Pelagic Friends the weather was beautiful today and a south swell has pushed warmer waters to the area. We headed out of the marina just happy to be on the water for another day not knowing what to expect. As we headed out we noticed a lot of wind blowing on the pacific side and wouldn’t you know, we spotted a whale straight away. The tricky part was the whales were located deeper into the windy area. So like any pelagic safari guide would say….”vamonos!” Lets’ go! Boy it was rough heading straight into the wind and i think we were soaked within seconds but we arrived to the whales. There were three and they were breaching and head lobbing it was quite a show and totally worth soaking my only shirt. We spent some time observing all these fantastic behaviors but were getting soaked andf it was getting more rough. We were all lauging at how crazy we were for trying this out but it was time to turn around before it got crazier.
So we headed into the sea of cortez.
We found some olive ridley sea turtles feeding on pyrosomes. If you don’t know what pyrosomes are, you’re not alone. They’re large planktonic salps that filter the water but what’s impressive is their size. They can get to lengths of 60 ft/18m long. The ones we saw were only a few feet in length and looked to be chewed up by the turtles but still super cool and unique. We kept seeing them and turtles in the area. We also observed a pod of spinner dolphins but they were very shy and wouldn’t allow us to approach.
As we made our way to our sharking spot, we noticed a lot of bait in the water. The water was boiling everywhere with schools of skipjack tuna. One of these boils had a shark nearby. Our first shark sighting of the day! on closer inspection it was a mako shark just milling on the surface so we started throwing in some chum and started chumming. Surprisingly the shark was not interested and we reasoned that the shark must have been full from all the bait we have seen around. The bait just kept showing up and we were sharkless. At one point we did see another mako under the boat but it made two passes and seemed disinterested. We just kept trying but to no avail.
Towards the end of the day we saw a huge splash not too far away…another humpback whale!
We agreed sharking just wasn’t in the cards for today and why not just hang out with the whales so we jammed over in their direction. As we headed over there a hammerhead was cruising on the surface. We were happy to get it very close to the boat as we watched him/her swim. We were thinking to get in the water but it swam away after our surface observations.
So back to the whales…We found them again. These guys were active, two adults- breaching, head lobbing, tail slapping, tail throwing, pec waving, pec slapping- were a few of the behaviors we witnessed. It was very impressive and right in front of the boat. We followed them into the pacific as they breached again and again. Once they breached very close to the boat and caught us all by surprise. Now that was a way to end the safari- we never expected that. Until next year whales- we enjoyed every minute.
Wind 3-15knots....from east in the sea of cortez Visibility = 75ft/25m Water Temperature = 74F/23C Species = Sharks 2 Makos, 1 Smooth Hammerhead, 6 olive ridley sea turtles,6 pyrosomes,5 Humpback Whales, 15 spinner dolphins,lots of skipjack tuna all day