We’re looking forward to a better whale watching season off Loreto this year than we had last year. After being in training during the 2011 season and experiencing whale watching inside the channel and reasonably close to shore, last season (2012) turned out to be more difficult so we didn’t do any whale watching tours.
Last year inside the channel, the sea was absent of baitfish and krill so the whales were located further offshore. There were blue whales last year but they were too far out at sea for us to realistically do tours. There were over a dozen blue whales to keep serious whale enthusiasts entertained but for the more casual observer, the distance and conditions were not ideal.
This year we’re experiencing different conditions out on the water; there is bait and we’re seeing whales again inside the channel. So far we’ve received reports of Blue Whales southeast of Carmen Island and we have seen a couple of humpbacks off Coronado Island.
This fall while traveling over the water, we came across a small pod of dolphin. I was at the front of the boat and started to film. While their activity at the surface was interesting, I quickly noticed the show was happening well below the surface. Some of the dolphin were only a couple of feet away from me while there were scores of them deeper down. They communicated with squeaking and clicking sounds that were picked up by my brain and felt behind my eyes. Their sounds were felt through my nervous system more then they were heard. At 23 seconds (23:20) into the video its possible to hear the dolphin sound. There are more of the dolphin sounds in this 36 second film are best heard by children.
Grey Whales in Magdelena Bay-
On the Pacific side at Puerto Lopez Mateos there are dozens of adults and babies now. Reports have been good for Lopez Mateos with adults and babies being seen on two hour excursions. Last year the Grey Whales at Lopez Mateos were friendlier than in years past. Last year Lopez Mateos also had its best year ever in terms of whale counts. The following images were taken on a cell phone. Click any image to see them all in full size.
We’ve had a lot of windy days off Loreto but there have been some beautiful days as well. At this point we’re about 50/50 with the weather and it should improve from here on into spring. There are lots of reports of whaled coming in, from the first sighting of a single Blue whale off the southeastern side of Carmen Island on December 18th to several sightings of finbacks, humpbacks and some other blues. Our season starts in about three weeks.
I can’t wait to get out on the water and capture images with my new camera this season. In the meantime here is a short video of dolphin watching that I put together. We have lots of dolphins to enjoy right now.