Captain’s Noon Report – Gallant Lady – 2021-06-21

Location: Punta Pescadero

Weather: E Wind (1-2kts) and E Swell (2ft) 

Right now we are down at Punta Pescadero about half-way between Bahia de Los Muertos and Cabo Pulmo. Yesterday morning we arrived at Bahia de La Ventana at 07:00am after a very pleasant overnight cruise from Cabo San Lucas. The sea was flat as we turned into the sheltered bay of La Ventana and we could see several schools of mobula rays in the area – easy to spot on the flat sea with the shallow-most individuals jumping sporadically out of the water (I’m convinced one of them is going to take off like a bird someday and create a new niche market for us).

Because we were ahead of schedule, we decided to cruise around the bay and see what else might be around, and lo and behold, by 7:30am we had spotted a spout and shortly after the signature black and white colors of a pod of orcas! Most of our guests were still sleeping after a long day of travel the day before, so we quickly woke them all up and got them into our RHIB as quickly as possible. While the crew and guests were preparing, I positioned the Gallant Lady close enough to watch the pod of 4-5 animals, including at least one juvenile, as they played near the surface. They were not on the move and simply hanging out, occasionally spy-hopping to have a look back at us, and rolling around with their pectoral fins in the air. The RHIB was away. On the way to the orcas, they immediately showed their curiosity by swimming up to the boat to check the guests out. From that point on, the guests had multiple immersions in close proximity with the orcas, not only sharing the ocean with them, but also experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime encounter observing them killing and then feeding on a young whale shark. The adult orcas took turns ramming the body of the unfortunate whale shark with their heads until it became incapacitated, then they displayed the same behavior as they do when feeding on larger whales. They focused on the area of the stomach where the liver might be found and appeared to take only that part before leaving the dead whale shark for the ocean scavengers. 

After watching this incredible display some of our guests then watched on as two female orcas appeared to be teaching their two calves to hunt for stingrays in the sand. Eventually the orcas grew tired of all the attention and decided it was time to split, so they headed off to the east into open ocean where weather forced us to turn back into the sheltered bay, but not before they made one last friendly goodbye to those of us standing by on the Gallant Lady. As the pod changed direction 90 degrees and swam directly towards the Gallant Lady, they passed slowly under our stern before coming up on our other side and then moving on in search of their next meal. 

Today we spent the morning searching the same area in La Ventana, not finding any more orcas but encountering a pod of bottlenose dolphins as well as some mobula rays. Before lunch time we hopped in for a dive at Punta Arena de la Ventana where we saw an eagle ray, octopus and lots of nudibranch!

For the afternoon, we headed south based on the sightings of our first aerial support flight of the trip, which sighted big schools of mobula rays and possibly whales. Now the RHIB is out with the guests following a school of mobula rays and hopefully getting some good in-water action. 

Water Temperature: 27°C

Visibility: 12m

  • Captain Gordon

By Noon Reports

Daily dive and conditions reports from our captains onboard the Nautilus Liveaboard vessels.

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