Venture with us to the winter breeding grounds of the California Gray Whale. Every winter thousands of California gray whales migrate 6,000 miles from the cold waters off Alaska to the warm waters of Baja California. Located near the town of Guerrero Negro, the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon (formerly known as Scammon’s Lagoon) is the destination of the largest number of these magnificent mammals, approximately 1,500 – including newborn calves – every year. Come with experienced Baja photographer/guide Jim Cline on a trip to photograph these gentle giants at close range in their natural habitat.
Gray whales have gathered in Ojo de Liebre for centuries to, calve, and relax before heading north to their Arctic feeding grounds. To view the whales as they blow, sound, mate, and calve in their natural habitat is an awe- inspiring experience that will never be forgotten. It’s quite common for mother whales to bring their babies right up to the boat for a closer look!
This unique tour ventures beyond Mexico’s scenic waters…we’ll also spend two nights in the heart of Baja’s most spectacular desert scenery in the Catavina Boulderfields. The boulderfields are home to the majestic Cardon cactus, the world’s tallest cactus, as well as a wide variety of photogenic desert flora and massive granite boulders. On the way South we’ll also visit the port city of Ensenada. We’ll visit the bustling fish market by the wharf, photograph mariachis, and visit the beautiful coastline around the blowhole, with many colorful vendors nearby. We may also pay a visit to the famous Hussong’s Cantina.
Day 1 (Thurs Feb 22): In the morning we’ll depart from San Diego to drive to Ensenada. After crossing the border we’ll stop to obtain our Tourist Cards (cost approx. $25 U.S.). We’ll then continue south to Ensenada. Upon arriving downtown, we’ll stop at the harbor and Mercado Negro (fish market) area to have lunch and photograph the action at the fish market and scenes of other vendors and the harbor. After lunch we’ll photograph some of the local musicians. We’ll then go to our nearby hotel and check in. We’ll then drive out to La Bufadora, where we’ll photograph the blowhole, and the many colorful vendors. Then we’ll go on the cliffs for some scenic shots of the sunset. We’ll end the night with a good dinner.
Day 2 (Fri Feb 23): We’ll head south to Catavina, stopping for lunch at Mama Espinosa’s – a well-known Baja seafood restaurant in the town of El Rosario. We’ll arrive at the Catavina Boulderfields in the afternoon. We’ll photograph through sunset and then go to our hotel where we’ll have dinner in the restaurant. We’ll spend the night in Catavina.
Day 3 (Sat Feb 24): We’ll go out before sunrise to photograph the first light on the desert (bring your snacks). Later in the morning we’ll have breakfast at the hotel, and then depart on the 3-hour drive to Guerrero Negro. After arrival in Guerrero Negro, we’ll have some rest time, then we’ll head out to photograph ospreys in the late light. We’ll return to town for dinner and a good sleep. We’ll spend the night in Guerrero Negro.
Day 4 (Sun Feb 25): Get up early and head out to the whale lagoon! We’ll go out in 25 foot skiffs skippered by experienced whale guides, and observe the whales up close. They give us sandwiches for lunch. After returning to our hotel and taking a break, we’ll drive out to the lighthouse where we’ll photograph such subjects as boats, fishermen, seabirds including ospreys, the salt-works, and the sunset. We’ll then return to town for a seafood (or other) meal. We’ll spend the night in Guerrero Negro.
Day 5 (Mon Feb 26): Once again get up early and go whale watching/photographing. We’ll then head out to photograph more ospreys in the last light, or scenic shots of the other-worldly salt pools nearby. We’ll return to town for dinner and a good sleep. We’ll spend the night in Guerrero Negro.
Day 6 (Tues Feb 27): Get up early and go whale watching / photographing. After lunch we’ll head north to Catavina (3 hours), arriving in the afternoon, where one last time we’ll photograph the cacti and boulders until the light is gone, and into the twilight time with our tripods. We’ll have dinner at our hotel. We’ll spend the night in Catavina.
Day 7 (Wed Feb 28): After breakfast we’ll start the journey north to San Diego (7 hours + border wait), stopping at an ancient cave painting site, and for lunch in the town of San Quintin along the way. We’ll then continue toward the border, arriving in San Diego in the early evening (about 7:30 pm).