The world‘s finest diving

Malpelo silky shark shutterstock 178533530 optMIGRATING DEVIL RAYS
and predatory Orcas … April to July
read more for spaces in 2023 & 2024


Twice a year, the Sea of Cortez hosts a “gathering of the clan” …. thousands upon thousands (estimates run to 10,000 & more) of mobula rays (Devil Rays) migrate into the the waters around Cabo San Lucas and La Paz … and predatory Orcas follow.  A unique & awesome spectacle ensues !


FOLLOW THAT MOBULA …


The mobula rays live most of the year as solitary souls … or in very small groups.  Scientist think they congregate in the waters around Cabo when the water temperatures are optimal for both mating and finding seasonal swarms of shrimp & plankton.

Nautilus Gallant Lady endeavors to find & follow the swirling mass of rays and to get you in the water with them as often as possible. The trip is predominantly focused on snorkelling and freediving so is an excellent choice for non-divers also.

You will see mobulas propelling themselves out of the water in great, flying leaps of acrobatic agility (scientists still aren’t sure the exact reason for this) and you will be amazed as hundreds of mobulas glide beneath the boat or your skiff.  You’ll be able to dip into the water for a front-row seat as the graceful creatures perfrom their ritual dances before your eyes.

Seeing the colour variations and geometric patterns of these rays as they waltz underwater is a hypnotic sight and a dream for photographers.  Above water, the rays confirm their reputation as stunning acrobats. Known by many as the “flying rays” of the Sea of Cortez, they are typically five to seven feet across (much smaller than the average Pacific Manta).  Witnessing males leaping out of the water, pectoral fins flapping, is an unforgettable sight.   The more athletic individuals can reach an altitude of ten feet or more.

And, perhaps the icing on the cake is that, where there are rays, there are orcas…

Details of our charter : June 10-17, 2023

SOCORRO liveaboards uw 15


WHAT TO EXPECT


Nautilus Liveaboards know the waters of this sea well and will get you to the most likely sites for encountering this wildlife phenomenon. They will use a drone or a light plane to track the movement of the migration to maximize opportunities to enter the water with them.  You will be able to to snorkel and free dive with mobula rays and predatory pods of orcas, plus huge pods of dolphins and even the possibly sperm & fin whales. If the rays are on the move, some encounters might only last minutes, but other encounters might last for an hour or longer, and sometimes the mobulas will even allow you into the middle of their squadron. Experience special night encounters with schooling rays as they swarm around our dive lights in shallow protected bays

As with any natural phenomenon such as this, there are no guarantees. The animals don’t arrive at our beck and call … but, never fear. Should you not have mobula rays & orcas every day, the Sea of Cortez is brimming with other wildlife to keep you busy & engaged.

Nautilus will take you swimming with whale sharks off La Paz (this is the best time of year to see huge pregnant whale sharks out in the open ocean). You’ll do some diving at Cabo Pulmo National Park, home to over 6,000 marine species. To finish off the trip, kayak, paddleboard, snorkel and hike on the beautiful, protected Isla Espiritu Santo.


A PLETHORA OF PELAGICS


The dive master’s blog recently recorded sightings of silky sharks, striped marlin (the ocean’s fastest fish), common dolphins by the hundreds, spinner dolphins, spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, a minke whale, a humpback whale, a Bryde’s whale, a pregnant whale shark and a blue whale !

SEA OF CORTEZ ORCAS MOBULAS SPECIAL EXPEDITIONS


CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS OR TO BOOK


NAUTILUS GALLANT LADY


Nautilus Gallant Lady has been totally refit after her Red Sea days. The boat is topped by a crow’s nest, great for spotting animal movements. The bridge, located below the crow’s nest, is open 24 hours a day to guests and just behind the bridge, you’ll find the open-air sky lounge, featuring comfortable seating (sofa-style benches, lounge chairs & deck chairs). This area is terrific for sun-lovers …. and for star-watchers at night. On the large bow section of the main deck you’ll find the hot tub and cushioned seating. Inside on this level is a well-equipped dining room / salon with TV, DVD, sound system and plenty of CDs and movie. The dive deck is at the aft and 2 suites are also found mid-ship on the main deck. The remaining 4 suites are on the lower deck.

ATAURO 1

All of the Nautilus vessels are all known for their “good eats”. On Gallant Lady you’ll enjoy a combination of Mexican and West Coast North American cuisine with home-baked snacks and drinks between dives. On board is a wide selection of beer, wine and alcohol from the ship’s bar. The chef will do everything possible to accommodate special dietary needs. Please let us know your needs when you book.

The Sea of Cortez in May is in the mid-70°F range and it just gets warmer from there. We recommend a 5mm and a hooded vest, or a 7mm wetsuit.
Dive and evacuation insurance is mandatory. We can assist you with purchasing this if you like.

