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Gray Whale Season 2022 Wrap Up

BY: Valentina / 2 COMMENTS / CATEGORIES: Baja, Conservation, whales

Gray Whale Season 2022 Wrap Up

Gray whale season in Baja is officially over! It’s always a bittersweet time of year to see the whales leave: we will not see them until next year, but they’re migrating back to Alaska where they will be eating 1.2 tons of food every day to get strong and be able to come back to Baja next year. They have the longest migration of any mammal on Earth!

Spy hop
Gray Whale watching

This season has been outstanding! We had a 100% sighting success during our daily expeditions, and we witnessed some incredible behaviors. The most unforgettable moment to me was to watch the gray whales courtship and mate! We were able to see a male following the female, showing us the pectoral fins, twirling around and even saw the 2m (6 ft) penis! The most beautiful part was when they were belly to belly mating.

If you’ve come to our expeditions, you know that it is much more than whale watching. As a marine biologist, I love educating people who come onboard about gray whale biology, behavior, reproduction, ecology, conservation and pretty much anything I know. I take data of weather conditions and sightings every day, to be able to understand the whales in a deeper way. However, the captain, José knows the gray whales like his own family. He knows what time of month and day is best according to the moon and the tides. He runs a family business, where his fisherman dad provides the food that we eat on the tour, and his wife or sister cooks it for us. Best scallop you’ll ever try!

Gray Whale watching
Captain Jose

I also like to show the diverse ecosystems that Baja California Peninsula has to offer. On tours, we often visit the frigate bird colony in the mangroves, or wonder in the sand dunes next to hundreds or thousands of pelicans, cormorants and seagulls.

This Gray Whale season we were very happy to see moms with calfs, and very young whales (around 1 or 2 years old) which makes me so happy to see them healthy, meaning they have survived the most critical part of their lifetime!

Isla Margarita
Bird watching Baja
Sand dunnes

We can’t be grateful enough to nature and to the Gray Whales for being so generous and friendly! They made us cry tears of joy, laugh and smile. They’re presence fills us with joy and we can’t wait to see them again next season starting January 15th 2023! If you’d like more information about our daily or multiple-day expeditions, we organize tailored expeditions to fit your desires. Thank you whales and thanks to all of you who help make this happen!

Now it’s time to say goodbye to the Gray Whales, and hello to the Mobula Rays! The largest schools in the World can be found here in Baja, and it’s one of nature’s most spectacular events. Mobulas are famous for their high jumps and acrobatics in the air. Freediving with hundreds or thousands of them is a unique experience that you can’t miss. Check out our Mobula Ray Expedition on May 15-19, only 4 spots available. Email us to book your spot 🙂

Gray Whale watching
Mobula Rays
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2021 Recap with Freefall Academy

BY: Valentina / 0 COMMENTS / CATEGORIES: Baja, Course, Espiritu Santo, Freediving, Sea Lions

2021 has been a wonderful year in the underwater world. We’ve had so many adventures that it’s hard to put it all in one blog post, so here is a little summary of the top moments of 2021 with Freefall Academy. Let’s recap!

Gray Whale Tail
Gray Whales

It all started with Gray Whale Season in january-march. We went north of La Paz on day trips to do whale watching. Gray Whales are the friendliest whales in the world. On calm days, you can see dozens of them in the shallow water lagoons of Baja Califonia. Spy hopping, breaching, head slapping, lob tailing and slapping, and pectoral slapping! Some days the friedly whales came right to the boat and allowed us to give them a good old cratch!

Freediver Ivan diving among thousands of mobula rays with freefall academy!
MOBULAS

Then, in March-May we had the Mobula Ray season! This is one of my favorite times of year because we are often surprised by unexpected visitors. On 2021 mobula season we also watched or swam with: turtles, sharks, dolphins, yellowtail fish and orcas! The mobulas didn’t disappoint, they showed as all their best acrobatic tricks from topside. And underwater they gracefully danced all around us. Imagine freediving and being surrounded by mobulas everywhere you can look. A truly magical experiece.

sailing
SAILED ACROSS THE PACIFIC OCEAN

At the end of May, Freefall Academy team took a different path and sailed across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia! The navigation took 18 days from Cabo to Nuku Hiva Island. It was a crew of three: Tyler, Oli and Valentina. The trip was far from easy, we started off by running from two tropical cyclones, then hit inconsistent winds. However, we had glorious days, breathtaking night watches looking at the universe, pods of dolphins riding the waves and uncountable learning lessons. Just this section deserves a blog post itself. You can read a little more about it here if you’re interested.

