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Safari Quest Cruise Review

Itinerary: Mexico Sea of Cortez - February 2007

Safari Quest

Shortly before sunrise we we spotted a huge blue whale in the oddly protected channel between the south end of Isla Carmen and the north end of Isla Danzante.

This animal was a biggie as we guestimated 95+ feet of mammal as it broke the surface. We were able to convince the guests that breakfast could be eaten later and that this was worth a trip to the bow or sundeck. All the guests joined us outside as we marvled at this animals size. At one point the whale came up behind us and seemed to be following our tender as we turned to look at it. Next time we saw it, it's massive body was parallel to the Safari Quest giving us a perfect size comparison.

During one of this Blue Whale dives we spotted a blow a bit farther away. Could it be?? Another Whale?? Surely our whale didn't travel over a mile in the short time we lost sight of it... So we scooted over to see, and we were pleasantly surprised to find a bit smaller Blue Whale who was enjoying some lazy swimming on the surface. This whale was estimated to be in the 70' range giving us the impression that it was a 1-2 year old that had not fully grown. It too gave us quite a good look as we waited anxiously for it's next rise to the surface.

After quite a few hours of viewing these animals, Kevin, our Expedition Leader, decided to gather everyone in the salon to talk a bit about Marine Mammals and whales in particular. Since we started off with the largest whale, we figured we should introduce some smaller ones also in case we get a chance to see them.

So we headed on our way south to check out a new spot. We cruised into Cosme Pt. slow and easy during lunch and sent the skiff ahead to do some pre-op explorations. Finding that the depths are much better than anticipated, the skiff went out from the the reef that separates Isla San Cosme and San Damian Island and found a excellent snorkel spot.

Snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez

So shortly after lunch and we were anchored, Kevin and Danny gathered up the guests and introduced them to snorkeling. At that time, 10 adventurers suited up and loaded up to head out. The snorkel brought great surprises of Sea Stars, King Angel Fish, Puffer Fish, Seargent Majors, and much more. All were delighted with what their adventure had brought them, and about 45 minutes later they returned to the vessel to warm up in the hot tub with cocktails or dry off and enjoy our short cruise to our night anchorage.

Here we sit anchored in 18' of water at a beautiful endless beach just northwest of Agua Verde on the peninsula. Most guests are ashore with beach chairs, towels, coolers full of their favorite drinks, snakes (including fresh baked cookies) and are awaiting what looks to be a wonderful sunset in the making.

Not a bad way to start an amazing week-long adventure.

—Shawnda Gallup

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