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Mobulas and Orcas on Gallant Lady ~ Sea of Cortez Mexico, June 1-8 2024 Trip Report

Reported by: Cindi LaRaia

Mobulas and Orcas on Gallant Lady ~ Sea of Cortez Mexico, June 1-8 2024 Trip Report

Guests: Gerry Soifer & Nancy Bushnell, Marie Tartar & Steve Eilenberg, Greg Rothman, Bob & Debbie Pecoraro, Lori & Dennis Forgione, April & Mark Johnston. Tour Leader: Cindi LaRaia

We had a wonderful time with wonderful friends as we embarked on this Sea of Cortez adventure. This is primarily a snorkel trip as there are many jumps from the dive tender once wildlife is spotted. Its good exercise and can be very exciting once the Mobulas are discovered, usually in the morning and later in the afternoon. Which is when we had our best luck. We had a spotter plane daily starting around 9:30am-10:00am.

Mobulas and Orcas on Gallant Lady ~ Sea of Cortez Mexico, June 1-8 2024 Trip Report

June 1 2024, Later in the day we found a wonderful static squadron of mobulas ! Outstanding !!! Lots of opportunities for video and still photography!

June 3,4,5 pretty quiet! Sad, looking for big stuff!!! No news of orcas anywhere!! :( this trip is all about Orcas for us all! I kept visualizing and channeling. Bob had his orca swim shorts and Orca T-shirt to help, he wore it daily hahahah. We did go south to Larabiera, found the mobulas again later in the evening, but the water was very green and they did not come up closer to us for any good images plus it was getting a bit dark. We saw loads of dolphins, what they call Hybrid dolphins as some times different species will interbreed, they are quite dark, we think bottlenose and maybe common. Not exactly sure but we had a lot of them jumping in our waves and having the time of their life! We also had a big pods of bottle nose dolphins & common dolphins but they did not want to play with us. 🙁

June 6 - We steamed north to the San Jose channel! Here lies the island of San Jose, then just south is the small island of San Francisco, then further south is Espiritu Santo and south of that off Le Ventana is the big island of Cerralvo. This represents the Golden Triangle where most of the wildlife takes place in the very nutrient rich water of the deep channels. The water turns over, its cooler because of it. We had pretty cool water, low 70’s to 80. Visibility varies but for the most part it was blue!

We were in the San Jose Chanel channel when we saw 4 whales! The spotter plane found a large Fin Back whale in front of the 2 Blue whales we followed, and an un-named whale off to the side of us. We caught up to them on the Gallant Lady, got into the dive tender and they vanished!!! Literally into thin air! Even the spotter plane never found them again, how does this happen? They seemingly ditched us! Tonight at dinner I said, I have been visualizing these Orcas all week, but I need HELP! I cannot do this all by myself, please help call them in, we have one day left!

Mobulas and Orcas on Gallant Lady ~ Sea of Cortez Mexico, June 1-8 2024 Trip Report

June 7 - Our last day to find Orcas! Captain had us start early for Mobulas, we found them 😊 came back for breakfast. At 10am they announced they have a report of something special! I knew then what that meant!!! NO one said a word! We all got ready and made for the dive tender. Our wonderful boat driver/guide Juan David said he hopes we are out all day!!

And we were! We zoomed to the northeast side of Cerralvo island, the back side and they announced our spotter plane found the ORCAS!!!! As well as 7 other pangas! What a beautiful sight to see! The Big Male with his very tall dorsal fin, and the pod of approximately 10-12 Orcas were on the move!!! I was breathless with excitement and anticipation!!! They were BEAUTIFUL!!! We made approximately 15 jumps as they were moving, Juan David jockeying for a good spot in front of the pangas, of course there is always the one that misbehaves, is not careful. Cut us off with snorkelers in the water.

Mobulas and Orcas on Gallant Lady ~ Sea of Cortez Mexico, June 1-8 2024 Trip Report
Mobula mobs & more (Mexico, May 2024), travel blog by Marie Tartar

We had to wait until the pod split up a bit as it was dangerous, so did the pangas. Then we could safely continue to jump!! He did a fantastic job getting us into position so we were in the right place to get some shots of these beauties!!! It was the time of our life as none of us have ever been in the water with Orca’s before! WOW!!! They have eluded me forever but not today!!! There were a couple of curious babies and they were so fun, one kissed the bottom of our tender, another turned direction to check out Greg! And another came right up to Steven and Marie’s dome ports to say hello!!! They got full face images of this little cutie!!! Tho not so little hahah.

We were with these incredible swimming pandas from 10:30am until 5:00pm. I can say we were sufficiently tired and happy!

What a FANTASCTIC ending to a wonderful trip in the Sea of Cortez!

Muchas Gracias Nautilus Adventures and the amazing crew of the Gallant Lady! It was pure magic!!!

Cindi LaRaia and our fun group!

Video by Gerry Soifer