Sailing In The Blue

In the summer the waters off of Isla Mujéres Mexico are filled with dozens if not hundreds of whale sharks, it's amazing. In winter hundreds of sailfish come into feed on schools of sardines - also amazing. I've been fortunate enough to visit during both seasons, and just returned from checking out the sailfish again after about a 9 year absence. It was a short trip with only 3 days on the water and I came up empty the first 2 days. Bummer. The third day was great, except for the end which I'll get to in a minute. Typically the way to find sailfish is to watch for frigates feeding on sardine bait-balls at the surface and the sailfish are often feeding there as well. The action can get pretty crazy, not just from the sailfish chasing the bait-balls, but others trying to get in on mealtime. Almost every time we found sailfish, bonitos (a fish in the tuna family that are fast as hell) chased them away and had their way with the sardines. The sardines would take cover around me and other divers, which made things even nuttier with both sailfish and bonitos coming in to feed right on us. Myth buster time - sailfish don't spear prey with their bills, they injure fish by slashing their bills into the school. Usually knocking scales off and slowing them down enough to gobble up. You'll see fish scales floating around from them getting whacked in some of the photos and video.

So the crappy ending that I referred to up top? Just as we were finishing up for the day, I fell into a railing on the rocking boat and fractured a rib. Glad it was the last day, but not fun. So yeah, please enjoy the pix and video - I went to a lot of trouble to bring em home!

A couple of notes: You can click to start and stop the slide show. The video ( below the pix) is from a GoPro attached to the top of my still camera housing. It's mostly incidental footage, so cinematography was not top of mind. That said, you can enjoy most of what I mentioned above.