A chance to see whales in the wild is a dream for a lot of people. Whale watching excursions have become a reliably popular part of the ecotourism business. Rocky Point has seen these creatures in our local water more than ever during the past two years. As word has gotten around about Peñasco’s seemingly easy access to these giants of the sea, anticipation has built as everyone looks to the horizon, waiting their return.
Cue the Whales
As of yesterday, they are back! Tour operators have been out there running their regular sunset and fishing cruises, always keeping an eye open for that first big black fin to appear. No luck, till now. Captain Oscar of Del Mar Charters made the find, adding to his reputation as ‘the Whale Whisperer’. He just seems to know where to find them. Ten whales in all.
Whales migrate out of the waters around Alaska in early winter, traveling down the West Coast for a warmer place to give birth. Lagoons and shallow waters from Baja Mexico up into the Sea of Cortez provide safety and a food source for these mothers to be.
Normally, whales begin arriving near Puerto Peñasco around the first of the year. 2016 is different.  Fishermen have reported the whales had been staying out in deeper water, about thirty miles offshore, until now. Hawaii, another destination for the migrants, saw whales arrive about a month later too. It may be that changes in their food source, caused by different weather patterns, have changed the schedule for them. But the point is . . .
Now’s the time
If getting up close with a whale is on you list of life accomplishments, a cruise out of Rocky Point is a great choice. Time stops when a Humpback Whale breaches. Like a freight train shooting out of the sea, seeming to defy gravity as it hangs in the air, she turns, then lands with the mother-of-all belly flops. There is nothing more uniquely thrilling in the natural world, and it is just a morning’s drive out of Phoenix.
Peñasco also has the great advantage of seas that are calm more often than not. O.K., here’s a snapshot for you. Picture yourself sitting on the netting strung between the hulls at the front of a good sized catamaran. Suspended above the water, dolphins occasionally flit by, a few feet below you. Margarita in hand, you watch as the sun starts to dip down into a glass calm sea, tinting the blue waters with gold.
‘Whoosh’ Suddenly, the smooth black back of a Fin Whale breaks the water in front of you, twenty feet away. It is awe inspiring to be this close to the second largest creature on the planet. Cameras ’click’ and everyone give an involuntary ‘oooohh’.
But hurry. If you want to see the whales, do it before Spring Break (the middle of March). That’s when the baby whales are ready for the trip back north. You will have to wait till next year.
Interested in a Rocky Point whale watching trip?
Want to meet your own, personal, Moby Dick? Whale watching in Rocky Point can be made easier by booking your stay through Seaside Reservations. Their knowledgeable staff and in-house concierge can help you find a cruise just right for you. All trips depart from the main harbor. Usually, drinks and snacks are offered.
Del Mar Charters: Captain Oscar seems to have a sense about where the next Humpback will poke out of the waves. His catamaran takes fewer people, and Del Mar trips have a great, intimate feel to them. The captain always seems to be having more fun than anyone else!
638 380 9678  DelMarCharters.com  
Eco Fun Rentals: The upper deck of the Eco Fun boat makes it easy to get a good look at the whales, or you can hang out downstairs by the bar to escape the sun. The Eco Fun staff make things fun, and are certain to keep your glass full.
638 388 9699    EcoFunRentals.com