Gulf of California Trip

Whale Fluke

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This is a page about the trip I took at the end of May with Lindblad Expeditions called Baja: Where Desert Meets the Sea. We travelled aboard the MS Sea Voyager which spends most of the year off of Costa Rica and Panama. There were 31 passengers including about 7 Lindblad employees, 4 of whom were naturalists on the Costa Rican trips. The crew numbered about 25 including an expedition leader and 4 naturalists with different specialties (William for land-based life, Steve for just about anything, Mike for sea life, and Vickie for sea life and the divemaster for a group of guests who were also scuba divers).

The trip itself was unusual in that Lindblad has never offered trips during the months of May and June and therefore they offered a discount which is what tipped the scale for me to choose this trip over the Costa Rica and Panama trip I had been thinking about for November. But the fact that this was a different time left two serious questions: would it be too hot and would there be any whales left? Gray whales and humpbacks spend the winter in the Gulf for its warm waters but then spend the summer in the Arctic. But we wound up seeing whales every day and they were able to work around the hottest part of the day.

The structure of a typical day is as follows:
  • Wake-up call at 7:00
  • Breakfast at 7:30
  • Morning activity to island
  • Possible second morning activity
  • Back to the ship for lunch
  • Siesta
  • Afternoon activity (often snorkeling) and/or lecture
  • Cocktails and recap discussion
  • Dinner
Of course people were constantly on the lookout for whales so if one was sighted they would interrupt.

Here is a list of places we visited broken down by day:

1. May 29 - Arrival at Guaymas
2. May 30 - Isla San Esteban and Isla San Pedro Martir
3. May 31 - Isla Angel de Guarda and Canal Balleena
4. June 1 - Isla Rasa and the Pilot Whales
5. June 2 - Isla San Marcos
6. June 3 - Isla Carmen and Isla Santa Catalina
7. June 4 - Isla San Francisco and Los Islotes
8. June 5 - The Trip Home and Extra Pictures

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