Saturday, December 18, 2010

Not my pic
First off, HAPPY SOLSTICE!! Don’t let them fool you, it is astronomically mid-winter, not the beginning of winter, and this is the oldest ritual celebration of our species, honoring the return of The Sun northward. DECEMBER 21st.

So dance to the return of The Sun, Not my pic

Every now and again when my eyesight fails me a bit I wonder whether I’ll be able to spot whale blows like I used to. Here in my area we don’t have so many whales that their blows are everywhere as in Hawaii, so Vicente and I often have to really be focused to see some of our critters. Well the other day I was doing some work in the garden and as I was moving some pruning, and not looking to sea at all except as a back drop for my view field, I caught an anomalous, faint mist in the air about ½ mile out in front of Alan’s place. There was a wind chop besides but as I stopped and focused, there it was again…a whale blow! I saw two whales out there but couldn’t identify them for certain; could have been Blues. I am now confident that I am in fact just as capable as before and am ready for the season to begin (I may go out next week for a first search).

Alan and I took a little drive to El Sargento (a bit up the coast from us) to attend the local school’s science fair. We both have a fascination with everything that is alive…and a lot of other stuff too like rocks and Galaxies etc. As we expected, it was small but fun nonetheless and I made a great contact with a woman who has lived up there for the past 15 years and has been watching the whales for some time. She promised to e-mail me when there is a “gathering” of them near her. She said that last year, my best year ever also, there were whales of all kinds no more than a ½ mile out from the beach, if that. There were Humpbacks, Blues, Sperm Whales and thousands of dolphins. Vicente and I can get there in about 40 minutes by panga so we are ready! To top off the day, we went to the restaurant at Bahia Los Muertos (now named Bahia Los Suenos so it doesn’t scare Gringos to go there) and had a great lunch. You would not believe how beautiful it is there.

I have met a delightful young Mexican artist, Paulina Vargas Garibay. She attended one of my benefits last year and has become a dear friend. Here are some examples of her work, I suggest you check her blog for more paintings,; her e-mail is She has won a number of awards and has shown her work in both Mexico City and Todos Santos. She is extremely versatile and has much to offer….and she is a very sweet person besides.

On the 17th I woke to a very still Sea and of course that meant a trip out to The WZ. Apparently I missed a pod of Orcas that were feeding at the edge of the reef at the same time but I am sure one day we will meet up and I’ll have the swim of my life! I did see one Sea Turtle, and had THREE dolphin encounters. I went in with all three groups but the Sea was pretty turbid so I didn’t see any of them under water (I gave it a hell of a try) but they were all around me on the surface, just not close enough to see when I dove. However, on my first dive out of my kayak I saw the most beautiful jellyfish. I don’t have an underwater camera so here is a picture I got online.

Bolinopsis sp., Not my pic
It was about 18” wide and 20” long, UTTERLY diaphanous, undulating and had four rows of blinking neon florescent beads dividing it into quadrants…extraordinary. If any of you saw the movie “The Deep”(?), where there are these alien water creatures, it looked like the angelic one. When it began to descend I followed it up close and it was just too beautiful to describe adequately; oh do I love this Sea!

Weather looks good next week for my first Whale search with Vicente. I’m hoping to have the three delightful daughters of Mike and Juanita Riddell along. I taught two of them (Gwen & Jenny) as a specialty teacher at The Waldorf School in Mendocino County when they were youngsters. The youngest, Kirin, went out with me about three years ago and we found a group of 11 Blue Whales cruising by and then 2 Humpbacks too, what a day!

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