- Trips With Barna
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Swimming with the Sailfish is far the most intense wildlife tour in the area
The wildest experience of your life
This is the real wildlife experience, a one-day expedition to the committed ones. The search can be long, the ocean can be rough, but the reward is higher than anything you could imagine.
Price includes transfer, snorkel gear, light lunch and a professional guide for the whole trip
The most experienced guide
Barna will be your guide on this expedition, and this is a guarantee to have the best odds for a grand tour. He did more Sailfish Tours the last years than most, and he learned exactly what to look for.
Since we will follow the frigatebirds any small difference in their behavior and flight pattern and recognizing this difference can be what separates success from failure.
Barna has a 70% personal success rate finding the Sailfish while other we know are around or below 50%. Your choice! :)
Sometimes it is a long and hard day, but so worth it!
- 08:00 am Pick-up at your hotel in Cancun (7:00 am Playa del Carmen and 6:00 am Tulum).
- 08:45 am We hop into comfortable and fast boats and head out to look for the Sailfish.
- After we found them, we spend as much time as possible with them.
- 12:00 pm After we had enough time in the water we spend some time relaxing and eating our lunch.
- 01:00 pm Transport back to your hotel.
This tour is like working for BBC for a day
From the end of December to March sometimes over fifty or even a hundred Sailfish are chasing big bait balls of sardines and you have the chance to get up close to them. I am not joking; this is the adventure you will never forget.
You leave the marina in Cancun early to maximize the time looking for the Sailfish. Technically you will look for birds, magnificent frigatebirds to be exact. It is a real exploration, heading out on a boat to open ocean, watching the sky, sometimes for hours not knowing what you will find this day. As soon as you spot the birds, you know that you are in the right place. The frigates are circling over one spot, and diving down repeatedly to break the surface with their bills and pick up a sardine from the water.
If the sardines are this close to the surface that means the Sailfish below managed to establish control, they are pushing the sardines towards the surface to limit their possibilities of escaping. You put on your fins and mask as quick as possible, heart pumping, adrenaline running, and I am sure you will be still unprepared for what comes after you entered the water…
You jump into a war zone! Sometimes around one hundred Sailfish are after the still massive ball of sardines. They are just everywhere, moving faster than anything you have seen before under the water. It takes a short time and some serious finning from your part when a smaller bait ball will be separated so that a smaller group of Sailfish (around 30 individuals usually) will take charge. The Sailfish are in perfect control at this moment, and the bait ball is not going anywhere, so you can rest a bit.
The circling Sailfish take turns to one by one charge the bait ball. They open their sail and rapidly change their color to confuse the pray while they attack. With their long bill, they pick out a single sardine, separate it from the bait ball and eat it. After this, they join the other Sailfish which are controlling the bait ball leaving another one to take its turn and attack.
This feast can take up to forty minutes and sometimes, only sometimes is interrupted by uninvited guests. First, you hear a few sounds, soon after the clicks and vibrations are getting really strong. The Atlantic spotted dolphins discovered the bait ball. Their organized precision strike is much more effective. A few minutes and you find yourself alone in the water, the last Sailfish is leaving as well. The feast is over, and you are left there in the blue with all the images still vivid in your mind…
If you are a certified diver and want to learn about these magnificent predators, take the next step and get the PADI Sailfish Specialty certification which is available only with Encounters!
Bring this we take care of the rest
- Comfortable clothes and shoes
- Swimsuit, towel
- Hat and sunglasses
- Biodegradable (nature-friendly) sunblock
Trips with Barna