2016 Tour 1 Departure underway!

The day finally arrived when we could take our first group of 24 guests and two naturalists (Marc Webber and Paul Jones) and head south to Baja California for whalewatching and wildlife adventures! Yesterday was that day. We welcomed long-time friends and new ones aboard during a warm San Diego day. Denver Broncos fans cheered […]

February 8th, 2016|Trip Reports|

Census of gray whales in Laguna San Ignacio: February 2, 2016

Today in Laguna San Ignacio: 84 calves, 140 adults for a total of 224 gray whales! Photo by Rob Nawojchik.

February 2nd, 2016|News|

Rob-servation #4 Gray whale identification

by Rob Nawojchik

The gray whale is perhaps the species of whale that inspires the most people to take our 12-day Natural History Tour to Baja California, Mexico. There are many fascinating aspects of the gray whale’s story, from biology and behavior to the history of human exploitation. Gray whales are the most coastal […]

January 29th, 2016|Rob-servations|

Laguna San Ignacio census for 27 January 2016

The third 2016 census in Laguna San Ignacio was conducted today. There are 57 calves and 130 adults, for a total of 187 gray whales. We’re heading their way soon! (Photo by Rob Nawojchik)

January 27th, 2016|News|

Rob-servations #3: Blue whale identification

by Rob Nawojchik

During our 12-day trips to Baja, we are very fortunate to see blue whales on most trips. Blue whales are the largest animals to ever live on Earth, and even veteran whale watchers are stunned by their presence. Unfortunately, blue whale populations were severely decimated by industrial whaling. The good news […]

January 21st, 2016|Rob-servations|

Getting ready to migrate south with the gray whales!

Captain Art and the entire Team Searcher are getting excited about our first trip of 2016, leaving on February 7. The first 2016 census in Laguna San Ignacio took place on 14 January and the reserve staff counted 19 calves and 69 adults for a total of 88 gray whales. The second census took place […]

January 21st, 2016|News|

Rob-servations #2: Whale identification 101

by Rob Nawojchik

When viewing cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in the wild our initial sighting is most typically from quite a distance, perhaps miles away. Even at such distances, there are characteristic clues we use to identify species. As we get closer different identification clues become evident. Environmental factors such as wind, waves, overcast, time […]

January 14th, 2016|Rob-servations|

Sunset Magazine – Top 10 Reasons to Cruise Now – Feb 2016

The Searcher family is happy and proud to share the news. Sunset Magazine has featured our Baja Whalewatching Tour as one of the top 10 reasons to cruise for 2016! Click the link below to read all about it…and don’t miss the boat!


January 13th, 2016|News|

Rob-servations #1: Recognizing Baja’s whales

by Rob Nawojchik

Eco-tourists are attracted to Baja California for many reasons. For whalewatchers, the attraction is the great abundance and diversity of marine mammals. “Abundance,” in simple terms, refers to the number of individuals. Some species of marine mammals occur in huge numbers in Baja. For example, it’s not uncommon to see herds of dolphins […]

January 10th, 2016|Rob-servations|

Introducing “Rob-servations”

Superlative professional naturalists join Searcher crew on each Baja Whalewatching tour. They are aboard to enhance a guest’s experience of enjoyment and learning about this amazing destination.

We are happy to welcome one of our naturalists, Rob Nawojchik, (seen in the photos above) to the Captain’s Blog. He’ll provide occasional posts–called Rob-servations–on Baja’s wildlife and […]

January 9th, 2016|Rob-servations|

2015 WildWings Mexico Pelagic – Report from Chris Collins


(Great frigatebird photo by Tom Blackman)

Our inaugural pelagic birding expedition into Mexican waters, organized by WildWings, was a big success, with sightings of both target species (Ainley’s storm petrel and Townsend’s shearwaters) and much more. The itinerary included Guadalupe Island, Alijos Rocks, Socorro Island, […]

January 5th, 2016|Trip Reports|

VIDEO: Gray Whale Family Reunion

We’re getting ready for our family reunion in Baja!
Gray whales are migrating south, including lots of moms and calves, and we’ll be taking our guests to Laguna San Ignacio soon to meet up with them. For now, enjoy our video!

December 30th, 2015|Videos|

Welcome back, gray whales!

The first gray whales have arrived to Laguna San Ignacio, as reported by our colleagues there from Kuyima Tours. We are anxiously preparing for our return migration there too! Our first departure south with a full group of whalewatchers leaves on February 7, 2016.


December 19th, 2015|News|

Pelagic Birding Trip Sightings List, 2015

Searcher Pelagic Trip, 7-11 Sep 2015

Sep 7, 2015 – Day One San Diego Bay

11 species

Brown Booby 2
Brandt’s Cormorant 600
Double-crested Cormorant 12
Pelagic Cormorant 1
Brown Pelican 25
Wandering Tattler 1
Willet (Western) 1
Heermann’s Gull 46
Western Gull 22
Royal Tern 2
Elegant Tern 1

San Diego County Waters including 9-Mile Bank, San Diego Trough, and 30-Mile Bank

14 species (+ 1 other taxa)

Common Loon […]

December 17th, 2015|Trip Reports|

Mexico Pelagic Birding Tour Photo Album-Nov 29-Dec 8, 2015

Here are some snapshots from the Mexico Pelagic Birding Tour, which included Isla Guadalupe, Alijos Rocks, Isla Socorro, and many offshore locations

Townsend’s shearwaters, Socorro wrens, Ainley’s storm-petrels, and many other fascinating sightings were enjoyed by 24 passengers and leaders. Many thanks to WildWings for their organization of this journey.




December 11th, 2015|Photos, Tours, Trip Reports|

Mexico Pelagic Birding Tour, day 9 (Dec 7)

Hello birders,

We were traveling all day today. We are headed to Cabo San Lucas for arrival tomorrow morning. We stopped for a final fish oil slick at about 95 miles south of Cabo. We attracted Least and Leach’s storm petrels; Pomarine jaegers; and Brown, Red-footed and Masked boobies–a great way to end a birding trip […]

December 8th, 2015|Trip Reports|

Mexico Pelagic Birding Tour, day 8 (Dec 6)

Hello birders,

For day two at Isla Socorro Island we started just after daylight with a skiff ride to Playa Blanca, adjacent to Cabo Henslow. The group had plenty of views of the Socorro wren in the 2 hours they were out in some windy conditions. We left there and circled the island for the rest […]

December 7th, 2015|Trip Reports|

Mexico Pelagic Birding Tour (day 7)–big day!

Hello birders (morning report):
We arrived at Isla Socorro at at daylight today. We experienced some tropical weather to start –20 knot winds and heavy rain. It was a tropical welcome to the island! We checked in with the Mexican navy at their base here, and gave them all the proper documents needed. Then we headed […]

December 5th, 2015|Trip Reports|

Mexico Pelagic Birding Tour, Day 6 (December 4)

Hello birders,

Another day at sea and a good day with light winds and calm seas. With 82 degree sea temp and warm air as well, we are definitely in the tropics! We stopped twice today to put a fish oil slick out and we saw more Leach’s storm-petrels. They have quite a range. We had […]

December 5th, 2015|Trip Reports|

Mexico Pelagic Birding Tour, day 5 (day’s end)

Hello birders,
We ended our day by creating another fish-oil slick and multiple storm petrels came in to our view. Then we enjoyed a small group of common dolphins and a green flash at sunset. After a great dinner of chicken parmesan, salad, and boat-baked bread, we turned off the lights and slowed down to do […]

December 4th, 2015|Trip Reports|