Friday, March 6, 2009

Watching the whales

If you visit Cabo San Lucas during the winter months you will see a whale. You can often spot their spouts quite easily by just staring out at the ocean for a few minutes. The humpbacks travel all the way from Alaska to Puerto Vallarta, where they give birth to new little whales. They all pass right by Cabo San Lucas and the Pacific shoreline drops off so abruptly that they often come close into the shore. On an earlier trip, my mother and I saw a humpback about 30 yards offshore, sitting with its head vertically out of the water. It sat for a few seconds, then slowly dipped right back in. The large mammals apparently don't enjoy the food in Cabo as much as I did since they don't eat for about four months while they are there!
I know all of these random facts thanks to my new Mexican boyfriend, Richard (I call him Ricardo). He was the whale-spotter on our whale-watching tour. He has been whale-spotting on tours for five years now and sometimes he loves the whales and sometimes he just hates them. Ricardo told this - and many more juicy whale details - to me as he sat next to me on the boat ride back to the port. The motor was loud and on more than one occasion, spit from Ricardo's filling-laden mouth hit my face as he told me all about his job with the whales. He definitely took a liking to me and Ricardo, if you are out there somewhere, I like you and all of your metal teeth too.
Ricardo helped us spot this family of four whales heading back to Alaska and we got so close that we could feel their spray as they spouted (for some reason, whale snot doesn't gross me out). They would come up and get a few breaths in, then dive back down. We would move slowly forward for a few minutes, and they would resurface, shoot air out of their blowholes (which air, according to Ricardo, comes out at approximately 295 mph), then roll down, slowly gliding their tails through the air and back into the deep.

They were huge and barnacled and beautiful.
Ryan with the whales.

The corner of my head with the whales ;-).

7 comments:

mckenzie said...

i think you're head one is my favorite!

Katy said...

That is so cool. We went on a whale tour in Hawaii but we weren't able to get that close. Ricardo sounds like quit the man:)

Valerie said...

I've been whale watching in Cali and only seen dolphins. Seeing all your photos of Mexico makes me get excited for my trip to Costa Rica.

Lincs and Ali said...

SO COOL!

rachel said...

That top pic is awesome!

Tyson or Laura said...

Love the pictures! I miss Mexico! One day we will do the trip you guys did.

JJ said...

Love the shot of your head and the whale, EXCELLENT! Looks like succh a fun vacation!