A maximum of 12 guests will be allowed on these trips and you will break into two groups of six for water time. This keeps the boat in compliance with the voluntary responsible operator guidelines. 

For two days, Mondays and Tuesdays, you’ll have the best aerial spotter pilot in Mexico trying to get onto the large squadrons of mobulas and orcas. He estimates the probability of orcas at 30% every day. The overall probability is very, very good.  More about this in the itinerary section.


GETTING THERE, WHAT’S INCLUDED, RATES & ITINERARY


You will fly into SJD (Los Cabos International Airport) You can fly in on Saturday, the day of departure or a few days ahead, if you’d like to add on some extra diving days. We can help you with a transfer to SeeCreatures Dive Center. It’s a 45-minute drive from the airport to SeeCreatures, the dive center owned by Nautilus Liveaboards.  You can leave luggage there if yo arrive early …. or take advantage of a complimentary dive or photo lesson..

All guests must have a passport valid six months from entry. Visas are required from certain countries, please check your specific requirements online. All non-Mexican guests will require an FMM tourist visa.

{slider Please note that this trip has a true “expedition character” and a sense of adventure helps.  These are migratory animals and are on the move all the time.  Your crew will do everything in their power to find the large aggregations and put you in the water in the right place, at the right time … to allow you to feel the magic.   Open here for trip details …|dest|closed}

DATES:  Yearly from mid-April to end of June

JUNE 10-17, 2023 CHARTER
We currently have 3 spaces available on this trip

5 superior suites at $4200 USD per person including tax  (2 berths remaining in superior suite)
1 premium suite at $4830 USD per person including tax  (I berth remaining in premium)
$65 USD port fee paid on board

FIND SPACES & RATES …. BOOK YOUR TRIP


ITINERARY:

Day 1 – Welcome Aboard
The Nautilus-owned SeeCreatures Dive Center is located in the harbor in downtown Cabo San Lucas.  This is where you’ll meet for check-in.  If you fly in early, the center can help you organize some local diving before your cruise. For photographers, the trip includes a complimentary lesson with a photo-pro with input on how to get perfect underwater images … or, if you’d prefer, a complimentary dive.

After arrival, you are welcome to drop your bags off and check-in whenever it’s most convenient but please note, you’ll need to be there not later than 4 pm for the pre-boarding health check. After check-in, you can enjoy an evening walk, arriving back at the dive center by 7pm for the safety video and for boarding the boat at 7:30pm. Settle into your cabin before dinner, which will be served as the boat sets sail.

Day 2 – Meet the Mobulas
On your first day out at sea, you’ll be heading out in search of the mobulas. Baja Expeditions has been doing this for 47 years and the crew is comprised of pioneering old timers who know these waters, and its wildlife, better than anyone.

Days 3-4 – Aerial Support
For at least two days of the trip, there will be an aircraft to provide aerial spotting to maximize your encounters with the mobulas and, hopefully, orcas. Be patient, as it might take time for the mobulas and orcas to allow snorkelers and free-divers into the middle of the pack, but you’ll be rewarded with truly spectacular encounters. There are only 12 guests on the liveaboard and you’ll go out in groups of six for two hours at a time, before swapping with the other six guests. After lunch, you’ll head back out on the water again in the afternoon.

Days 5-6 – Mobulas & Orcas
For the next couple of days, you’ll be on our own again to look for mobulas and orcas. In the evening, you’ll have the opportunity for a “night-snorkel” in a calm, protected bay, where the crew will suspend lights off the bottom of the boat to attract swarms of mobulas. The rays come in to feed on the plankton exposed by the lights, providing a spectacular show against the inky ocean.

Day 7 – Explore Cabo Plumo
On the final day, you’ll have the opportunity to dive or snorkel at Cabo Pulmo World Heritage Biosphere Reserve, home to an incredible 6,000 species … Then in the evening, it’s dinner under the stars on the return sail to Cabo San Lucas.

Day 8 – Hasta Luego ….
On the final morning, you’ll disembark after breakfast to head back to the airport … or perhaps extend your visit by a few days.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

accommodation
all meals (continental breakfast, breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert)
non-alcoholic beverages and snacks
use of kayaks and stand up paddleboards
weights, weight belts
aluminum 80’s and air
daily room service, towels
end of trip slideshow DVD
onboard hot tub

EXTRAS:

international flights
port fee of $65.00 USD per person payable in cash onboard
transfers between airport and harbor
gift shop purchases
bar
crew gratuities
dive gear rentals
nitrox

We highly recommend DiveAssure insurance which also covers force majeure and single missed days of diving due to sickness. Feel free to ask us about it.{/sliders}

More Mobulas & Orcas trips are available.   See our charters & special expeditions list for trips escorted by professional photographers.  Search SEA OF CORTEZ..

CHARTERS & SPECIAL EXPEDITIONS

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