Friday, February 27, 2009

Sea of Cortez - Production Adventure 3

Good friend Captain Greg Grivetto of Horizon Charters is on another eco adventure and this time in the company of the BBC as they film their much acclaimed series, “Last Chance to See”. Biologist, naturalist, writer - Mark Carwardine and esteemed actor Stephen Fry host this series and will be aboard as we search for blue, sperm and humpback whales.

For the next two weeks he'll be sending us his "notes from the field":

The M/V Horizon surf board, a true long board by all accounts. We're surfing our way south on a consistently blustery sea. The weather report for today was a bit better than what we are encountering but all in all not too bad as the sun is out, the weather is warming and yesterday afternoon I installed a pumping stereo amplifier for our onboard stereo system. We've got the XM satellite radio fired up on the boat and are rocking out as we finish up our ship board projects.

As I write we are at 25.41 degrees north and 113.17 degrees west or 88 nautical miles north of Bahia Magdalena and 465 miles south of San Diego. This also places us 60 miles offshore, or for those of you that have been to San Clemente Island, the same distance you travel when making the crossing from San Diego to San Clemente.

As the day progressed Mother Nature's attitude improved, the ocean warmed and the sea came to life! We happened upon 3 humpback whales today just north of Bahia Magdalena. The first was an energetic youngster that made itself know by repeatedly breaching, spyhopping and nosing out. The first breach was classic humpback, straight up, 2/3's of it's body out of the water, then twist and extend the pectoral flippers for added flare before flopping and making a big ol' splash!

We spotted the other two at a distance as we were taking a look at Bajo Thetis, an underwater seamount a few miles north of Bahia Magdalena. We're contemplating venturing to this seamount on future Baja dive expeditions and spent some time with the sounder on metering back and forth across the top of the bank getting a feel for it's layout. The water was a bit chilly today, 65 degrees, but there was an amazing amount of life on the bank with baitfish, presumably mackerel, filling the water column and bullet tuna feeding on other small delectables.

As the sun dipped below the horizon we were adjacent to Bahia Santa Maria, just north of Bahia Magdalena. Late tomorrow morning we will be rounding Land's End, Cabo San Lucas as we enter the Sea of Cortez. I'm excited about visiting Gorda Banks north of Cabo. This is the time of year when humpbacks are found there which means we might need to spend a few extra minutes taking in the sites.


Captain Greg

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