Baby Whale
HUMPBACK WHALE

June to beginning of september we were in French Polynesia. We had many underwater adventures exploring the crystal clear waters of FP. However my favorite one was an encounter with a humpback whale calf, mom and escort. We were on the boat waiting for them to come up to breath, and suddenly the calf came right under the boat. I was in the water next to the boat, it showed us its belly and flipped its tail out of the water. The calf was looking at me and playing with the air in her jaw, making a lot of noice! Then mom and escort came up to breathe, they all showed me some dance moves and then went back down.

Orca and Valen
orcas!

September to december it’s my favorite season to teach freediving courses and trainings because of the environmental conditions. The 31 st of October I got an Orca report from the captain, so the 1st of nov we went out on a mission. We were lucky to be the first boat who found them. A split pod of 5 orcas, including one mom and calf. We decided to give some space to mom and baby, and we stayed with a very curious young male that kept coming so close to us! A day I will never forget.

Freedive Cabo Pulmo Freefall Academy
CABO PULMO: SHARKS, JACKS AND HUGE GROUPER!

October to beginning of december is the best time of year to go to Cabo Pulmo. This specific day we had an incredible day freediving with the famous school of jacks, as well as freediving with about 6 bull sharks. We were surrounded by a huge school of yellow snapper, then a bull shark gracefully came very close to us to check us out. But the cherry on top was being eye to eye with a Pacific Goliath Grouper that looked as big as the bull sharks! An overfished species that is rare to see, but is now more common to watch in Cabo Pulmo due to its protection as an MPA. They’re usually shy in scuba, but when freediving they come very close!

Marlin Expedition
MARLINS, DOLPHINS AND MORE

Marlin season this year was outstanding! Not only we saw dozens of baitballs being hunted by marlins, but so much more! Mahi mahi, sea lions and wahoo joining the hunt. Superpod of thousands of common dolphins. Bryde’s whale eating the baitballs. Humpack whales dancing with dolphins. 100+ marlins on the same baitball. One of my favorite days out at sea guiding with Nakawe Project, we found a pod of hundreds of Pacific White Sided Dolphins. We spent hours having intimate interactions with them. As we freedived down, the dolphins would follow us and look at us in the eye. They were so curious! I have to admit I had tears of joy. For marlin expeditions, email us.

But what is the common characteristic of every single adventure? We are surrounded by people that love the ocean, like you! Our passion is to share these kind of adventures with people, and make them fall in love with the Ocean. Join us this 2022 and create unforgettable memories with us.

 

Thank you from Freefall Academy team! We wish you a wonderful 2022 full of magical underwater adventures.

Freefall Academy

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Freediving Intermediate-Advanced Course

BY: Valentina / 0 COMMENTS / CATEGORIES: Baja, Course, Freediving, Freefall

AIDA 3  – Freediving Intermediate-Advanced Course

In this post you will find all the information you need about the Freediving Beginner Course.


AIDA3 Guidelines v3.1

Freefall Academy AIDA 3 Freediving Course Approach

The AIDA 3 Freediving Course can technically be completed in three days. However, we believe that squeezing all the necessary information and practice into such a short timeframe can be challenging. That’s why we have chosen to teach our AIDA 3 course over four days. This allows us to cover the same topics and exercises without rushing, giving you ample time to absorb the material. One of the things that sets us apart from other schools is our emphasis on optimal conditions. That’s why we exclusively offer Freediving Courses from May through November, as these months provide the best weather and conditions in La Paz and its surrounding areas. During this time, the wind is typically calm, the water is warmer, and visibility is significantly improved. In addition to prioritizing favorable conditions, we differentiate ourselves by offering two days of boat-based training. While many schools conduct their courses from the shore or mix, we believe that going out on the boat enhances the experience and allows us to find the best diving spots. We strive to create an enriching and enjoyable learning environment, optimizing your freediving experience with us.  

Itinerary

Day 1

9am-12pm – We’ll meet at the classroom, fill out paperwork and start the theory lesson. 12:00-12:30 – Breathing session 12:30-2pm – Static Apnea Session

Day 2

9am-12pm – Theory session and equalization workshop 12:30-2:30pm – Dynamic Apnea Session

Day 3

8:30am- Lunch stretching session 9am – Depth Sessions 2pm – Finish

Day 4

8am – Meet and transport to La Ventana 9am – Depth Sessions 2pm – Drive back to La Paz 3pm – Finish   The location of the depth sessions may change according to the weather and the logistics. The exact time and schedule may change due to logistics. The exam will be online.  

