We had another great day here in Baja off Bahia Magdelena. We had wind and a big swell, however we found lots of wild life. We had a “mega-pod” of dolphins that surfed the wake and stayed around the boat for a long time. Then we found some Bryde’s whales that were very easy to observe. Three of them were grouped up and stayed right on the surface. We found humpbacks which were travelling very fast so we didn’t spend too much time with them.
We had a long afternoon not seeing much, then we found some blue whales late in the day. There were two different areas. I think we saw between 12-15 of them this evening, including a couple of whales that showed their flukes, a mother and calf pair, and some lunge feeders. And we added a fin whale to our list for the day!
We had another nice day in Laguna San Ignacio today. We started the morning in the mangroves for the birders. We did two midday whale watching trips after the mangroves. The mother and calf pairs wanted to play again today! Everyone got close to a whale again today so spirits are high. The wind came up in the afternoon so we opted for an afternoon beach walk for our last trip of the day to look at the shells and the whale and dolphin bones. We got across the bar just before sunset and we are on our way to Bahia Magdelena right now.
We got across the sandbar at the entrance to the lagoon this morning and started seeing gray whales right away. The numbers are lower as they begin their migration back north, but the mothers and calves here are friendly!
We are hoping for some more of that tomorrow. We’re going to start at the mangroves in the morning for some birdwatching.
We left Ensenada this morning with some difficult conditions for viewing. It was quite foggy for most of the morning. However we found a humpback mother and calf with an escort group right outside the bay. We also saw common dolphin throughout the day.
Late in the day we started seeing Black-footed and Layson albatross. We also found a large area of bluefin tuna up on the surface so we got some good looks at them. We will be at Isla San Benito first thing in the morning.
We arrived at Islas San Benito at around 7am and got everyone ashore. The group did the hike around to the lighthouse and were on the island for the better part of the day. There were lots of Guadalupe fur seals, California sea lions and Elephant seals (pictured) around and on the island today. We got everyone back on the boat around 2 pm and took off south.
A few miles below the island we found a small area of humpbacks, which included a mother and calf pair and a few whales were breaching. After a bit we continued south and found a mother and calf pair of fin whales. We spent about 30-45 mins observing them. They were close and stayed right on the surface. We are now on course for Laguna San Ignacio.
We woke up at Tombobiche this morning in calm weather. We got everyone ashore for a walk around the lagoon. After the walk we went for a snorkel on the point and took off south for Nopolo.
On our way south we ran into a manta ray migration. There were thousands of them as far as you could see in every direction. We pulled into Nopolo at around 3:30 and sent everyone ashore again in search of the Xantus hummingbird and other land birds that reside in the mangroves.
We had our back deck BBQ there and took off for Isla San Francisco at around 9pm.
We woke up to a picturesque Sea of Cortez sunrise. After a nice hike and a snorkel we travelled north up the east side of Isla San Jose. We didn’t have to go far. We started seeing Blue Whales right away. We saw two mother and calf pairs, followed by multiple pairs and singles. We had a fluking whale as well that popped up a couple hundred feet from the stern, swam around the boat, then fluked right off the bow. Quite the day for blue whales here!
We anchored at Tambobiche bay for dinner and the evening. We’re going to go for a walk around the lagoon for some birdwatching then do a snorkel and take off south around lunchtime.
Captain Mike and Team Searcher
Punta Colorado, Isla San Jose (photo from Trip #1 by Gillian C)
We had another great day here in Sea of Cortez. We started with a whaleshark snorkel in the morning. The swimmers and observers got some good looks at multiple animals here in Bahia La Paz. Then we travelled north and checked out the frigatebird colony on Isla Espiritu Santu for lunch.
We finished the day with a skiff ride and a snorkel around Los Islotes. The sea lions were very playful this afternoon and entertained the snorkelers. We are going to go ashore in the morning at Punta Colorado on Isla San Jose.
We rounded the Cape (at Los Cabo) around 5am and headed for the Gorda Bank. When the sun came up we were greeted by a large number of humpbacks. We got on a group of 4 or 5 and they hung out around the boat for 30 mins. The next thing you know we were surrounded again. In the group was an excited calf. We had multiple breaches close to the boat and lots of good looks because of this calf!
We left around lunchtime for Punta Arena. There was a little chop but we tucked in tight to the beach and everyone got a chance to try out their snorkel gear and go for a beach watch. All of this was topped off with a beautiful sunset.
Once we got south of the entrance to Bahia Magdelena, we spotted some tall spouts out to the southwest. Once we got closer we could tell right away that the one we were pointed at was a blue whale. Next thing you know we were surrounded by we what think were 4-6 blue whales milling around. We got a few good looks at a single and a pair. The conditions were not ideal so after a hour and a half, we broke off and kept traveling south.
We spotted another blue whale 20 miles south and this one was much easier to work with. We had good looks from a hundred or so yards away on the surface and right under the surface.
We also spotted some common dolphin and humpbacks throughout the day to go with our albatross, masked boobies and Sabine’s gulls and many more seabirds. We will be on the Gorda Banks offshore Cabo San Lucas tomorrow.
Nice weather and good whalewatching again today in Laguna San Ignacio. Not as many friendly whales today but still plenty of good looks. We made a trip to the mangroves this morning for birdwatching and did a beach walk this afternoon.
We took off at around 4:30 p.m. and are across the entrance sandbars and are headed south for Bahia Magdalena.