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Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

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Minnesota
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Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

If so... can you tell me anything about this boat or tour? I don't know much else other than some friends said they went whale watching a few years back on the Catalina 3. They liked it...just wondering if it's a reputable boat (ie. do they have the proper permits for whale watching). Thanks!

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

There are dozens of boats that receive official permit flags for whale watching each season, so it's hard to say. The main site that normally posts the official vessel list is not up to date either, it's still showing the 2009/2010 season. They don't always get the up to date lists in advance either.

What I might suggest is you can contact someone like Astrid at Superior Tours Vallarta. Before she started her company she used to work as a whale watching guide for some of the most reputable operations in the bay. She would likely know whether this was a properly permitted vessel or not...and if not, she could suggest one that is.

Thank you for posting in advance and choosing to be a responsible whale watcher. Kudos to you. (-:

Minnesota
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2. Re: Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

Thanks PVJB. Appreciate your help.

So Cal
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3. Re: Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

One would not know if the vessel was permitted or not unless they saw it up close.

The permits are purchased and issued on a yearly basis by the Mexican Govt. The flags for this year are white, silver and orange and were issued in late Nov. Any boat flying that flag has been issued a permit.

Since it is up to the individual boat owner whether or not they obtain a permit it varies from year to year.

You will find that 99% of the boat captains that operate in the bay respect the whales, since most have grown up around them since they were little kids.

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

As the tour operator in question uses some boats with permits to book whale watching tours - in addition to still offering guide services herself, she would know a) what the flag looks like this year, and b) would have access to the "grapevine" of who's in and who's not.

For all we know, Catalina 3 might be one of the boats she uses, or a boat that one of the other tour companies uses that she knows. Contacting her isn't a futile suggestion.

Edited: 12 December 2011, 21:17
So Cal
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5. Re: Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

As a boat owner I can tell you that it is impossible to know every boat and who has what permits; that list is not issued to the general public. It isn't a grapevine; it is list from the Federal Govt. Unless it is a business you are in you have no idea how many boats are operating in the bay legally and illegally, keeping track of who's who in the zoo is impossible.

Where did I say she would not know what a flag looks like? I stated the colors of the flag this year, not she would not know what they look like. If you look the website you mentioned (that is not up to date) they show a green and white flag so what I gave was current information for everyone who wants to go whale watching on a boat and doesn't know if they are authorized or not. If they are flying a flag they are authorized.

Not everyone wants to go on large tour boats, many people like to do private combo tours involving several activities and they book them either on the internet, via the beach or referrals like the OP was asking about.

Edited: 13 December 2011, 04:38
Puerto Vallarta
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6. Re: Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

Astrid and Thalia (Marine Biologist) work with Oscar Frey (renowned Oceanologist) and can set you up with a licensed and guided private whale watching tour or set you up on a mixed group one. She would also be able to find out which boat is licensed this year- providing SEMERNAT provides the list again.

So Cal
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7. Re: Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

To answer the OP's question. The Catalina 3 is not licensed. The owner of that boat had several boats and he passed away. His son took over the boat; when he took over the boat captain quit and most of the boats are just sitting. Most of the time it is the captain that makes or breaks a trip so the captain that was on that boat several years ago is not on it anymore.

Edited: 14 December 2011, 08:33
Minnesota
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8. Re: Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

Thanks for all the info. Glad I'm doing my homework.

9. Re: Anyone heard of the Catalina 3 for Whale Watching

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