Price

$10,900 pesos per person Includes: theory manuals, pool fees, AIDA certification, boat fees, transportation from La Paz, freediving retal gear. 20% de descuento para mexicanos al presentar INE

 

Our Recommendations

To maximize your enjoyment and benefit from this course, we strongly recommend that you have a comfortable diving capability of at least 20 meters. This means being able to dive multiple times per session to that depth. The skills covered in the course are practiced within the range of 15-25 meters, with a maximum depth of 30 meters. If diving to 20 meters poses a significant challenge for you, it may hinder your ability to fully apply the new theory and skills learned during the course. In such cases, we advise you to engage in training and practice before pursuing the AIDA 3 course until you feel confident and at ease diving to the 20-meter mark. Once you have achieved this comfort level, you will be well-prepared to embark on the AIDA 3 course and make the most of your experience. We recommend that if you have your own gear to bring it in order to asure that you have a perfect fit. If you don’t have your own gear we will provide it for you. At time of booking please send us your height, weight and show size (eu).  

We hope to see you underwater! If you have any doubts please contact us at apneafreefallacademy@gmail.com and we will be happy to assist you.

   

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AIDA 2 Freediving Beginner Course

BY: Valentina / 4 COMMENTS / CATEGORIES: Baja, Course, Freediving

AIDA 2 Star Course – Freediving Beginner Course

In this post you will find all the information you need about the Freediving Beginner Course. 

AIDA2 Guidelines v3.2

Freefall Academy AIDA 2 Freediving Course Approach

The AIDA 2 Freediving Course can technically be completed in three days. However, we believe that squeezing all the necessary information and practice into such a short timeframe can be challenging. That’s why we have chosen to teach our AIDA 2 course over four days. This allows us to cover the same topics and exercises without rushing, giving you ample time to absorb the material.

One of the things that sets us apart from other schools is our emphasis on optimal conditions, especially for beginner freedivers. That’s why we exclusively offer Freediving Courses from May through November, as these months provide the best weather and conditions in La Paz and its surrounding areas. During this time, the wind is typically calm, the water is warmer, and visibility is significantly improved.

In addition to prioritizing favorable conditions, we differentiate ourselves by offering two days of boat-based training. While many schools conduct their courses from the shore or mix, we believe that going out on the boat enhances the experience and allows us to find the best diving spots. Furthermore, on the final day of the course, we usually teach in La Ventana, where after our freediving session, we make the most of our time by engaging in fun dives, where you can apply your training without the use of a line.

We strive to create an enriching and enjoyable learning environment, optimizing your freediving experience with us.

 

Itinerary

Day 1

9am-12pm – We’ll meet at the classroom, fill out paperwork and start the theory lesson.

12:00-12:30 – Breathing session

12:30-2pm – Static Apnea Session

Day 2

9am-12pm – Theory session and equalization workshop

12:30-2:30pm – Dynamic Apnea Session

Day 3

8:30am- Lunch stretching session

9am – Depth Session 

2pm – Finish

Day 4

8am – Meet and transport to La Ventana

9am – Depth Session and fun dives

2pm – Drive back to La Paz

3pm – Finish

 

The location of the depth sessions may change according to the weather and the logistics.

The exact time and schedule may change due to logistics.

The exam will be online.

 

Price

$8,900 pesos per person 

Includes: theory manuals, pool fees, AIDA certification, boat fees, transportation from La Paz, freediving retal gear.

15% de descuento para mexicanos al presentar INE

 

 

Our Recommendations

To fully enjoy this course, we recommend that you are confortable in the water. Prior freediving experience is not required, but definitely being able to comfortably swim and/or snorkel. If you don’t have any experience swimming and/or snorkeling we recommend that you take the AIDA 1 Discover Freediving Course.

We recommend that if you have your own gear to bring it in order to asure that you have a perfect fit. If you don’t have your own gear we will provide it for you. At time of booking please send us your height, weight and show size (eu).

 

We hope to see you underwater! If you have any doubts please contact us at apneafreefallacademy@gmail.com and we will be happy to assist you.

 

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