Orcas in Baja California Sur, Mexico

in SEAPHOTOGRAPHY9 months ago

(I have one of the old GoPro cameras and the quality is definitely not as great as the newer versions)

Okay, strap yourselves in for a story about the most crazy, wonderful, exciting experience I ever had!

In mid-June we drove from Cabo San Lucas with a few friends to a tiny town about two hours away on the Sea of Cortez. We were planning on swimming with mobula rays again, even though we had been only a couple weeks earlier (a post on that is coming soon).
We arrived late in the afternoon, set up camp on the beach and relaxed for the evening. We sat on the beach eating cheese and drinking. We then chose to watch the sunset from the rooftop bar nearby. We couldn't party too hard as we needed to get up at 5am next morning to be on the boat by 6am. Little did we know just how worth it the early rise would be.


As planned we woke early the next morning, had a quick breakfast, then met the boat and the guide we had organised. The boat captain said that the day before there were orcas spotted in the area and suggested we go in search for them. We were happy to follow this plan.
We traveled on the glass-like ocean for about an hour, watching the sunrise, before we found them! It was a mum and baby. We hung around watching them for a bit but Mum and bub weren't too interested in us and seemed to be on a mission. We followed them at a distance for a bit and they eventually led us to the rest of the pod: another three adults. We jumped in the water and realized why mum and baby were in such a rush. Breakfast had been served! The other orcas in the pod had hunted a mola mola (or sunfish). We watched them continue with their hunt, passing food between each other, and dragging the still living fish to the deep depths of the ocean. We were lucky enough to spend five hours with them! All we had to do was float on the surface while they swam around us hunting, eating, and occasionally looking at us. We didn't see a single mobula ray that day, but we didn't care. It was the most incredible day!
That night we went back to the rooftop bar to celebrate such a magical day.




Our second day on the water, while not quite as exciting as the day before, was still pretty great! We woke early again and got our on the boat. The water was like glass again, and it stayed like that for most of the day. We first spent a bit of time with a massive pod of dolphins, watching them ride the wake of our boat and jumping and splashing. it was a fantastic way to start our second day on the water.
We ended up finding a few schools of mobulas and were able to swim with them! The mobula schools weren't quite as large as our first time swimming with them (which I will post about soon) but it was still amazing.
We finished our day watching a humpback breaching. It breached at least ten times.


This weekend will stay in my memory forever. It was such a special experience and we were extremely lucky. I think it'll be extremely hard to ever beat an experience like the one we had.


While I have your attention:
Just by chance today (14 July) is World Orca Day, so I'd like to throw some facts your way. These facts have been taken from the World Orca Day website.

As the top predator in the ocean, these iconic animals are not only truly fascinating, but they are also known as a ‘keystone’ species. This, among other things, means that they play a vital role in marine ecosystems. They are also known as an ‘indicator’ species, or a species that can tell us a lot about the health and well-being of an ecosystem.

If you would like to learn more about orcas, or how you can help them, head over to the World Orca Day website.


All images in this post were taken by and remain the Copyright of Bree Plater unless stated otherwise.

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Wow that is amazing. What an experience!

It was incredible! And it was so unexpected that they would hang around for so long and be so relaxed with our presence

That must be amazing!

It was just magic! We were very lucky. I will never forget it.