Baja California – Week 6 Report
The 2013 season has just come to a close and a remarkable season it will go down in history as being. Our last week saw the winds gone, hence our freedom to roam the sea whenever and wherever we chose delighted us. We traveled far and wide and saw a lot in this week. Far to many blue whales to remember, dazzling pods of common dolphins and thousands of diving blue footed and brown boobies. Sea Lions were observed spending far more time in the water as it is now warming and not sucking their energy out. They laze about in large groups here and there with their flippers in the air as they thermo regulate their body temperature.
Perhaps the two highlights of the week were both on the same day. First we were treated to 2 and a half hours with a magnificent pod of Short Finned Pilot Whales. Under the boat, next to the boat, blowing their short explosive breaths, traveling always as a pod. We had grand views, took great videos and even made many underwater video clips that only the poor visibility kept from being great. Still many are quite good. Then we went to a white sand beach on Carmen Island and all swam, snorkeled, and climbed the dunes. On our way home there they were, 5 blue whales all in fairly close proximity to one another. The day wound down and the sunset was a spectacular one. We watched a blue whale breath into the sunset with the sky aflame. When it dived we heard another blue whale surface behind us and as we looked that way noticed that the full moon had just risen over the mountains of Carmen Island! We watched the whale go through it’s sequence of breaths with the moon just above it. All this within a few minutes, a lot to see and a magical end to this special day.
Our final day at sea brought us a long trip but also 9 blue whales, 3 fin whales and a really interesting pair of humpbacks. We saw them breach, and whack their tails on the water countless times. Countless dolphins plus a nesting colony of Magnificent Frigatebirds with many males having their red balloon like necks fully inflated rounded our final day out.
The final year end summary will come in the next few weeks. But we already know that is was a banner blue whale year with perhaps better than 60 different individuals identified. Even in these last days we saw whales that were easily recognized from years past, old friends lumbering along living their fantastic lives in front of us. We always wonder where they have been and what they have encountered when we see whales that we know well.
Great groups, old friends on land and at sea and one and all have come and gone. Time for us to head home to North Carolina. Fair thee well 2013 Baja season.
Look for our year end summary soon!