NEXT PROJECT

Sea of Cortez   (Baja California)

Expedition dates : February 2019

 

With Rodrigo's roots in Baja California, we have always been drawn to this wild Pacific coast of Mexico.  As John Steinbeck says in his classic The Log from the Sea of Cortez: "Whatever it is that makes one aware that men are about is not there. Thus, in spite of the noises of waves and fishes, one has a feeling of… quietness."

Experience life in the slow lane, as we meander through the treasure trove of islands, inlets and uninhabited bays en route from La Paz to Puerto Escondido. Join us for this glorious sail towards the shimmering horizons and breathtaking scenery unique to the Sea of Cortez, Baja California. Its clear, deep waters are a vast breeding ground for 31 species of whales and dolphins - 25% of the world's total, numerous colonies of sea lions and marine turtles and 500 varieties of fish and the migratory corridor for 210 bird species not to mention the ever-present pelicans. Oceanographer Rodrigo Olson will introduce you to this remarkable ecosystem and its wildlife. We'll be scanning the horizon for the distinctive 'blow' of the Blue Whale, at 120ft long, the largest creature that has ever lived on earth. Documenting our sightings of the individual whales we encounter, so we will share our findings with other scientific organisations. With stunning panoramic vistas providing the backdrop to a blend of island hopping and coastal exploration, the Sea of Cortez  ranks amongst the finest cruising grounds in the world. 

 

Our vessel will be the beautiful 51' ketch; 'S.Y. Interlude'.

We'll be cooking on-board and bringing plenty of fresh fruit & veg - including papaya, mango, melons and pineapple. 

If you'd like to join this exciting expedition, we have a very limited number of places.

For further information and prices  :

As with every stretch of ocean in the world, there are serious problems and it needs to be protected. 

The smallest marine cetacean in the world; the critically endangered Vaquita is endemic to the waters of Baja, it is this small porpoise which is the main focus of our project. 

 Vaquita porpoise

(Phocoena sinos)

There are many urgent issues in the world’s oceans, but the plight of the Vaquita is one of the most critical marine issues on the planet today. Only 5% of the waters of the Sea of Cortez are protected, leaving the vast majority of these important whale and dolphin breeding grounds at the mercy of overfishing, destruction of habitats, plastics and the ever present chemical pollutants such as DDT, POP,s and heavy metals and so on ... our oceans are running out of time.

Petroglyphs

The second stage of this expedition is a difficult trek high into the sierras to reach the mountain peaks which are 180 miles from the shores of the Sea of Cortez. After a long mule trek with all our equipment, we will film and photograph 10,000 year old rock paintings and petroglyphs made by the now extinct original inhabitants of Baja; the Cochimi Indians. Sheltered by rocky overhangs, this magnificent rock art depicts on a massive scale a stunning variety of marine life; dolphins, manta-rays, lobsters, turtles, etc. and incredibly, a whale breeching, indicating that these nomadic tribes had a strong connection with the sea. Other elements of the paintings show human forms, deer, and the terrestrial animals which played an important part in the lives of these ancient people. The Indians disappeared when the Spanish came to settle the peninsula back in the 1700’s. 

It's important to highlight the urgent need to protect the Sea of Cortez, one of the last stretches of ocean wilderness on our planet. 

We will be working closely with Mexican Governmental entities, Universities, several marine research institutes based in Baja and with Conservacion de Islas (NGO).  We will be analysing the socio-economic problems in Baja, interviewing local fishermen and people whose livelihood depends on the sea. These people need alternatives and practical solutions or the problems will continue.

We would like to thank Agustin Gutierrez Silva who has kindly offered us the use of his beautiful 51' ketch; 'S.Y. Interlude' for this expedition.

We appreciate your interest in our efforts to make a difference.

You will be able to follow our progress via our website and Instagram

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Mar de Cortes

MEXICO

Baja California

USA