Tag Archive: Sea of Cortez


The Best of Baja

http://www.bluewaterventures.org

Every february Blue Water Ventures travels to the whale breeding lagoons of Baja and the Sea of Cortez teaming up with our incredible local outfitter, Mar Y Aventuras. For 10 action packed days, we snorkel with sea lions, observe reef fish, sea kayak, beachcomb and hope for a ‘friendly” encounter with the California gray whales of Magdalena Bay.

Baja Highlights
* Kayaking through mangroves and from our secluded base camp of Espiritu Santo Island in the Sea of Cortez

* Unforgettable Encounters with Cailfornia Gray Whales, Magdalena Bay on Baja’s Pacific Coast

* Snorkeling with Sea Lions and Colorful Reef Fish in the blue waters of Baja

* Beach combing for treasures along beautiful deserted beaches

* Delicious local seafood caught and prepared by our Mexican Crew

* Skiff supported base camps with spacious tents

* Naturalist-led hikes, snorkeling excursions and whale encounters

* Sunrises and Sunsets over magnificent desert scenery

*Swimming alongside a filter feeding harmless shark that may be over 30 feet in length

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www.bluewaterventures.org

During our yearly expedition to the Sea Of  Cortez, we made an incredible discovery. A tiny, barely discernible commensal shrimp was  found living among the tube feet of Bradley’s Sea Star (Mithrodia bradeyi). The sea star shrimp (Periclimenes sorer) was barely visible until we realized it was mimicing the tube feet of the sea star.

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Blue Whales of The Sea Of Cortez

While Island Hopping in the Sea of Cortez, we encountered the largest animal on earth, the majestic blue whale. Reaching a length of over 100 feet, blues sustain themselves on a diet of krill, a tiny crustacean. Hunted to near extinction in the 1920’s, blue whales are thought to use the Sea of Cortez as a nursery area.

www.bluewaterventures.org

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Baby blues are born 25 feet in length and 6000 pounds. Consuming 100-150 gallons of milk per day, calves may gain 10 pounds per hour and are weaned after 6 months.

The California coast supports the world’s largest concentration of blue whales. Monterey Bay is a summer feeding ground for the endangered blue whales.

www.bluewaterventures.org

Each day we have  new discoveries during our  yearly Baja Adventure to the Sea of Cortez and Magdalena Bay. Our Baja programs are offered each year late January through February.

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Today we snorkeled among 100’s of Golden Cow Nose Rays…..simply magnificent!

Capable of detecting the weak bioelectric fields of their prey such as benthic clams, these incredible cartilaginous fish are amazing to observe at such close range.  Related to the majestic spotted eagle rays, the golden cownose  rays  have a defensive spine at the base of their tale.

www.bluewaterventures.org

Every february Blue Water Ventures travels to the whale breeding lagoons of Baja teaming up with our incredible local outfitter, Mar Y Aventuras. For 10 action packed days, we snorkel with sea lions, observe reef fish, sea kayak, beachcomb and hope for a ‘friendly” encounter with the California gray whales of Magdalena Bay.

Gray whales are known to be friendly at times, intentionally seeking interactions with humans. It is entirely the choice of the whales that reach 50 feet in length and 80,000 pounds, far greater than our tiny ponga boats.

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This underwater footage of two California Gray whales was captured by Kim Powell, owner, operator and head naturalist of Blue Water Ventures based in Santa Cruz, CA.

Find out more about our naturalist-led adventures at http://www.bluewaterventures.org

I hope you might consider joining us as we explore Baja, from desert to sea!

Kim Powell is owner, operator and head naturalist at Blue Water Ventures in Santa Cruz, CA. Offering naturalist-led field trips for students and adventurous vacations designed to be relaxing with an educational component for women. Kim has been organizing single and multiple day excursions to extraordinarily beautiful places since 1985

Sincerely, Kim of Blue Water Ventures

www.bluewaterventures.org

Our Baja adventure 2013 had so many incredible moments. On our final day in Baja, it was suggested by our boat captain that we skip our last whale watching session as high winds were making the seas rough. A few of us so deeply yearned for a final goodbye to the whales that we bundled up and ventured out. Our Mexican based outfitter, Mar Y Aventuras is fantastic and agreed to take us out on that windy early morning in Magdalena Bay. As we watched a gray whale repeatedly breach off in the distance, we reflected upon our profound whale encounters in the breeding lagoons of Baja. I think each of us were quietly accepting that a final friendly visit by a California gray whale was unlikely.

