This whale watching captain is here to stay

The happy crew of Cabo ExpeditionsI am the second oldest person here. And I’m actually proud of that. Imagine, I’ve been with Cabo Expeditions for 16 years now!

I guess that makes me the happiest person here, too. If there’s one thing that makes Cabo Expeditions one of the best companies in Los Cabos, it’s the fact that they take their employees’ happiness seriously. I’ve known that the longest. In every day of my stay here.

Zodiac whale Watching AdventureCabo Expeditions whale watching tourToday, I set off to sea as boat captain of Cabo Expeditions’ whale watching tour. It’s what I’ve been doing since I left Acapulco to work here. And it never grows old. Not one tour is ever the same. Except that it always ends in happiness. Nothing compares to the genuine thrill of seeing mother whales and baby whales playing in the water. It’s always fulfilling to see how the guests enjoy watching them and telling me that they would love to come back.

David and Goliath: The small Zodiac boat and the massive cruise shipYou see, Cabo Expeditions does whale watching very differently. The tours are well-prepared, very organized. And conservation is indeed given top priority. Some whale watching tours in the bay use bigger boats and come closer than 260 feet (80 meters) to the whales. The roar of the big boats’ engines drives the whales away. That’s very disrespectful. But because our boats are smaller, we have better chances of seeing the whales up close–especially when they decide to come to us! It’s no wonder some of our most loyal guests have been coming back to Cabo Expeditions every year, for 10 years now.

Conoce BCS ConferenceAnother thing I like about Cabo Expeditions is that it keeps me inspired to learn. You’re never too old to learn. Up to now, I still read books and research on the internet about new information on humpback whales. In fact, after today’s tour, I’ll share what I’ve learned with my fellow captains. We like that. We do a course at the start of each season every year to share information with each other. In 1999/2000, we even went to a lecture on whales conducted by the Sea World of San Diego.

New knowledge, new experiences, new friends–there’s always a new reason for me to stay here at Cabo Expeditions. To me, it’s not work. It’s home. And that’s why this old boat captain is here for life.

Biodiversity: Mexico’s Way of Life

Danzante Island, Baja California SurMexico is no stranger to biodiversity. Conservation, preservation, and awareness of the importance of safeguarding the environment have long been championed in this region even before biodiversity became a byword for every nature protection cause.

It is more than an advocacy. For Mexico, it is a way of life. After all, Mexico has always been one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. Between 10 to 12% of the planet’s species are found in its territory, totaling to more than 200 thousand species. It has always lived to share its wealth with flora and fauna.

With this bountiful gift of nature, it’s only natural for Mexico to take the responsibility of biodiversity quite seriously. In fact, it has 17 million hectares of natural protected areas.

Humpback whales blowing in the sunsetCabo San Lucas Bay – One of the world’s deepest bays has one of the richest ecological communities. The reef fish and marine flora is joined by the majestic sighting of the humpback and gray whales from December to early April each year. This, on top of frequent encounters with orcas, dolphins and pilot whales. This, over and above witnessing marlins, sailfish, swordfish, dorados, roosterfish, and tarpons co-existing in perfect harmony.

Flight of the vultureSierra de la Laguna – Between the municipalities of La Paz and Los Cabos, there’s a mountain range in the middle of the desert where you can find the only dry jungle of the entire peninsula. The only pine-oak forest throughout the peninsula’s southern half. The only forest with around 70 plant species –15% of which are endemic.

Among the glory of fauna, the reserve is also home to woodpeckers, quails, hummingbirds, white-winged doves, hawks, owls, deer, coyotes, black-tailed jackrabbits, bobcats, mountain lions, gray foxes, over 40 species of reptiles and almost 100 different insects.

Night dive in the Sea of CortezCabo Pulmo Marine National Park – The 25-thousand year old, 3-kilometer long and 2-kilometer wide only living coral reef in the Americas resides here. It is earth’s most valuable underwater treasure. Its 7,000-hectare stretch serves as the natural habitat for 100 species of fish, 40 species of algae and sea fans, as well as pelagic species like the bull, tiger, blacktip sharks.

“Friends of Cabo Pulmo,” an assocoation here, promotes ecotourism in order to keep the park’s flora and fauna safe.

Whale shark in La PazBay of La Paz – One of the most biodiverse marine areas in the state and all throughout Latin America, the Bay of La Paz looks after its whale sharks. Nearby, in the island archipelago of Espiritu Santo, a sea lion rookery is also given much attention.

Likewise, the undersea wrecks “Salvatierra,” “Lapas 03,” and “Fang Ming” —fully covered in corals and other wonderful, colorful organisms— are kept safe.

Blue whale in LoretoLoreto Marine National Park – Within Loreto Marine National Park’s 200-hectare boundaries live 30 species of marine mammals, a host of endemic reptiles, amphibians, and birds. In the sea below, the marine life is even more overwhelming. Sportfish such as the dorado, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, roosterfish, grouper, sea bass, and snappers. Bivalves and crustaceans such as oysters, octopus, chocolate clams, scallops, shrimp, crabs, and lobsters.

Even the guests that drop by a few times a year —manta rays, dolphins, sharks, killer whales, pilot whales and even blue whales— make this natural protected area worth protecting.

Gray Whale underwaterLagoons of Magdalena Bay – Magdalena Bay is preserved for its complex natural architecture. In this bay, two big currents converge: cold water that comes from Alaska, and warm, tropical water from the south. Together, these streams generate large amounts of nutrients that attract species such as squid, crab, shrimp, sea bass, red snapper, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, sardines and others like flounder as well as several species of birds, turtles, sharks of various kinds, rays and, of course, gray, blue and finback whales.

El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve – With over 2.5 million hectares, El Vizcaino ranks as one of the largest biospehere reserves in the world. It has a vast collection of ecosystems —from extremely arid land to mangroves, lagoons and wetlands of high ecological value. It has gray whale sanctuaries. It cares for a wide variety of birds: the osprey, the collared goose, the northern pintail, the red heron, and the swallow, to name a few. Even endangered species have found a haven here: the golden eagle, the white-headed eagle, the peregrine falcon, the white-tailed deer, and the bighorn sheep.

MangrovesIt’s good to know that more and more organizations and nations are taking notice of the significance of biodiversity. It’s better to know that before everyone else, Mexico has started the quest. And continues to live the quest as a natural way of life. With its experience and expertise, the world is assured that biodiversity is here to stay.