Today March 20th 2019 is the spring equinox. This is when the center of the sun passes exactly on the equator and officially marks the first day of spring for the northern hemisphere. This year it also coincides with the full moon. These events made the day feel special and today the ocean was beaming.
We started the morning as usual with a visit to the sea lion colony where we found a single male Sea Lion standing proudly on a small rock; the most southern piece of land of the Baja Peninsula. We admired as he stood proudly welcoming us to the Pacific Ocean to begin our safari. The pacific side was lovely and flat. Even though it’s coming to the end of the whale season, we spotted many blows and whale activity around. All the whales seemed to be traveling in the same direction: North. They are starting to say goodbye to their winter home in Mexico and head north for the summer.
After some whale waiting we headed back to the sea of Cortez, we decided to stay out in the blue as we travelled east and we are happy we did. The captain did a sharp turn and called to me; “there is something there, keep your eyes pealed.” And moments later I saw it; it was the amazingly tall dorsal fin of a large male Orca. I could barely contain my excitement. The Orcas have been in the area for the last weeks, but mostly stay far from shore and often travel hundreds of miles in one day. To spot them in the blue is a very rare occasion. As we followed the male the rest of the pod appeared. It was two males, two females and young juvenile. They were moving erratically and in all directions, we watched I awe from the surface and after a while they were clam and in a tight group. They had got used to the boat and finally decided to come check us out. They swam around and under the boat, their white marking unmistakable just below the surface. We finally had the chance to jump in the water and got to see the enormous male that was leading the group. The large male swam separate from the rest of the pod. He seemed to be trying to keep us entertained so that we wouldn’t bother the rest. We tried to get close again, but he was less interested in us, so we enjoyed watching the pod from the surface. They were heading south and led us more than 12miles from shore, as the wind picked up we decided to head back to Cabo.
On our way we spotted a large Fin whale just before it dove down. Their dorsal fi and coloring are unmistakable. These whale also often pass through there are on their travels to the Sea of Cortez. It was an amazing chance to have caught it on the surface.
We finally reached our shark spot and even through the surge was getting bigger we chummed hard. After just 30 min the first blue shark showed up. It was a male shark, measuring almost 2 meters, not long after the second blue shark showed up. We had a spectacular encounter with these two sharks as the danced and moved just meters below us. They were not too interested in the bait or the humans but gave us an unforgettable spectacle a few meters below.
Words cannot describe the day.
Always expect the unexpected
Pelagic Safari Team