FUN-travel: Baja Wilderness & Whale Adventure – Las Animas – Day 1

March 6, 2015 by  

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  • At 8:00 am we were whisked away by private plane from San Diego’s Brown Field for our flight headed to Las Animas Wilderness Retreat. Located in the Sea of Cortez, near the town of Bahía de Los Ángeles, it is a one-of-a-kind “boat in only” private paradise. Ninety minutes into our flight we touched down for a short stop in San Felipe to clear customs. Before landing in Bahía de Los Ángeles, we got an aerial view of the majestic mountains, islands dotting the sea, and our private beach. In the crystal clear waters below we easily spotted a shark near the shoreline.
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Aerial View of Sea of Cortez

  •  At 11:30 we landed at our first destination and were greeted by the local taxi van. Within minutes we arrived at the shore where our boat to Las Animas awaited. But not before we sipped an ice cold Pacifico and took in the beautiful blue sea surrounded by the rugged mountains and desert landscape.
  • As fairly well seasoned travelers, we decided that at this point in our life we only want to take trips that include amazing experiences and see things we have never seen before. And that is what we got! It also turned out to have a lot of “firsts” for us.
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Feeding Frenzy

  • Our “first” private plane trip with no airport screening lines. (I was already feeling spoiled) They only allow a total of 10 people with a guide ratio of 1 to 5. Our group included 9 adults traveling in two 6 seater planes.
  • Then another “first” when we saw Blue Footed Boobies basking in the sun on the jagged rocks of one of the many small islands that fill the Sea of Cortez. I had only seen them before in the Galapagos. They were joined by an abundance of pelicans, sea gulls, egrets, herons, and cormorants.
  • Then, as we embarked on our boat, within the” first”15 minutes of leaving shore we were in
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    Tom & Our Fresh Catch of the Day

    the middle of a “Feeding Frenzy.” The birds were in full force dive bombing the surface and we could see the yellowtail just below us darting in all directions at record speeds. Tom, our pilot and guide, had the fishing pole ready, dropped the lure, and within 60 seconds had his first bite. I kid you not! As soon as he got that one reeled in, he dropped the lure back in, and hooked the second one just as fast. Channing, one of the guests, was the lucky guy this time and got to reel that one in. Thirty minutes later we were motoring off with two 40+ pound fish. Just enough to feed us for the next three days.

  • We arrived at 1:30 and dropped our small bags (another “first”) into our private Yurt (a round fully insulated wood frame structure with a solar shower) before sitting down for our lunch of fresh fish tacos, guacamole and pico de gallo. Then it was time for our siesta.
  • 6:00 and it was happy hour margaritas in the main yurt with an oversized attached patio. Here we sat and watched the beautiful sunset. Then we got to enjoy the fruits of our day’s labor! Feasting on our Fresh Catch of the Day starting with a sushi appetizer, followed by the main course of marinated grilled yellowtail, spinach salad, and rice. Absolute heaven and some of the best fish we’ve ever tasted. Then to top it off we had some fabulous flan for dessert.
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Our Motley Group

FUN-fish facts – Although Yellowtail typically run 10 to 20 pounds, they can reach an enormous 79 lbs. They are epic fighters and pound for pound one of the best fighting local game fish.

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