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I had just mentioned to my group that it was Jean Peterson’s memorial service and we collectively sent love and light to Jean, her partner Mary and daughter Lucy. Jean yearned to be close to whales. Before she died, Jean gave me the book Grayson, a true story about a young swimmer who encounters a baby gray whale off of southern California.

Moments later, Frieda a California gray whale, a so called “friendly whale”, one that intentionally seeks human contact paid us a final visit. We recognized her by the distinctive scar on her barnacle laden rostrum. Moved beyond words, we watched her leave titling her head upward catching a final glimpse of us. Slowly and with intention she made her way to the only other boat in the vicinity.

As we drove off we watched a group of excited strangers thrilled by a visit from a whale named Freida. Though we will never meet the members of that small vessel, we share a common thread, a sublime encounter that will not be forgotten.

Kim Powell is owner, operator and head naturalist at Blue Water Ventures in Santa Cruz, CA. Each winter she travels to Baja, Mexico leading a 10 day eco-adventure, from desert to sea.

Blue Water Ventures Offers naturalist-led field trips for students and adventurous vacations for adults designed to be relaxing with an educational component. Kim has been organizing single and multiple day excursions to extraordinarily beautiful places since 1985. Find out more at http://www.bluewaterventures.org

www.bluewaterventures.org
Join Blue Water Ventures every february in Baja  as we explore the underwater world of  gray whales and other marine wonders.  We’ll seek eye to eye encounters with California gray whales, snorkel with sea lions and offer an opportunity to swim with the world’s largest fish, the whale shark.

 

For centuries, California gray whales  have traveled 10,000 miles round trip between their summer feeding grounds in Alaska and their winter breeding/calving grounds in the Pacific lagoons of Baja. Traveling in small skiffs into Magdalena Bay, we will wait for the whales to approach us. Close encounters are a common occurrence and quite thrilling. Naturalist-led beach hikes and kayaking excursions through the mangroves of Magdalena Bay will also be offered. In the ruggedly beautiful Espiritu Santos Island in the Sea of Cortez we will kayak, snorkel, fish, hike and relax from our dramatically scenic beach camp. At both sites, we have the comfort and ease of boat supported base camps.

www.bluewaterventures.org
Reservations are rolling in for our next women’s sea kayaking, snorkeling, whale watching adventure to Baja, January 28th 2012 with Blue Water Ventures. This is an amazing adventure, from desert to sea!
Trip Highlights
* Kayaking through mangroves and from our secluded base camp of Espiritu Santo Island in the Sea of Cortez
* Unforgettable Encounters with Cailfornia Gray Whales, Magdalena Bay on Baja’s Pacific Coast
* Snorkeling with Sea Lions and Colorful Reef Fish in the blue waters of Baja
* Beach combing for treasures along beautiful deserted beaches
* Delicious local seafood caught and prepared by our Mexican Crew
* Skiff supported base camps with spacious tents
* Naturalist-led hikes, snorkeling excursions and whale encounters
* Sunrises and Sunsets over magnificent desert scenery
*Swimming alongside a filter feeding harmless shark that may be over 30 feet in length

www.bluewaterventures.org
Every February, a group of women head to Baja to snorkel with the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. In the last 18 months Kim Powell, owner of Blue Water Ventures has searched for whale sharks on 8 occasions and has swam with them each time. Join Blue Water Ventures as explore the Baja Peninsula, swimming with whale sharks, sea lions and reef fish. We then head to the Pacific side for extraordinary encounters with California Gray Whales in Magdalena Bay.

Our next all women’s adventure to Baja is January 28th- February 6th, 2012 followed by an optional whale shark snorkel extension. Check it out at: http://www.bluewaterventures.org


www.bluewaterventures.org
Join Blue Water Ventures every February as we snorkel with sea lions in the Sea of Cortez!