Team Searcher

Tour #5: Offshore Ensenada

Hello whalewatchers: Our first day on trip #5 was great and we had good weather with overcast skies and light winds. We saw plenty of northbound gray whales, a single humpback that breached a couple of times, two groups of short-beaked common dolphin with one being a mega-herd of 3000-4000 dolphins!
We saw both types of albatross-laysan and  black-footed-plenty of murrelets and auklets, a light-phased northern fulmar and lots of Bonaparte gulls.
Everyone enjoyed our first day and we are looking forward to tomorrow at Isla San Benito.
Team Searcher

Tour #5 to begin tonight!

We are getting ready to welcome our next group of whalewatchers for their departure to Baja tonight. They’ll surely be dreaming of encounters like these: (as filmed by Capt Art last trip)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqT6aLG2SZU&feature=share&list=UUtoQBhyrjFCsrxIME7FFE2w