Monday, February 2, 2009

Yesterday was a beautiful day to look for whales. Vicente and I were launched at 8:00 am sharp and started our usual grid so that we can cover around 75-100 sq miles of Sea. On a day like yesterday (flat like a lake and plenty of sun) you can see a whale breach and often even see their blow from 3 to 4 miles away. No luck at the southern end of the grid so we proceeded east then north...still nothing. By the time we reached the northern end of the grid it was 11:30 and time to think about heading in. I asked Vicente if we had enough fuel to go further out into the Blue Whale zone and he said yes so we went out another 5 miles.

It is so very tranquil and beautiful out there on a day like yesterday. Every now and again Vicente will say, "beautiful" with such a genuine inflection that I know he understands, or should I say we both understand, a certain thing we share far beyond ID'ing The Great Whales.

Time was getting on so we started in. I suggested we go in real close to shore (mile or two) before heading south to El Cardonal. And then Vicente very excitedly cranes his neck, looks intently towards shore and says, "bote, o posible una ballena". He thought it was a boat being in so close to shore. Well, it was a whale and a Humpback. We started tracking it but he was not interested in giving us a fluke shot so we kept following it for at least 5 blow sequences. Then it finally fluked up and I got my best shot so far this season. All in all it was just too delightful. He was a beauty too. Unscarred, well fed, tranquil and a very artistic fluke. Vicente and I were very happy with the day, with each other and with our new friend.

Wind up a bit this morning, going into Los Barriles for supplies.

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