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Baja Blog 2014 – Week 7

Week 7 was our final week of the 2014 Baja season. Fair winds and humpback whale dominated seas greeted us as we began the week. Twice this week we found a pair of humpbacks logging close to each other at the surface. They were different individuals but the behavior that each pair exhibited was both very unique and very similar to each other. On one occasion we timed a pair logging with both their backs above the surface for a full 58 minutes! Each whale took one breath every minute and half roughly. For all practical purpose they appeared to lay there dead in between each breath. This was not something I’ve ever observed with humpback whales before and I spent much of the time wondering whether they were either injured or one was about to give birth. I never got an answer to either of those concepts and we departed after about 2 hours with them both logging yet one more time.

One fair weather day this week we all decided to visit 3 choice spots on Isla Carmen. They being the only canyon on the island with fresh water plus bighorn sheep, the old site of the famous Salt Works and its village in ruins and our favorite beach at Playa Perro.

On our way to the first stop as can happen a yearling humpback whale stole the show. It was probably the show of the year. This young humpback about as long as our panga (26 feet) continually swam up to the side of our slowly moving boat and rolled onto it’s side and then while still cruising stared at us wide eyed with its belly and pectoral fin just a few feet from us. One time this whale went into a full barrel roll about 8 feet from the side of the boat, just missing the boat with its huge pectoral fin as it swung around. We had visits on both sides of the boat and we had another critical ingredient in place to make this a fabulous encounter that none of us would soon forget. That being mirror flat calm seas where we could see every detail on this whales body as if we were in the water with it. The whale was heading south most likely out of the Sea of Cortez and up to the cold feeding grounds of the north where it had acquired many of the barnacles that already scarred its young body. After about an hour we bid it farewell.

We loved the rest of the day and week which featured countless dolphins, a mother and calf fin whale pair, breaching humpback whales and a great blue heron rookery plus one amazing looking frog.

The season is now behind us and soon the final roundup and account of the season will come along soon with one more group of the years best images. This week the images are a full family effort as it was a week where the family spent much of it together on the boat.

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