The HelmsMistress slows down to take a look at life both above and below the waterline of her cruising sailboat.

Perspectives change drastically when you shift from observing the world exclusively from the water’s surface  to submerging into the wonders of the underwater world.  While my preferred perspective involves a mask and snorkel – maybe even some dive tanks, early spring means the water is still pretty chilly with only moderate visibility, so we’ve been spending most of our time observing the world around us from above the surface.  Even at this vantage point, the Sea of Cortez fails to disappoint.  We are welcomed back to the Loreto area by large dolphin pods who seem to follow us from anchorage to anchorage with some of the most amazing jumps we’ve seen yet!  The Mobula (jumping) rays also make their presence known with a distinctive SLAP that echoes through the bays, and we even had a distant Orca pod sighting.  Despite my limited viewpoint, I can easily confirm that the sea is, as always, very much full of life.

While floating on the ocean, it’s easy to forget how much life lies beneath your keel until you see a fin, a splash, or a flurry of fish evading the swoop of a pelican on the surface.  Dinghying around we are reminded of the iceberg effect of only seeing a mere pinnacle of the expansive reef below or the shallowest structure of a massive shipwreck that unfolds once we’ve submerged.  We notice large black masses that contrast against the aquamarine water, supposing they are patches of sea grass or rocks…until they move.  If you’re fortunate enough to catch up with them, you could encounter a massive migration of rays, something we’d seen only from the surface until recently when they glided underneath my SUP and Kellyn was ready with the Go-pro!  We’re spending more time paddling and realizing that sometimes the views from above are just as good if not better than below the waterline while awaiting more suitable snorkeling conditions.

This guy is just the tip of the iceberg. The huge dark mass to the right of the ray is hundreds more “flying” though the water in a huge mob.
Much closer than I would ever get normally if I had not been on my SUP- LOVE these guys.

With Memorial Day unofficially kicking off summer earlier this week, we’re looking forward to ditching the wetsuits and freely exploring the depths of our underwater world.  Of course, heading north in the Sea of Cortez means I might be wishing for these cooler waters in another two months.  Here’s wishing you a happy summer.  Enjoy some vitamin D and vitamin Sea when you can!

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