Nico, our main guide, has worked with whales in Alaska, Australia, the Azores (Portugal), Canada, Ecuador, Peru, the Philippines, Mozambique, and 13 seasons in Mexico! She has a MSc in Marine Science and Management and a BSc in Zoology, and is a PhD student at Murdoch University (Perth, Australia) whilst still being involved in several other research projects worldwide. Her primary research focuses on investigating the risk of vessel collisions with humpback whales in Nayarit, Mexico and in trying to reduce the risk of this anthropogenic threat. For the next two seasons all proceeds from La Orca will go towards her fieldwork in Nayarit.

 

Additionally, she has a international skipper's license, is certified in marine first aid (RYA 2015), is a qualified MMO and PAM for offshore industries, and speaks English, Spanish, and is trying to learn Portuguese!

 

Her passion for whales, sense of humor and knowledge has led her to be nominated for several tour guides awards, and although now focusing more on her research, is still our main guide and not ready to hang up the tour guide bandana yet! Happy to be out on the water everyday of the season, she has encountered many of the world's rarest cetaceans, and is lucky enough to have had many incredible whale encounters including an afternoon with the famous albino humpback whale "Migaloo".

Nico

(Zoologist/Guide)

Felix

Angel

Angel and Felix (Captains)

 

We are very lucky to have as our main captains Angel and Felix, two brothers who are some of Sayulita's best and most renowned fisherman. Born and bred in Sayulita, they have spent their lives out on the ocean off the coast of the town, and know everything there is to know about the ocean and marine-life in the area; they are also pretty funny too!

 

Both experienced whale watching captains, with a special talent for spotting whales far away on the horizon that no one else can see, a great amount of the success of our tours is due to their knowledge, skill, personalities and enthusiasm.

Esteban

Biologist/Whale Researcher/Acoustics Expert

(Research Assistant/Tour Guide)

Esteban is an enthusiastic and charismatic Colombian biologist who has been working with whales in the scientific and tourist areas for 3 years. His first steps as a guide and researcher were made in Peru and then he started his own tourism and research platform in the isolated coasts of the Colombian Pacific, where he has worked in recent years. His biggest interests are the songs of the humpback whales and their cultural evolution. Esteban currently leads and accompanies several projects of international alliances to study the cultural evolution of humpback whale songs, with the hope of discovering how whales learn their songs and what are the links of migration between the population of the Southeast Pacific and its populations surrounding.

Molly

Conservation Biologist

(Research Assistant/Tour Guide)

We are very pleased to have Molly returning for a second year with us! Molly is a conservation biologist with experience around the world working in both research and conservation projects, including Hawaii, Indonesia, Thailand, Belize and Tanzania.  She has a BSc in Biomedical Science and a MSc. in Conservation Medicine and is presently the Development Coordinator for Wildtracks USA which Works alongside wildlife NGOs in Belize helping with fundraising and campaigns. She is a brilliant science communicator and will be heading our aerial survey campaigns throughout Nayarit and Sinaloa, as well as our vessels surveys and some of you may be lucky enough to have her as a tour guide on some of our Sayulita whale watch trips.

Omar

Marine Biologist

(Research Assistant/Tour Guide)

Omar is a Marine Biologist from Mexico City, who has a BSc with Honours from James Cooke University in Australia and has spent many years working with both turtles and whales. His speciality is usually the friendly minke whales of the Great Barrier Reef, but we are very pleased to have him join us here in Nayarit for the humpback whale field season. Fluent in both English and Spanish and an avid diver, Omar will mostly be helping with our aerial surveys and vessel surveys, investigating the whales though out Nayarit and Sinaloa.

Alice

Animal Biologist/Teacher/Yogi

(Operations Manager/Tour Guide/Research Assistant)

Originally from North Wales, Alice is joining the team as our operations manager and will also be guiding some tours. A biologist with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with honours, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, she is a fully qualified science teacher and a yoga teacher, and will be helping with the everyday running of the business as well as the research conducted on the whale watch trips

Emmanuel / Aaron

Our superstar "first mates"/"whale spotters"/"second skippers". Cousins, and the sons of our captains, these two, having grown up in Sayulita, have the ocean in their blood. Their constant up beat attitude, work ethic and knowledge of the ocean make them a truly great and extremely valued addition to La Orca team (PS this photo was taken many years ago, but we love it!!!).

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Nico

(Zoologist/Guide)

Nico,  has worked with whales in Alaska, Australia, the Azores (Portugal), Canada, Ecuador, Peru, the Philippines, Mozambique, and 10 seasons in Mexico!She has a MSc in Marine Science and Management and a BSc in Zoology, and is now in the planning stages of a PhD, whilst still being involved in several other research projects worldwide. Her primary research focuses on investigating vessel collisions and entanglements in Mexican humpback whales, and trying to reduce the risk of these anthropogenic threats.

 

Additionally, she has a international skipper's license, is certified in marine first aid (RYA 2015), is a qualified MMO and PAM for offshore industries, and speaks English, Spanish, and is trying to learn Portuguese!

 

Her passion for whales, sense of humor and knowledge has led her to be nominated for several tour guides awards, and although now focusing more on her research, is still our main guide and not ready to hang up the tour guide bandana yet! Happy to be out on the water everyday of the season, she has encountered many of the world's rarest cetaceans, and is lucky enough to have had many incredible whale encounters including an afternoon with the famous albino humpback whale "Migaloo".

Angel

Felix

Angel and Felix (Captains)

 

We are very lucky to have as our main captains Angel and Felix, two brothers who are some of Sayulita's best and most renowned fisherman. Born and bred in Sayulita, they have spent their lives out on the ocean off the coast of the town, and know everything there is to know about the ocean and marine-life in the area; they are also pretty funny too!

 

Both experienced whale watching captains, with a special talent for spotting whales far away on the horizon that no one else can see, a great amount of the success of our tours is due to their knowledge, skill, personalities and enthusiasm.