Friday, February 25, 2011

Loreto Fin Whales

Today we went from Loreto to see whales. This is a good year for whale watching just off the shores of Loreto. People have been seeing Fin and Blue whales. Our panga took us out near the south end of Carmen and near Danzante Island where we saw many fin whales. Whale spouting in abundance. We think we saw 15 - 20 different whales. Some were mamas and babies. Unlike at the bays at Lopez Mateos, San Ignacio and Guerrero Negro where the whales come up to the boats, here we and the whales keep at a distance.

Fin whales are larger than the Humpbacks I see at home and smaller than blue whales. We had hopes of seeing some blue whales and thought maybe we did, but after watching that whale and baby for awhile decided they were Fins.

The water was calm this morning and the sun felt warm. The wind came up in the afternoon, but we came back to the harbor before the sea got rough. Our boat left the harbor at 7am and returned at 2pm.

Lunch was on a beach at Honeymoon Bay on Danzante Island. This is a beautiful little bay with a sandy beach and a trail to the top where you can look down on the sea. I lost track of time and think we were there over an hour. The sun and sand were warm and the water cool and clear. I stretched out on the warm sand and let the heat fill my body as I took a little catnap. Ahhh. Wonderfu!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pictures from the Tortuga tagging overnight camping trip to Coronado Island.

The first picture is sunset over the Sierra de la Gigante mountains. Second and third are one of the Tortugas after being measured and weighed and waiting to return to the sea. These are Black Tortugas, also known as Green Tortugas. Fourth picture shows Jude thinking about re-entering the sea. She is the one on the left with sand on her back and weighed 85 pounds. Fifth is the 128 pound male named Grant being carried to the water's edge.

Pictures of returning to Loreto from Coronado Island and helping to untangle the net before tagging began.

Also you can view a short video of the release of one of the tortugas here:

I have not seen this video as I cannot view it on the old iMac being used here and do not know if it is public.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ah. It was a better day to go turtle tagging. We took a panga over to Coronado Island yesterday, spent the night and came back today in calm seas. Four tortugas were tagged and named. Tortuga Michelle Colleen weighed 100 lbs. Jude, mine, named for a tortuga friend weighed 85 lbs. Sally McDawg weighed 80 lbs and Grant, the only male, weighed 125 lbs.

After spending time untangling the net from the day before when there was a 168 lb tortuga captured, the naturalists went out at 7pm, 9pm, 11pm, 1am, 3am and 5 to bring netted tortugs to shore. I went out with the 7pm group and we did not find any tortugas then.

Each tortuga was measured, weighed and tagged. Any wounds or shell damage was recorded. Barnacles were removed from the shells as barnacles can eat thru the shells and eventually kill the tortuga.

This particular monitoring project has been happening for 5 months. Besides providing information about the tortuga population here they want to educate the public. And Eco-tourism is also a part of this. They will be trying to capture and tag during the day and if that works may take day trips for people who do not want overnight camping on the beach.

I'll post some photos when I have them.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The wind came up and the tortuga tagging postponed. Will try to go again today at 2pm.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Meeting friends for breakfast tomorrow after the Sunday market, then we head to the Marina. From there we will go over to Coronada Island for snorkeling and an overnight camp to tag tortugas. Am excited about the tagging. Sure hope we net some tortugas to tag and that I get a picture for you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Went wading down by the estuary today. It is fun to go there and bird watch. Always see herons, egrets and turkey vultures and then other birds I do not know. There are other wading birds and birds with a curved beak.

We often see a pair of Orioles sitting on the cactus here at the Inn.

The cold North wind is gone. Yay!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Round and round they go. Horns blaring. Cars, pickups loaded with people, dump trucks, flags waving for party that won election.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

ballenas gris

Drove over to Lopes Mateos yesterday to see gray whales and babies. Watched a couple for an hour then drove back to Loreto. It is a 2 - 2.5 hour drive from Loreto over the mountain to the Pacific side. The babies were young and their mommas kept them close, but not next to the boat. The babies swam next to mamma. While we were watching one baby swam away from mamma and came over to see us. Then mamma swam back, came along side the boat, gathered her baby and they both swam away.

One of the whales did a "spyhop". I had heard of that, but never seen one. The whales head came straight up out of the water for several seconds to look around.

Friday, February 4, 2011

surf's up on the Malecon

A cold northerly wind here and blowing dust that blocks out our view of the offshore islands and of the mountains to the west. Surf spray was blowing onto the Malecon walkway. Still sunny tho and if you can find a spot out of the wind it feels warm. Houses here do not have heat so we are bundled up in many layers of clothes and bed blankets. My innkeeper has a space heater to use and that is helpful. I left my fleece clothing up north and just brought cotton things. Overnight temperature here was 3 celcius. I know.............sounds like whining, but figured you might want to know. This should pass in a couple days and return to normal.