What A Week, Very Cloudy, But Full Of Life! – Baja Week 4
Our week 4 guests hailed from New Mexico, Arizona and Norway. They were all treated to a fabulous week, with fair winds, and a highly productive sea full of very happy feeding whales. It sure is good to see the whales fattening up as a number of them appear thin. It is a humbling thing to see a highly productive sea teeming with life and the largest life forms on earth gorging themselves on the bounty. This is precisely our vision for what the oceans can, need to, and should be in the near future.
One day this week the krill was so think it rained upwards out of the sea! It was fed on by small fish who were fed on by huge throngs of pelicans who were so full they did not even take off but just lunged downward while on the surface. The krill were devoured by blue, fin and humpback whales all in one area which also housed the throngs of feeding pelicans. Gulls tried to steal fish from the pelicans again and again. That day the fin whales dominated and kind of stole the show. It was truly an honor to be among so much vibrant life!
This week we also visited the massive nesting bird colony far north on Isla Il Defonso, where many frigatebirds, brown pelicans, blue footed and brown boobies, as well as a few cormorants are all nesting this year.
On our way home on this last day of the week we went into the lovely bay of San Basilio where we stayed on week 1 of this season. There we we very fortunate to see a young gray whale bottom feeding just near to shore. Delphi put the drone up above it and we watched and recorded this whale twisting and turning then plunging it’s head into the sea floor and coming up and forcing the mud from both sides of it’s mouth, while presumably swallowing the crustaceans that live in the floor of the bay. I’m certain this has not been observed in San Basilio previously and am unsure if it has been observed and filmed with gray whales anywhere in the Sea of Cortez before. This whale is not in any of the lagoons like almost all the other gray whales on the Pacific side of the peninsula, and is feeding here in the sea! More on this as we find out how rare of a sighting this was. As a sidenote although it did not seem like one at the time we saw a few large pods of common dolphins this week plus had some lovely bow-riding bottlenose dolphins on a few different days.
Our week ended driving the boat back to Loreto in flat calm water from San Basilio, only to be met about 4 miles from the marina by a sudden powerful southwest wind that instantly turned the flat sea white, and made our last minutes of the week on the water highly dramatic. As if this was not enough it began to rain fairly hard, and we arrived at the marina to palm trees blowing hard with over 20 knot winds.
What a week it was, and we got many blue whale and fin whale identifications as well as everything else. Will the sea remain productive here, will even more whales come to gorge themselves?
Stay tuned for week 5’s report coming your way next week.