5 March 2000
Aboard the MV Seabird
Sea of Cortez
We saw our first whale right after breakfast--a blue whale.......... Now, thirty or so minutes later, after blue whales number 2 and 3, I’m back at my iBook. I never dreamed we see a blue whale, well, not first thing, anyway. And we have already seem three. They are GIGANTIC and so graceful and just as magical as I remember the humpback whales of last June in Alaska. Also saw a blue-footed booby.
Later 10:00 PM
All that other stuff occurred BEFORE lunch. There were also brown bobbies and magnificent frigate birds. ..............................After lunch, I took a long, hard nap while Poppy went on his first snorkeling trip. (He was AWFULLY cute in his shortie wet suit--would have been even cuter if he had not forgotten his Tevas). When he returned, we went ashore for a walk on Monserrate. ..................................................
6 March - Monday Noon
When we woke this morning, we were traveling with (or through?) a huge school of dolphins. They were bow-riding as well as wake-riding, some of them jumping entirely out of the water as played with one another and seemed to be showing off for us. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. They were Bottlenose Dolphins, just like we have at home.........
We spent part of the afternoon on San Francisco Island.................. Shortly after that, we were called back to the landing because the ship was losing anchorage, and we needed to leave. I was not sad to be back at the boat at 4 PM today. I had a leisurely shower and was clean and sweet when.....
Scott called us over the intercom to announce that a breaching whale had been spotted off the bow of the ship. We scooted to the bow and watched a Finback whale for most of an hour .............. He never breached for us, but it was wonderful to watch him dive and come up for air. Two days on this boat, and we have already seem two whales that we had never dreamed of seeing.
7 March - Tuesday Noon
When the ship began to slow down, we knew something was going on, so we got up and dressed. Out off the bow, we saw a blue whale, along with her calf. We watched them for nearly an hour............ Afterwards, we watched sea lions and birds: blue-footed and brown boobies, yellow-footed gulls, a nesting Great Blue Heron and the ubiquitous brown pelican. Later in the morning, we went for a zodiac cruise around Los Islotes, a rocky sea lion rookery where we had been watching them from the boat--along with the birds. It’s nap time now, and Poppy is snoring away. I hope to join him in dreamland soon.
Later - 10:00 PM
We had a call from the bow that there were whales about--lots of them. We collected ourselves and went out on deck to be treated to the sight of two groups of false killer whales. The first ones we saw were playing in the water like dolphins, some even breaching. They are small whales, certainly closer to the size of dolphins than the huge blue and fin back whales we have seen so far on this trip. After the two groups of whales passed us, moving in the opposite direction, they gathered at the fantail of the ship and nosed into the stern, acting curious about our craft. I counted eight, just myself, looking strangely like giant koi in a huge pond. There were certainly dozens more. Then they all sort of agreed to begin to roll and jump and entertain us, then they moved off into the distance. Cool.
We returned to our cabin early and engaged in some intense and satisfying sexual activity.
A good day, a really good day, it was.
This morning it was humpback whales, lots of them. They were breaching, tail fobbing, and fin slapping. There were solitary whales and whales traveling in pairs as well as groups.........................Females mate in these waters, then migrate to wherever they are going to spend the summer. They then return to these waters to give birth, and the entire cycle takes about a year. Cool.
8 March - Thursday Morning
Yesterday’s stop in Cabo San Lucas was just about what we expected it to be. Clint bought me a gold wedding band--something I have been wanting since I lost my original wedding band a number of years ago. It only cost $65, so it’s probably worth about half that, but I like it. It’s just right for me.
We are going to Magdalena Bay, where our plan is to go whale watching in zodiacs. .................
Saturday 9 AM
On a bus from San Carlos to La Paz
Once we got into Magdalena Bay on Thursday morning, the water flattened out as promised. It was breezy, but not harsh. After lunch, we loaded into Zodiacs for whale watching. We actually saw a number of California Gray Whales, but none were very close to us. ..................Once back on the ship, we had a few minutes to get ready for another whale watching cruise in a zodiac. It was an unexpected bonus. And it was the best yet. The first whales we saw were a cow and her calf. .....................Then, we started seeing whale fins waving around above the surface of the water--fins and flukes. The whales were churning up mud from the bottom of the bay in an effort to feed. It was just about as cool as it gets--those whales out there rolling around and looking as though they were waving at us. We could get close enough to see them turning over and over. We saw an activity called nodding (or is it knocking?) whereby the whale pokes his head out of the water, sort of a semi-breach, in preparation
for a dive. The water in Magdalena Bay is not deep enough for the animals to get up enough speed to come all the way out of the water.
We got sprayed with more whale breath, and once more, a whale swam so close to us, I could see it’s face in the water. This time, there were only six of us in the boat, and I had the bow all to myself when the whale cruised right under the tip of the boat, swimming from our left to our right.
By bedtime last night, we were exhausted! Whale watching twice in one day! And a walk along a wonderful beach and through high dunes. Whale watching, though there is no actual work involved, is tiring. The seas, especially yesterday afternoon, were rough, and we were tossed around a good bit. The wind was cool, too. The energy expended when trekking across the dunes goes without saying.