The Sea of Cortez And Baja California
In March, 2000, we took a trip to the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) and the Baja Peninsula. Most of the time was spent cruising in a very comfortable, 70 passenger 120 foot ship, The Seabird. The Seabird lacked the multiple restaurants, swimming pools, dance floors, and other amenities of the "Princess" style, thousand-plus passenger cruise ships, but it was clean, comfortable, and had great food. We saw some of the huge cruise ships at Cabo and we much prefer the smaller boat. The goal of the trip was to observe and photograph whales (especially humpback and gray whales), dolphins, sea birds, and other wildlife and plants typical of the unique Baja and Sea of Cortez area. Many of the islands in the Sea of Cortez are biologically isolated and have functioned as evolutionary incubators similar to the Galapagos.
The Sea of Cortez is extremely deep (more than 2 miles at its deepest) and provides a very rich mix of nutrients for plankton. The plankton support a diverse group of higher organisms, up to and including most of the whales, fishes, and birds. The California gray whale uses several lagoons on the west (ocean) side of the Baja Peninsula as birthing grounds and February and March are usually the best times to see cows with young calves in these lagoons.