Have you ever seen a Tornado of Fish? It is Amazing!

Filed in Dive the Sea of Cortez, Travel by on December 16, 2017 18 Comments

What an amazing trip to Cabo Pulmo on the Sea of Cortez and the Baja! I was excited to put together a small group trip to the Sea of Cortez with Red Travel Mexico for December 3-9, 2017. Red Travel Mexico is an eco friendly tour company operating on the Mexican Baja, and recommended by National Geographic. I wanted to dive Cabo Pulmo, a marine sanctuary that has made a big comeback thanks to the designation of national marine park. Dr Sylvia Earle of Mission Blue has been a big supporter of the project. Dr Sylvia Earle is to fish what Dr Jane Goodall is to chimps! I wanted to see the results of the project to bring back this site to a healthy state, and Red Travel Mexico and I put together a trip to do just that!

On the second dive of our trip in Cabo Pulmo (following our awesome bull shark dive, see video above!!!) we went in search of Bigeye Jacks, also known as Bigeye Trevally. During their courtship the Bigeye Jacks rapidly swim together, so many of them they form what is known as a fish tornado. Why? Because that is exactly what it looks like! These tornadoes have thousands of fish in them, and it has been something I have always wanted to see. Yes, I’ve seen huge shoals of fish and sharks…but I had never seen one of these swirling columns filled with fish. Cabo Pulmo gave me my first look at them! I was so excited to see these tornadoes, and I loved getting in the tornado. Fascinating!

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Yes, a tornado!

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Amazing to see divers at the base of the fish tornado!

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I love this photo as the diver swims along the bottom.

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Here I am in the tornado.

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Being in the tornado is such a rush!

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Here the tornado is parting around me as I look up.

Cabo Pulmo is such a fantastic example of marine protection! To learn more go to this link http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-news/cabo-pulmo-giving-optimism-coral-reefs

We saw schools of Groupers, Yellow Tailed Snappers, and Mutton Snappers! The photos aren’t that great, but you can see how full of fish (and sharks!) Cabo Pulmo is. It has returned to being a healthy ecosystem instead of a barren waste. Truly a sight to see. Marine life can come back, but we have to give it the opportunity before it is too late.

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Beautiful Grouper. They were spawning at the full moon, but they were small. Groupers are overfished and it is rare to see really large ones anymore.

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Yellow Tailed Snappers and groupers were present in big numbers.

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The shoal was mostly made up of small groupers.

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The snapper shoal didn’t want to come too close to us.

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Snappers in a shoal

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Looking up while diving and enjoying the sunburst!

You’d also love to read AN AMAZING TRIP TO THE BAJA!


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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life!
Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (18)

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  1. Carolina Colborn says:

    Love the tornado of fish pictures! Awesome!

  2. Wow! This really seems like an astonishing and unforgettable experience, Tam. Scuba diving is an exceptional activity and your post was truly motivating! 😉

  3. I can imagine how being so close of that swirling tornado is such a rush. I never knew this is something I want to put on my bucket list, but now I know!

  4. This is INSANE! I’ve never seen anything like this before, how fascinating! Thanks for sharing these incredible photos 🙂

  5. You are my only link to diving, never heard of the tornado concept with fish, very cool.

  6. Melissa says:

    Woah! Leaving for Cabo on Saturday and hadb’t planned on diving since I’ll be with mom-divers but may need to sneak off to get a piece of this action!

  7. Vicky says:

    Wow, what an experience! I think it’d be really cool to see for myself.

  8. James says:

    Tam, that clearly is an amazing experience. What camera did you use to capture the shots? A GoPro? Thanks for sharing such a great experience!
    James recently posted…What is Nitrogen Narcosis?My Profile

    • Tam Warner says:

      You are welcome! I was not 100% happy with the photos because I couldn’t use a flash…long story. I used an Olympus OMD EM5 Markii in a Nauticam housing. I’ve been really happy with it, but I have to get strobes that will work with it.

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