An Exciting Day Among Magnificent Sea Animals in the Sea of Cortez

When you can play with dolphins and be one with these wonderful creatures throughout the day, you feel blessed and happy. This is precisely what happened to us on the second full day of the Mobulas and Orcas trip on the Gallant Lady in the Sea of Cortez.

Let me tell you in detail about the fantastic encounters we had with the dolphins. 

Amazing Interaction with Dolphins

Our day started with the usual daily routine early in the morning – light breakfast, then a briefing about the day’s activities, and onto the RHIB with our snorkel gear to look for the big animals in the Cerralvo Channel. Remember, we were here for the mobulas and the Orcas but what we got was no less fascinating.

Within minutes of leaving the Gallant Lady, we spotted some movement in the water, ahead of the RHIB – it was a pod of Common Dolphins. This variety of dolphins can be identified by the dark grey color on the top that gives way to white on its sides. The belly too is fully white. There were likely several hundred dolphins in the pod, a gathering that we commonly refer to as a “super pod”. This super pod crossed our boat’s path with the dolphins jumping excitedly around us. We were with the super pod for about forty minutes.

About thirty minutes later, we spotted more dolphins – this time they were Bottlenose Dolphins, and it was a smaller group of perhaps 25 – 30. These were noticeably larger than the Common Dolphins, and the coloring was a more uniform gray. This time we were prepared to jump into the sea and as the RHIB got fairly close, we quietly slipped over the side and into the water.

We swam as fast as we could towards the dolphins and we could hear their calls under the water. We managed to get a brief glimpse of a few of them before the entire group turned and dove deeper, out of sight into the blue.

But as soon as we got back onboard the RHIB, the group resurfaced a short distance away, again jumping at the surface as before. Like last time, we again managed to get close to them and back into the water but as before, the dolphins disappeared into the sea.  

About forty minutes after the Bottlenose Dolphin encounter, we moved some distance in the channel when we again came face to face with a large super pod of Common Dolphins. But they stayed with us for only 15 minutes only before continuing on their way.

Still, it was a good effort on our part to swim among them and an amazing experience that we are unlikely to forget in our lifetimes.

Up Close with a Humpback Whale

Barely had the dolphins disappeared into the dark depths of the ocean when we spotted something new – a humpback whale and her calf, just adjacent to the RHIB. The whales were rolling in the water from belly to back with each large pectoral fin coming out of the water and then slapping the surface one after the other through several complete rotations. Not to be outdone, the calf was also raising its tail and slapping it down to make a large splash repeatedly.

While capturing this on video, I counted fifteen tail splashes at a regular rhythm. Was the humpback calf having a tantrum? Was the mother trying to convey a message to discipline her baby? These are questions that will be hidden in Nature from the prying eyes of we human beings. Soon after, we saw the mother perform a sequence of several breaches before we noticed the characteristic humped back followed by a raised tail indicating that she was diving.

It would not have been possible to imagine the richness of marine life in the Sea of Cortez if we had not been so close to the animals for a day. All this activity had taken place within two hours on the RHIB.

An exciting morning, and an indicator of the amazing experiences to be had on the Nautilus Mobulas and Orcas trip!

By Nautilus Guests

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