Mobula Rays & Orcas in Mexico
mobula-orca-2053

Mobula Rays & Orcas in Mexico

Peak Season:
Spring

Baja California

Charter Length:
8 Days

4 Explorers

Expedition Overview

We’re doing it again! The only question is…are you in!? May and June are the peak months for the annual Mobula ray migration along the stunning coast of Baja—an event so breathtaking it is featured in numerous documentaries. There is simply nothing else like it. This gathering of literally thousands of rays is one of the largest in the world, and among the most exciting natural phenomena on our planet. And we will be there, free diving in the middle of it.

You don’t want to miss this experience. We will be swimming in the beautiful, clear blue water, only to be pulled closer into a swarm of thousands of these beautiful rays (about 3 – 4 feet wide from wing tip to wing tip) as they float through the ocean current, swim in endless circles, and show off acrobatics as they jump in and out of the water.

We will use a microlight two the three times during the week to search for shoals of Mobula rays as they aggregate along the Sea of Cortez coastlines of the Baja California peninsula, along with all other pelagic, sharks, whales, orca, and other incredible ocean creatures.

And while it’s easy to compare the volume and energy of the oceanic wildlife to the Sardine runs in South Africa and Mexico, what makes this experience different and so desired it is that it’s a much more gentle, soft adventure—while just as dynamic at the same time.

And after our days of adventure at sea, we anchor down at night in Baja’s secluded bays.

The Mango Wind is an award-winning, luxurious, 45-foot catamaran designed by Robertson and Caine, one of the world’s leading charter boat builders. We also offering onboard our private chef, photo guide and a naturalist.

The 45-foot sailing Catamaran features a large galley up front with a saloon and seating, and a large seating and dining area outside, under the canvas bimini. The width of the boat allows for plenty of deck space and one can always find a quiet, private spot. Aft there is a wide walkway across the boat and steps for easy water access.

The catamaran has four cabins. Three cabins that are dedicated for our guests feature a double bed, private restroom and shower.

The boat sails incredibly well, is very stable and is equipped with complete electronics and high-powered engines, giving great performance and reliability under power as well as sail.

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Expedition Leader

Amos Nachoum is a distinguished figure in wildlife and underwater photography, with a remarkable career spanning over four decades. His unique ability to blend exploration and artistry has captured the attention of audiences worldwide, with his work being prominently featured in esteemed publications such as National Geographic and The New York Times.

His talents have earned him numerous accolades, including the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, received twice in recognition of his unparalleled skill and commitment. Amos is the founder of Big Animals xpeditions, inviting adventurers to join him on extraordinary journeys to witness the majesty of wildlife in both marine and terrestrial environments.

His 2019 documentary, “Picture of His Life,” highlights his relentless pursuit of excellence and undying passion for wildlife photography. It chronicles his quest to photograph a swimming polar bear in the Canadian Arctic, showcasing his ability to connect with nature’s most magnificent creatures.

Joining Amos on an expedition transcends the ordinary adventure; it is a profound learning experience, an opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of the natural world, under the guidance of a master photographer. His work serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving the planet’s incredible biodiversity. Amos Nachoum’s expeditions are a celebration of wildlife, a journey of discovery and appreciation, from the depths of the oceans to the far reaches of the mountains.

Location

Baja California

Sample Itinerary

Day 1
Fly to Can San Lucas. Group transfer to La Paz and board the Mango wind, board the vessel in the PM

Day 2 – 7

6 full days searching for all pelagic…Mobula Ray, whale shark, possible Orca and whales. Includes 2 days of aerial scouting

Day 8

Depart at the AM transfer to Cabo San Lucas airport

Conditions

Surface Temperature
89F to 94F

Water Temperature
75F to 78F

Visibility
15 – 20 meters on most days

Experience In Pictures

Previous Accommodations

Mango Wind

  • Up to six guests
  • Three staterooms with queen beds, a/c, private bathrooms and showers. Note, additional “tight” single beds in two of the staterooms.
  • Three crew, captain, chef, naturalist guide and BigAnimals expedition, photo guide
  • Zodiac style expedition support boat
  • Fine dining, fine linens and MÁS (our luxury brand)

Included

  • 6 Days on board
  • Private cabin
  • All meals on board
  • All diving services
  • Maximum three couples – likely only 4 guests
  • Round trip airport, bu group schedule
  • Amanda Cotton photo expert and a guide

Excluded

  • International Flights
  • Meals which are not specified
  • Private services
  • Communication, Wi Fi
  • Drinks
  • Laundry
  • Gratuities

What more can We tell you?

More Details

We communicate via radio with local fishermen to determine the Mobula school’s general location. Once we have an idea of where the aggregation is, aboard the Azimut high elevation above water we will be able to scout the horizon from both the bow and the bridge in order to find the school. Mobula Rays often like to breach the surface, and we should have a perfect view from the vessel to see Mobula acrobatics. From onboard we will be able to look out both over the horizon and down beneath the surface in order to pinpoint the rays’ exact location.

The Mobula aggregation can stretch anywhere for 50 yards in diameter up to 200 yards across or more and as deep in the water column from the surface to 40 feet below. Once we locate them, we will gear up and board our zodiac, the chase boat in order to follow the rays and get as close to the action as possible. The encounters can be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the type of Mobula aggregation. A moving ball of rays will allow in many quick sessions, while stationary balls allow longer sessions that can last an hour or more. With stationary ball the rays become more comfortable with us as time goes on and the rays will even let us swim into the middle of their school!

To this date, Amos’ 2019 encounter with Mobula Rays remains one of the most enjoyable and electrifying natural events he has ever experienced.

 

During this time of year, the opportunity exists to see the pods of transient Orcas that patrol the coastline to prey upon the Mobula Rays. If this occurs, it will be both exciting and tense. When a pod of 6 to 8 Orcas appears, it will be a prime opportunity to take some unbelievable photos of these animals. Orcas are very curious by nature, and they will swim quite close to us in the water. Normally when photographing the rays, only two people will be dispatched to dive at a time for good encounter and better photo opportunity. However, if Orcas appear, we will do everything we can to get everyone in the water at the same time so that each person has a chance to share the uplifting experience.

Leading Mexican explorer, author and photographer Jorge Hauser will be joining us aboard the 68-feet-long Azimut. With his knowledge and expertise, our adventure will become not only more productive but also more efficient.

Amos will be there with you, filming and photographing shoulder to shoulder the whole journey. Together with Jorge, they will share their advice and technics so that you can come away with the most desirable photographs. We recommend bringing wide angle lenses (24mm, 18mm, or 15mm rectilinear) as well as a fisheye lens. Strobes are welcome but not useful in evenly lighting wide-angle scenes. We also aim to photograph Dolphins chasing our boat (and of course breaching Mobula Rays), and for this we recommend lenses 70-200mm or 100-400mm. We are excited to announce that we will also be operating drones from the Azimut in order to capture new and unique angles and images!

 

Optional – Amos strongly suggests (if you have time on your hands) extending your trip by three or four days and booking a stay at Cabo Pulmo National Park. Diving at this highly protected and rich area provides superb encounters of giant schools of BigEye Jaks and possibly even Bull Sharks. The park provides good accommodations, food, and a very well run diving operation – if you can do this do not miss the opportunity!

 

Workshop Video