After a morning of various activities in Cabo San Lucas, we left port and cruised east and north toward the Gulf of California, passing by the Gorda Banks along the way. This is a rich and productive area of currents and upwelling where nutrients rise to the surface and initiate the entire food chain. We saw this process in action today.

We encountered a number of humpback whales in this area, including some calves with their mothers. Each individual can be recognized by the unique black and white pattern on the underside of its flukes, which often show as it goes down for a dive. Sometimes prospective suitors will battle each other in pursuit of a female in order to gain proximity to her. Soon these whales will begin their migration north to their feeding grounds.

Humpback whales, which are still considered endangered, are a joy to watch, since they are often very surface-active. Besides the activity of the competitive males, we were fortunate to witness a sudden eruption of breaches and lunges by a mother and calf as we watched, awestruck, from the bow of the vessel!

In addition to the whales, we observed acrobatic Mobula rays, a few pelagic birds, and an active school of predatory fish, which boiled to the surface in pursuit of their prey.