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Baja Blog 2015 – Week 4

Nobody could have come close to predicting the weather and the events of Week 4. It was truly wild, whacky and amazing!

Our group were from either California or Colorado.

First, here in the desert at a time of the year that is supposed to be dry we began the week with 2 days of rain. But these 2 days were mostly wind free rainy days so we did what we do here and hit the water, and we got rained on. On the first day we must have seen 15 blue whales and they all were surface feeding in the soft rainy light. The show they put on was just fabulous! Photo ID work was not possible as there was just not enough light to illuminate the pigmentation on the whales. But there were a few breaks in the rain and as the day wore on belly up and arc and roll feeding turned in to open mouth lunge feeding. Quite a few fabulous images were captured as the feeding went on uninterrupted for almost the whole day. On day 2 everything settled down a bit except the rain which intensified and left the streets of Loreto under water and muddy.

Soon enough the wind came and it came on hard but the group saw the sun for the first time. I will never forget one of the group members saying “What a lovely day” upon waking up to sunshine even though the sea was already full of whitecaps. This wind led to 2 days of land based activity and some really nice hikes, which included some wet canyon swimming.

The last day of the week the weather mellowed and the clouds returned. So the whales which were still as thick as ever went right back to surface feeding. We spent the midday period at a lovely beach on Isla Carmen lounging on the sand and hiking across the fossilized seashell cliffs right at the edge of the sea. Then we returned for the early evening show where a dozen blue whales fed in every direction we could see. One mother and calf pair put on a show the likes of which I’ve not seen before. The large cow continually fed for 2 hours straight as her calf followed along. At times the small calf rolled around and popped it’s head out as the mother whale went about feeding. It was a grand finale to quite a week at sea!  We eventually left this charismatic pair and went back to Loreto visiting one feeding blue whale after another as we headed north.

Who knows what week 5 will bring? I know it will be more unexpected surprises. The mystery of each week makes this place one we have always returned back to.

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