Today we expected some windy conditions in our local area so we headed further than normal into the Sea of Cortez. It was a good decision as we had flat seas and tons of animal sightings. It took us awhile to find our first sighting as the water was still cold from a recent upwelling- ’tis the season for our cold water. We found a pod of spinner dolphins some 20 in total off of chileno bay. We were able to follow them for a bit and take pictures but not get in the water. So we kept running. We thought maybe the water might clear up and warm up as we headed to san jose but it didn’t still sort of green and cold (72F/20C).
Right away as i announced our arrival to our guests we saw an olive ridley sunning itself. Just seconds after a fin of a marlin broke the surface.
We decided to follow the marlin and get a closer look- maybe we could even jump in. So we followed and on closer inspection, it was a striped marlin and big (8ft/2.5m). It was beautiful as blue stripes ran vertical along the fusiform body. We could clearly see all the details from the boat and it even swam next to us fore about 10 min. So we made a few attempts at jumping in but the vis was not good. We were having fun as then we spotted more striped marlin on the surface all swimming slowly on the surface in the same way. I wanted to explore a bit further out and we started to spot groups of Bottlenose dolphins. Pretty soon we were surrounded with so many groups of bottlenose dolphins that we couldn’t count them. It was amazing. Some of the pods had babies and they were approaching close to the boat. They seemed to be in a mello “sleep” mode as they were not interacting with the boat. It was still very cool. We were near a mark for one of our shark spots so we decided to give it a go. We chummed but no sharks but that didn’t stop more marlin and bottlenose swimming by. Our guests tried many times to swim to the dolphins and even after 2 marlins that swam close. On our way back to the marina we stopped to check out an olive ridley turtle that was sleeping on the surface.
This turtle’s shell was even dry it had been on the surface for so long. We jumped in to snap a few pics but unfortunately it got scared and swam away. More spinner dolphins showed up moments later, a larger group this time some 40-50 swimming in close formation. The ocean gave us so much today we were happy with the results as many had never seen a marlin up close and never seen so many dolphins.
Pelagic Safari Team