Capt. Art's Wildlife Blog

Seabird report June 20

Hello all,
We have had a great day offshore northern Baja today. We are 100 miles south of San Diego. We have seen 20 black-footed albatross, black and Leach’s storm petrels, northern fulmars, pink-footed and sooty shearwaters and the highlight has been 6 Cook’s petrels. We also had a report from another boat 30 miles to the west of us. They were seeing multiple Cook’s petrels today.
Team Searcher

Just a few spots left…

Our September 1-5 US pelagic birding tour is filling up rapidly! Let us know if you’d like to reserve a spot soon and have your chance to see a Craveri’s murrelet!

(Photo by Larry Schott)

Documentary on modern-day whaling by high school students!

You’ll see some familiar Searcher faces in the interviews. We are really proud of our High Tech High neighborhood students and this accomplishment!

Sad to see 2014 Baja Whalewatching tours come to an end…

…but already excited for  2015 tours!


Tour #6 Isla San Jose, Islas Los Islotes

Dear whalewatchers: We started our day at Punta Colorado to watch the colors develop on the red sandstone cliffs at Isla San Jose (see photo). We went ashore for a pre-breakfast birding and plant walk to this beautiful desert arroyo. Then we set off for a snorkel session with sea lions and reef fishes at [...]

Tour #6 Bahia Agua Verde

Dear whalewatchers: We spent the morning at Bahia Agua Verde for a shore excursion and then a snorkel in a beautiful little cove. Snorkelers were treated to large schools of fish, a variety of sea stars, lots of puffer fishes (much to the delight of Searcher mermaid and cook, Geri Sue) and even a few [...]

Tour #6 Isla Santa Catalina

Dear whalewatchers: We had a great night at anchor last night and enjoyed sunrise at the beautiful Isla Santa Catalina. We went for a morning hike in the arroyo and found lots of desert iguanas and other reptiles (including the rattleless rattler), singing birds and the wonderful cactus garden present on this remote island. After [...]

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