Monday, April 9, 2012

My extended family from Quebec were here for a month, and as always it was wonderfully pleasant. We were able to ID a Gray Whale and some Humpacks while they were here and even got in a series of dart games at the newly opened cantina in El Cardonal. We left rather early but the music did not stop until the last revelers left around 7:30 in the morning. A bit jarring, the cantina is only about 150 yds from our place, but it has not been repeated so far.

Gray Whale # 3 12

Brigitte at the wheel

The day The Q’s left my daughter Kersti and husband Bill came in. They have not been here in ten years so there were some visible changes in the town (paved street, sidewalk, new store etc) but they fell right into The Baja groove and were ready to experience everything.

First on the list for me was to get them in the water with some whales. Neither had been out with me before so the whole “whale experience” was new to them.

Kersti and Bill

The day started with yet another Gray Whale (#4 for the season) and then a search for some Humpbacks.

Gray Whale # 4 12

We were gifted with the appearance of three adult Humpbacks about 7 miles out from Punta Pescadero. Their intro was dramatic, a double breach of two males side by side, totally clearing the water not 100’ from our panga…..and then the show started! Apparently it was either two males vying for a female (it is after all breeding season), or three males testing each other. We followed them for a good two hours and then I asked Kersti and Bill if they wanted to go in. Both said yes without hesitation, so we suited up and twice went in as close as we could get, which at one point, was no more than 20’. They seemed to be curious about us and totally benign as always. Turned out that Kersti has always been afraid of deep water (we were in about 1000’) and this was a major test for her. I was very proud of them both.

Kersti and Bill after whale swim

This is a pic of HB# 15 12, one of the three we dove with.

HB# 15 12

Just as a note, my friend Alan Pomeroy came across a Whale Shark on the 28th and took an extended swim with it…..congrats, Alan!

The day Kersti and Bill left, my son Zack came in for the week. He was here two years ago and had the full on “Whale Experience” with me then. A somewhat similar “competitive” event as Kersti and Bill witnessed with the addition of about 40 dolphin. On the 31st we got a radio call while on a grid search that there were two Humpbacks near Los Barriles, 15 miles south. We hustled down there but felt we had missed them until I spotted two kayakers in the area. We stopped and asked them and they pointed SE and said they saw them there about 20 minutes before. I asked Vicente Jr. to take an angle on Punta Colorado and we began the search. V Jr. is an “Eagle Eye” like his dad and about ½ hr later he spotted them.

HB# 16 and 17 12

We couldn’t get an ID on them because it was a mother/calf pair and she would not fluke up and leave her baby at the surface. I got a good series of flank shots and then asked Zack if he wanted to go in. he did and we were once again able to get relatively close but not enough to see them under water. We too took a hike to the pictographs, did 3 WZ kayak trips, worked out on the beach and did some fine visiting.

It was a very special time having my kids here, I can’t believe I was able to keep up with them.

Kersti and Dad

A few days ago while taking some compost out to the desert I spotted a large raptor in the branches of a small tree about 30’ from me. Even with the cataract I could tell that I had not seen this species before. I walked closer and was treated to the beauty of a Harris’ Hawk. This is the first one I have ever seen.

Harris' Hawk, not my pic

I went out on another grid search yesterday with Susanna, Steve and John. ID’d a Humpback off of Punta Pescadero and then went out deeper. No luck so started north and got a call that there was one still there. Was it the same one? Yes, but then we see it change course to intercept two other Humpbacks moving south. Soon all three are together and once again we have evidence of some “combat”. Some tail lobs, trumpeting and lots of flank collisions. Also two more ID’s…..a good day! Here are the two "combatants"

HB# 18 12

HB# 19 12

Picture below is me and Steve swimming with one of The Humpbacks

No comments:

Post a Comment