Blue Whale Encounter in the Sea of Cortez

A Journey to always remember

The waters of the Sea of Cortez in Baja California Sur, Mexico never cease to amaze us with their unwavering spirit of surprise, and this time it was possible to witness a blue whale encounter.

Each day, these underwater depths reveal unexpected treasures, defying expectations and creating magical moments that become timeless memories. For our guides, our passionate team, and above all, our valued guests, this region has become a sanctuary of unique experiences.

“We are anchored at Las Animas in the Baja California Peninsula. On our way here this morning, we encountered a small pod of bottlenose dolphins, about 10-15 individuals. They were jumping high and performing acrobatic flips in front of the bow of the Nautilus Gallant Lady.

Yesterday evening, we did a beautiful night dive in San Franciscito. It was Haley’s first night dive, and she was amazed, like the rest of the divers, by the bioluminescence, the numerous sea cucumbers eating and moving like worms from DUNE, the hunting eels, different fish species, and the numerous shells under the millions of stars in the gulf of California sky.”

Our Encounter with a Juvenile Blue Whale

Our captain, Yann, who has extensive experience navigating this region, enthusiastically shared the remarkable encounter with a blue whale. His words convey the excitement of that moment in the midst of the Sea of Cortez, where the grandeur of nature unfolded unexpectedly, leaving everyone in awe.

Yesterday afternoon, we had a surprising blue whale encounter. We sailed around the San Jose Channel and southeast of San Francisco, on the lookout for large animals when a juvenile blue whale (around 8-9 meters, which is tiny for a blue whale) was spotted right next to the boat!

“We stopped the boat about 300 meters away from the animal, and the whale swam right up to the boat, circling us for 15 minutes, passing very close to the bow and the stern. In all my years, I have rarely seen that behavior in whales, and never with blue whales!

We know that blue whales migrate inside the Sea of Cortez; there is actually a mating and birthing area in the national park of Loreto, and the whales travel north or southbound from the Pacific close to the shore. We often see them during their migration, which lasts until the end of May – mid-June. So, it was very curious to see one blue whale so late in the year! The fact that it is a juvenile may explain the curious behavior, as it is discovering its environment; any new floating object the size of a boat like the Gallant Lady can arouse curiosity. This whale may have just decided to spend the whole year in the Sea of Cortez. We know that fin, Sei, and Bryde’s whales stay here all year long and find food in abundance, so why not that pretty blue whale? No matter what, it was an exceptional encounter for our guests, one more to add to the list of this trip, after the friendly and playful sea lions, the cute hairy Guadalupe fur seals, the cheeky bottlenose dolphins, the numerous turtles, octopuses, nudibranchs, moray eels, and schools of fish that inhabit the reefs, and the splendid bioluminescence during the night dives.”

Captain Yann

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By Nautilus Crew

Recent blogs and dive reports from the crew onboard the Nautilus Liveaboard's vessels.

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