Big story coming up regarding a recent swim/dive I made with a humpback whale while kayaking out at The WZ.
But first: A few weeks back I got down to the beach early to do my exercise routine (3-4 times a week, while walking a mile I do 6 sets of 40, 10 pd bicep's curls, 6 sets of 20, 10 pd presses, 6 sets of 15 each of three different stretches and 6 sets of 7 pushups). Then I swim 6 laps ( I’m working my way back after the injury to my back last year). This was a particularly sweet morning because not only was the weather perfect but I was also in the company of a number of my favorite “critters”.
From left: Sandpiper, Palmiated Plover and a Whimbrel
And a Caracara
Then when I went in to swim my laps, I swam over a Tiger Reef Eel (sometimes called a Leopard Eel) and 2 Diamond Sting Rays.
Diamond Sting Ray, not my pic
Two days later I did my laps out at The WZ and came across two turtles, dove to fast for me to engage with but great to see them nonetheless.
A couple of days later I was putting on my dive booties to go kayaking and……yes, another Scorpion sting! Got my big toe and my sole. Sole was too tough for much of a sting but my toe was not so lucky. I had to cancel my trip to The WZ, took some bennies, rubbed on some cortisone cream and chilled out. They don’t really start hurting until about 2-3 hours later. Urmas 170+ / Scorpions 6.
The next day however I was ready to go out. Incredible day in The WZ. I went out early and was kayaking out to the reef when I caught some movement further out.....panga, no, a lone humpback!!! It was moving south and about a half mile out from me. The Sea was absolutely flat, no boats, just me and the whale, I mean we were ALONE. I just knew I could intercept him. I paddled like hell and on it's next blow series I was within 200'. I changed my angle just a bit and continued paddling....next blow series, the whale surfaced 50' to my left. He fluked up after only 2 blows and I continued in the direction he was going at moderate paddle. Then he came up again about 40' behind me and coming directly for me. Too late to dive in but within a moment I could see him PERFECTLY under the water just to my right at about 10' depth and 15' away....BEAUTIFUL BEYOND description, the entire body so close, so clear, so intelligent and alive. I kayaked above him, just to his left until he came up for his next blow and he was right next to me! I could have touched him with my paddle. He fluked up and I again kayaked in the direction I thought was right. After about 5 min another blow, again right behind me. Grabbed my mask, rolled in and waited. Then he came...RIGHT TO ME!! He rolled a little to his left side, took a good look at me, I waved and dove to him. He continued on his way and I swam behind him till he fluked once more. Too tired to follow further, but this is my longest, clearest, closest humpback encounter so far! HOOHAH!!!! I feel deeply that this was a gift from The Great Mystery and The Whale People, I would like to think I have earned it!
I purposely do not carry a camera when I kayak because I do not want the lens to get in the way of the experience. I have missed some extraordinary shots but I am absolutely certain it is the right decision. So here are some shots I found online that come as close to my experience as I could find. These are NOT my pics.
This is how it looked as he surfaced next to me on the second series, except way closer!
This is almost EXACTLY as he looked when I dove to him!
Three days later I was out there again, paid my respects to the Sacred Directions and their Niericas, closed my eyes, lay back on my kayak and took a nap. The Sea was absolutely still accept for a very, very gentle roll. It was like being cradled on Grandmother’s breast and ALL was good with The World. On the way back in I crossed over the reef and saw a Spotted eagle Ray. I have only seen one of these close up 2 or 3 times before. Ran into him again, or another one, a week later and had a good long swim with him. Clear water, ten feet away……tranquil!
Spotted eagle ray, not my pic
I would like to add this little political factoid, and if it disturbs you…..well, take heart and watch the video that follows it.
Sent by my daughter Kersti
We ARE a wonderful species, we have great potential, BUT our connection with the innate wisdom (nature wisdom we are born with, without sin) within us has been terribly mangled by the forces of avarice and religious oppression perpetrated by a very few, but EXTREMELY POWERFUL, among us. WE WILL NEVERTHELESS PREVAIL!!!
Oh, BTW: two other pieces of news. Mexico is in the semi-finals in soccer at The Olympics and two, I may have a publisher for my whale book!
As my daughter Kersti said, "all right Dad, go Mexico”!