Every Trip is New
Results of the 2006 Whale Season in the Sea of Cortez
This year's season began, as last year, around the middle of February. Some whales were seen from shore before then but an initial attempt to find them resulted in no encounters. I did see some Blue Whales from shore also (first time for me to see them in the El Cardonal region) but could not get out to them due to lack of transport.
February was not particularly productive in obtaining Photo IDs. There were clearly fewer whales in the area. This was not true in the area of Cabo Pulmo and Los Frailes further South.
In early March more whales were seen, but by the end of the season (mid April) I had been able to acquire only seven good IDs of Humpbacks and had only 13 encounters altogether, as opposed to 18 IDs and 30 encounters last year (2005) during the same period.
It was interesting to note also that none of the 7 from this year were returnees from last year or the year before. Of my Humpbacks from last year, Dr. Urban's people matched five of mine near the mainland, one near the island of Revillagigedo and zero within The Sea of Cortez. The matches for this year have not yet been determined.
Of interest to me, as well as my friend Richard Sears (Director of The Mingan Island Cetacean Study Inc.), was the number of Blue Whales I was able to ID this year as opposed to none the two years previous. They were generally found further out (8-15 miles) than the Humpbacks but with Vicente's new boat and the help of his friends (deep water fishermen) notifying us, we were able to find them.
I acquired 11 good IDs and a number of exhilarating experiences while with them. One day we had 7 surrounding the boat∑.magnificent! I am waiting to hear from Richard regarding any matches.
It is now September, I am back teaching at Mendocino College and anticipating the next year's (2007) season.
2005 Whale Season Report