Sunday, October 18, 2015

Midriff Islands: September 10-17

With improved visibility and warm temperatures, this week’s trip in the Midriff Islands certainly felt like a luxurious summer vacation!  Our dives at Andrea’s Eagle and San Pedro Martir had visibility of up to 60 feet.  Almost all dives were in warm waters, between 78 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit.  Most passengers were happy diving in swimsuits and lycra; some used their 3mm wetsuits. 
Not only did we have comfortable conditions, but we were able to see abundant wildlife underwater. The orangethroat pikeblenny fish were ecstatic in their quest to find mates—if we watched them for just a few minutes we could see them perform their mating dance. We also saw many blue spotted jaw fish that were engaged in their own mating ritual, darting in and out of their burrows, faces changed to white. 
In Lavadero, Andrea’s Eagle, and Los Cuervos we saw giant jaw fish, one with a mouthful of eggs! In San Pedro Martyr we were joined by playful sea lions that would stay with us for 50 min or more.  One of the highlights of the week was that we found a group of curious pilot whales swimming by that slowed down to meet us. We were able to snorkel with them for about half an hour and all the passengers were able to see them.
Another memorable moment was our time snorkeling with the whale sharks in Bahia de los Angeles- it was incredible! We saw all sizes of whale: from 6 foot long calfs to huge 18-20 foot long adults. These magnificent creatures allowed us to swim with them for hours. On Friday, our last diving day, we dove at Punta San Juan and diver Janette found two stargazer fish in one dive! 
Suffice it to say, we had an incredible trip in the Midriff Islands.  With our Explore Baja trips coming up, it seems as though the Sea of Cortez Season is trying to send us off with a bang!