Loreto, Baja (or, it is not always about paddling)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Peter-CKM, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    Went for a week on a sea kayaking and whales trip in Baja centered out of Loreto. Trip was a guided tour run by Sea Trek (http://www.seatrek.com/portfolio/classic-islands-with-whale-watching/). Full disclosure - I work as a guide/instructor for Sea Trek in the States, but went as a paying customer (though at a significant discount) on this trip.

    Paddling was not extreme. Maybe cover 4-7 miles in a day. That gave us afternoon to snorkel, hike, whale watch, etc. We had a panga (Mexican boat) carrying our gear and the trip was fully supported. Even had a couple of SUPs on the panga to play with. Day temps were above 20C/70F, so a pleasant change from NorCal winter (and huge change from what you BC folks are dealing with...).

    Going to do less story and more just showing off photos and videos. To start, here are a couple of videos - Gray whale spy hopping:


    Dolphins Porpoising in front of one of our camp beach:


    And here are the first 2 images - can you tell what we are looking at?

    Image 1: whatisit1.JPG

    Image 2:
    whatisit2.JPG

    More images to come.
     
  2. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    Land-based photos:

    Cardon Cactus
    Desert-CardonCactus.JPG

    Scorpion and hermit crab. Hand placed to show size. We are aiming a black light at the scorpion, which makes them glow. Desert-scopion&hermitcrab2.JPG

    Sunrise Desert-sunrise1.JPG

    Sunrise lighting up the hills Desert-sunrise2.JPG
     
  3. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    And some underwater pics:

    Clarinet fish
    snorkeling-clarinetfish.JPG

    Eel peaking out from under rock snorkeling-eel.JPG

    School of fish. Yellow ones are called sergeant majors. The orange tail guy may be a king angelfish. snorkeling-schooloffish.JPG

    Scorpion fish snorkeling-scorpionfish.JPG

    sunflower star snorkeling-sunflowerstar.JPG
     
  4. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    And, this being a kayaking group, here are above water pics:

    Boobie (brown footed, I think, but we also saw blue footed ones) and a pelican
    water-boobie&pelican.JPG

    Dolphins water-dolphins.JPG

    Group paddling in tough conditions water-kayaking1.JPG

    More group paddling water-kayaking2.JPG

    Pelicans flying over group water-pelicanflyover.JPG

    Wispy clouds water-sylvia&sky.JPG

    Looking through the ventana (spanish for window) water-ventana.JPG

    Blue whale (taken from a panga, not kayak) whales-bluewhale.JPG

    Fin whale (taken from a panga, not kayak) whales-finwhale.JPG
     
  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Great photos, Peter! My first sea kayaking experience was a guided week long venture out of Loreto, 1986. Great area, for sure.

    That is one mofo huge scorpion! FWIW, I believe the small ones pack more of a wallop.
     
  6. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    No guesses on these?
     
  7. designer

    designer Paddler

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    Is it some kind if Ray?
     
  8. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    Good guess. The bottom picture (attachment 7077) is an animal but not a ray.
     
  9. Tangler

    Tangler Paddler

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    I'm guessing humpback.
    Looks like you had a great trip.
     
  10. jamonte

    jamonte Paddler

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    I'd say it's a good sized whale shark.

    BTW, if that ventana is the one I'm thinking of (on the west side of Danzante), I took some beautiful pictures there at sunset back in 2000. What a great place to paddle!
     
  11. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    Same ventana. I think the island only has 1.

    The picture in attachment 7077 is a gray whale surfacing under our panga. As soon as it realized we were there, it went right back down without breathing. In image below I marked the rough outline of its body and flipper.
    whales-graywhaleunderpanga-marked.jpg

    I wish we saw a whale shark. I've not ever seen one (nor the very similar basking shark).

    The other image (with the red/orange stuff in water) is blue whale feces. We saw one take a dump just before it dove down. Left a rather large patch of red/orange stuff in the water behind it. That was a first for me.
     
  12. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Peter, on our Loreto-based adventure, my then 13 year old son and I were lollygagging well behind the other four doubles when a basking shark (we think) surfaced under us and whacked the underside of the boat with its tail. Lots of expletives!
     
  13. jamonte

    jamonte Paddler

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    I thought the light patches might be spots on a whale shark, but large grays can get that kind of mottled appearance, too.

    Funny story about that ventana. I was solo down in Baja for two months... all of November and December when there aren't many other paddlers around. In fact, I hadn't seen or talked to anybody around Carmen, but on my way back to Puerto Escondido, I camped near that ventana on Danzante and saw a small commercial group (6 total?) paddle by and land on the other side of the headland that makes the window. Most of them appeared in the ventana a few minutes later, so I walked over to say hi. They said they were going to set up camp, and invited me over for dessert later that night.

    I walked over to "their" beach an hour or so later with the evening light fading fast... but they were gone. Not a person in sight; no tents, no kayaks, no nothing. But the strangest thing is that I couldn't even find any marks in the sand where their group had landed! As the darkness grew, I jogged up and down the beach frantically looking for footprints or kayak drag marks in the sand, but it was all smooth and windswept and it really freaked me out! Had I imagined the whole encounter?

    Before leaving for Baja, I'd watched the movie, "The Sixth Sense" with Bruce Willis, so I (jokingly) told myself that maybe I had just met a group of paddlers who'd died in a storm but whose ghosts were still out paddling on their trip. And just like the movie, it then dawned on me that perhaps I was the one who had died while kayaking and it was my spirit who was still out paddling around unaware! The hair on the back of my neck stood right up and it took me quite a while to calm down and get to sleep that night. The mind does funny things on a long solo trip!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 8:29 PM