From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California
Jan 22, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Bird
San Jose del Cabo & Land’s End
Today we woke up in the tropics, after having crossed the Tropic of Cancer during the night, and air temperature quickly rose shortly after sunrise to remind us of that geographic fact. As the National Geographic Sea Bird rounded the southern portion of the Baja California peninsula, we were pleasantly surprised by a great show of jumping Mobula rays; related to the huge Manta rays and looking like miniature replicas of them, Mobulas are filter-feeding rays that never settle down in the bottom like stingrays, and spend their entire lived swimming in the water column, sometimes jumping high above the surface. This morning a whole big group of them, scattered over several hundred yards, engaged into such acrobatics and many individuals could be seen in the air at any given time! Although parasite-cleaning, mating behavior and even just plain fun have been proposed as possible explanations for such spectacular jumps, the truth is that only the rays know, and are not telling.
Anyhow, we eventually continued our way and soon after encountered several groups of humpback whales; one individual breached repeatedly while some others splashed around with their long pectoral fin and/or flukes. They are part of a population that spends the summer off the coasts of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, and comes down to Mexico to mate and give birth to their young. We had a great time watching them and several other humpbacks that we encountered on our way to the Puerto Los Cabos Marina, located a few miles from San Jose del Cabo. Once there, we divided into two groups to visit town and go bird watching at the San Jose River. We departed the marina and continued our way towards the world-famous granite arch at Land’s End and into the open Pacific, were many more adventures wait for us.