Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A week has gone by since my last post and it has been both busy and very good. Not to say that the whale season has been anything like last year ( I have 10 IDs this season whereas I had 28 by this time last season) but that does not necessarily signify anything but vagaries of weather (my being able to go out) or simply a later arrival. I heard from one of my fisherman friends the other day that there are large numbers of Humpbacks off of Todos Santos right now. That would put them here in another two weeks or so…..if they decide to come into The Sea of Cortez this year.

Here are some whales I did encounter and get photos but the water was too cold and it was too early in the day for me to swim with them. I am at that age now where if I go in the water early in the morning and then search for the next 4 to 5 hours the wind chill from the moving boat gets right into the core of my bones, just can’t do that anymore.

This is another really good ID: HB# 8 11

And here’s another mom & calf: HB# 6 & 7

The mom put on a great show of breaching and tail lobbing for the calf and the calf responded by doing a damn fine job of learning. I suspect this may be a yearling that will be weaned this year here in Baja. Come April/May the calf will be making it’s first solo swim north for the big krill feed.

I am once again treated to a month with my adopted family from Quebec. It is an enormous pleasure for me to have them here. They are all intelligent, active, creative and loving. I am a very lucky man to have them as my “extended” family. We are all going out Saturday for a whale search and maybe a dive… is time. I had the special pleasure the other day of taking a morning nature walk with the youngest of the boys, Quentin. He is interested in critters, rocks, trees, fossils etc, etc and I am a retired teacher without an audience. Well, you can imagine the fun I had! Here they all are perched on the Hopi style ladder I built for them instead of steps to their roof.

From the top: Jean-Luc, Brigitte, Antoine, Tristan, Quentin

Also in town last week were a group of people I had not met before and came to know and enjoy. Four were from Ukiah (Tiffany, Kirsten, Micheal and Desmond…..and from hills of N. Carolina, Whitney). It was such a treat to have all these really wonderful people here. I had an especially delightful conversation with Whitney on the drive from The San Jose Airport. She came in later than the others and I agreed to pick her up, lucky me.

I pulled my kayak the other day to try to improve the repair on the keel. I found myself spending too much “head” time worried about another break while out at The WZ alone yesterday, no amount of Cliff Bar would save my kayak this time. I think it’s good now and from this point on it’s up to The Great Mystery (Huichol for whatever is in charge of this fantastic journey).

I did try some BreathWave exercise while out there in The WZ the other day and I have to say it was terrific. Total silence, lightly bobbing on the Sea, eyes closed and filling my cells with pure energy, way cool!

You may recall a statement I made a post or two back about whale entanglements and why I always have at least two knives with me whenever I am in The WZ. Here is what happened a week ago to a colleague of mine, Micheal Fishbach, who monitors the Humpback and Blue population north of me outside Loreto. I will let his e-mailed pictures and comments tell the story:

Hi Everyone, I have been so busy, 10-11 hours on the sea every day so I apologize for the delay. Bt here is the humpback we saved finally for you all to see.

First image is as we found her, you can see a float from the net behind her. It is the video that really shows the entanglement not any still I have.

Second image is of her fluke identification and this whale has a pretty unique one, very complex.

Third is of her breaching shortly after being freed.

Last is just before we left her, maybe goodbye maybe something else but a grand sight.

We have looked long and hard in the past 6 days and twice found a young humpback but in neither case was it our Valentines Day whale.

We will keep searching.

This is a picture from NASA passed on through FB by my dear friend Karen Hensley.
To me: The Great Mystery, The Creator, Grandfather, Aten


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