Our Eye in the Sky!

Our Cessna spotter aircraft is the secret weapon that allows us to both direct our ships to where the big animals are and has also given us a much deeper understanding of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific side of Baja. We celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2024, and while we thought we had learned a thing or two about local animals over the decades, we have been astonished by all the secrets uncovered by our pilot, observer, and trusty Cessna.

We heard whispers about the legend of grey whales surfing into the lagoons. Was it true? YUP! Check out the accompanying video. We have documented over a hundred of whales patiently waiting their turn to surf into the lagoon and then swim out, only to wait their turn and do it all over again!

Does the Mexico sardine run really only last until the beginning of December? Nope. That conventional wisdom is totally wrong. We now know the Mexico sardine run extends into February after following and tracking the giant bait balls all winter long. And on those same flights, we found beaches where humpback whales and calves congregate, which definitely needs more investigation.

Where do the blue whales go after they leave the Loreto area in early March? That’s easy!! They don’t swim out into the open ocean the way everyone thought. Rather, we have been tracking their migration and discovered where they go next after Loreto. And have actually been observing blue whales as late as June. It’s awesome having a spotter airplane, and it has undoubtedly improved the excellence of guest experience offered on all of our Sea of Cortez and Baja Adventures.

For those interested in the technicalities, our first spotter airplane was a chartered ultralight amphibious aircraft. Unfortunately, it was not well suited for the job due to its slow speed, very limited range, and inability to fly in windy conditions. Its sister ultralight amphibious aircraft is in our warehouse and actively for sale if anyone is interested!!

We briefly operated a 1955 turbine powered amphibious de Havilland Beaver, which was a terrific airplane, especially after we repainted it to look like a sharkie!! But the Beaver was too big, complex, and expensive for this operation. Scout, our trusty Citabria, was our next spotter aircraft and was also painted

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By Nautilus Staff

Updates, exciting information and other news from the staff at Nautilus Liveaboards.