Written by Amos Nachoum
My striped marlin adventure is leaving on December 4th, 2010. Want to come along? To get you started, here are the ten best things I know about the striped marlin.
1. You might have seen a marlin on the wall of a sportsman’s lodge and were impressed. I can assure you that the striped marlin is much more impressive in person.
2. Sport fishing is really big in Cabo San Lucas, and marlin are some of the most prized catches. I’ll tell you a secret, though. If you come with me to warm and sunny Todos Santos, a Baja California artist’s colony and surfer’s mecca up the coast from Cabo, you’ll find a special kind of inner peace in a beautiful location. And you get something else: You can scuba dive with a legend of the ocean.
3. Marlin are legendary animals, and not just because Ernest Hemingway wrote about them. The striped marlin we’ll encounter are said to be among the fastest fish in the ocean. I’ve seen them attacking schooling mackerel “bait balls” with their spear-like bills and I can tell you, they’re fast. They can even use their spear as a defensive weapon and to help catch food.
4. If you want to come on my expedition, the timing is critical. First of all, there are only a couple of spots remaining. The people who have signed up know that in December we’re in the peak feeding time for whales, seals and marlin. When the ocean’s that busy – it’s good news for scuba divers. We’ll see some spectacular displays of striped marlin feeding on mackerel, but we’ll also see the intense aquatic competition between the Bryde’s Whale and California Sea Lions. See it once, remember it forever. The photographs you get of this feeding frenzy will be among your most treasured.
5. Our boat is meant for 24 divers, but I like to take just four people on this trip. We can move fast to the best spots for marlin. How do we find them? We watch carefully for birds who are fishing for mackerel. Down below, we’ll find big groups of as many as a dozen striped marlin going after the smaller prey. They’re joined by seals, sea lions and Bryde’s whales up to 40 feet long.
6. It’s likely that you’ll see a lot more striped marlin with me on this trip than if you go anywhere else. Other divers report seeing just two or three, and they have to travel as far as Tonga or Ogasawara, Japan to have the experience.
7. On our adventure, we are there to capture the spirit of the animal, not its life.
8. Little known striped marlin fact: They can change the color of their stripes. When feeding or courting, the stripes on this amazing animal can light up – glowing with a blue or lavender phosphorescence.
9. If you check out Todos Santos on Google Earth and have the new Oceans plug-in, you can get a taste of what it’s like without leaving your desk. I recommend leaving your desk, though. You’ll have an experience on this expedition that you’ll never forget.
10. Did I mention that the timing is critical? December is when it’s all happening. I hope you can join me in this incredible adventure!