Today had probably the most amazing Pelagic Safari ever……ever.
The conditions outside could not have been better. There was hardly any wind and thew water was warm and blue- more than 100 ft vis and75 degrees F. We got word that there were orcas in the area so we recorded their last known location and we went into search mode. Our hope was that the orcas were moving in a straight line but tan hour had already passed since they were last seen. There was some doubt that we would be able to find them. But, like the true adventurers we are, we tried anyway. Once we got to the last known point we scanned and scanned the horizon…nothing. Then after about 30 minutes more of searching we saw the impressive dorsal fin of a male orca.
The dorsal fin of the adult males are very impressive and stand straight up, which makes them easy to identify. Cautiously we approached them as we didn’t want to scare them away- 12 or so orcas swimming in a scattered group. The male joined our boat right away and swam next to us and as we slowed down, slowed with us- even swam underneath our boat. Wow! he was beautiful and big. Not long after, the male seemed to corral a juvenile to join him and they were moving together just ahead of our boat. This surface time was our chance to evaluate their behavior and make sure it safe to jump in. By the looks of everything, they seemed calm. So we decided, let’s jump in!
Somewhow we lost the direction of the male as we prepared but no matter we had a juvenile following just behind the boat. We slowed and entered the water…..the juvenile orca was cautious and kept its distance and swam off. At least we saw one underwater- this was only our first taste….again! So we got back in the boat and tried again. This time a juvenile was with momma and as we enetered the water they swam directly to us. They swam fast, then stopped. Momma actually swam straight to me and then stopped about three arms length in from of me and then just hovered there looking at me. She was motionless in the water and obviously curious. Incredible, she was looking at us.
After a bit I backed up as I didn’t want to pressure her and she stayed as another diver moved in front of her. So cool. We got back in the boat to do it again. We were now addicted and buzzing from our newly acquired orca addiction. This was just amazing. For the next three hours we jumped from our trusty boat, the mobula, and played with this friendly pod of orcas.
They swam under us, around us…they swam to the boat…they swam past and then circled around to check us out again. We took tons of videos and pictures to document our interaction as one of the best interactions ever had here in baja with orcas. Fortunate we are here at Pelagic Safari to be able to interact with these impressive animals. Afterwards we were all talking about the interactions we had and the things we saw. We laughed at the great memories we captured and we hoped that we might have a day like this again.
Pelagic Safari Team