Flying Orca in Sea of Cortez Orca Caught on Video
- May 18, 2021
- Sea of Cortez
Orcas are a big deal in the Sea of Cortez. They are a top attraction for tourists on sightseeing boat trips. As…Read More
Rocky Point Whale Watching. WOW. It is a special experience with nature. Once you catch a glimpse of a mighty whale up close, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. They grow up to 45 feet long and weigh up to 40 tons. But relax. Whales are known for being friendly to both humans and boats.
If you haven’t made a pilgrimage to Puerto Peñasco for whale watching on the Sea of Cortez, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones. You will enjoy a long-lasting memory with these warm-blooded mammals. And what is really nice is they give you many photo opportunities because they breathe air like humans do.
Whales Travel Many Miles for Migration
Don’t you dare! LOL. Think before you spend one more breath complaining about how long your travel to Puerto Peñasco is from Phoenix, Tucson, or Baja. And instead, try this on for size. Every year, whales migrate some 6,000 miles from cold waters near Alaska to reach the warm waters near Mexico. We don’t know if any of the younger ones ask, “Are we there yet?” But if you see them, they sure do seem happy. Maybe that’s because nature calls whales to waters such as the Sea of Cortez. Unlike touris, it’s for the purpose of breeding and bearing their calves.
The annual season usually begins sometime in December. People are always keeping a close eye out for their highly anticipated arrivals. Among those you can often see are California Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, and even those gentle giants of the sea, Whale Sharks. The peak season for seeing these magnificent creatures typically runs through mid-March.
After their parental responsibilities are done, the whales check out of the Sea of Cortez and head back to spend our warmer months in the colder, more food-filled waters of the Bering Sea and the Chukchi Sea. Perhaps now, you can look at whales as being the largest “snowbird tourists” on earth.
As we all know, Mother Nature has one heckuva sense of humor. She offers no guarantees the whales or weather will cooperate. Yes, you’ll remember beautiful days on the Sea of Cortez forever. But if you get a cold and windy day, you’d better be prepared for it. Still, seeing whales can make it all worth it.
There are several boats which offer Rocky Point Whale Watching Tours. They go out about 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. So, you’ll have to be in Puerto Peñasco the night before. Each last about 3 or 4 hours. Like fishing boats, you can make trips as part of a larger group with strangers. Or you can charter a smaller boat with a captain just for your friends or family.
What’s cool is I’ve found the captains of different whale watching tours working together. They communicate with each other about where they’re finding whales. It’s best for them. It’s best for visitors, too. For much of my time whale watching on the Sea of Cortez, there have been a handful of other boats within sight. What’s better is you may see multiple whales at once, too.
Smartphones Aren’t Quite Smart Enough
You can have the best smartphone for photos and videos. Capturing great shots of whales is a fun challenge. You see, they pop up out of nowhere for air for a few seconds. Then they go back underwater for minutes at a time. You need to react quickly and hope you are close enough to get a good picture. I always bring along a little “Luck of the Irish.” It helps.
In any event, I think and I hope, if you go on a Rocky Point Whale Watching trip, you’ll consider yourself lucky you did.