Friday, May 17, 2013

Pic of HB# 17

April 7th was my last successful search for humpbacks. Overall my season has been rather short and not particularly productive. This is HB# 17 13 – the final tally for this year. Last year I had 83 whales ID’d so you can see what I mean about short. Do not worry that it is due to some environmental influence, plenty of whales showed up north and south of me, I just didn’t get to the right place at the right time. I will be on site next season as always and may still have some encounters as I kayak in The WZ during the rest of this year. Last year I had one of my very best encounters in July.

Grunts on the move

Alan and I did get in that tank dive on the reef before he left, and as always it was a treat. Snorkeling is great but a tank dive is a whole other world! I still have a half tank of air left so will probably do a solo dive in the not too distant future. The water is warming and becoming more clear, so more to see. At one point Alan and I were surrounded by so many fish that we couldn’t see up, down or to our sides – NOTHING but fish.

 My "Sweet Thing" - Terry Kerr

During April I was once again visited by my Sweet Thing, Terry Kerr, from North Carolina, and the sun shone brighter, the sea was even more beautiful and the sunrises/sunsets delicious. When Terry first visited here two and a half years ago she was reluctant to go in the water due to a couple of serious and traumatic water incidents in her youth - therefore having never learned to swim. On the 25th she donned wet suit, mask and snorkel and came into the water with me to swim with dolphins in the deep blue – now that’s courage! Later in the week we snorkeled on the reef and again she was game – sweet!!!

T on the reef

We also came across this most beautiful and huge Fin Whale while searching for humpbacks. This is only the second one I have ever seen!

 Fin Whale

We went out one more time in early May on a search for humpbacks with our friends Roxanne and Darrel but no luck.

On the 5th of May I went out in my kayak to The WZ. Halfway out I heard the distinct sound of a blow. I tried to see the whale but couldn’t place it. I thought I was mistaken so continued to kayak further out. Then I heard it again, turned towards the beach but then lost it again. When I came in much later my friends on the beach said they had seen what looked like a gray whale go by very close to the beach. If I had continued in I would have made an intercept. Oh, well!

 Charlie Patton and Danny Dillon - my mates 1998

I came across this pic the other day while going through my files. I took this of our first mate Charlie Patton (Cornishman) waving the peace navy flag as we passed the USS Missouri as it was being towed to Pearl Harbor in 1998. This was on The ATOC expedition that took me from SF to Baja and then to Hawaii on the sailing schooner Dariabar. I went as a crewman, not a director or scientist, and it became one of the three top experiences ever in my life. That’s Danny Dillon our radioman at the helm.

 Me at the helm of the sailing schooner Dariabar

Me pretending to be a seasoned hand. This was shortly after having weathered a Beaufort 8 gale in mid-pacific – HOOHAH!

 Mi casa

This is my home. Come next January it will be my 5th anniversary as a full time resident here in El Cardonal. I am still the only gringo that lives here year round. Only Roxanne and Darrel up in San Isidro (3 miles away) also brave the whole year.

Took my new Kodak Play Sport camera on the reef the other day and took these shots. Can’t wait to get in the water with one of my whale friends an get a pic. A couple of days ago while on my second to last humpback search we came across a herd of about 200 Bottle Nose Dolphins. Chris ( a new friend from Montana who has a home in San Isidro) and I dove in and had a great time with dozens of dolphins all around us. I made a bunch of “water-polo moves” on them and they seemed to love the action. At one time I was literally surrounded by as many as thirty dolphins egging me on! I’ve got to tell you – FANTASTIC – and I forgot my camera!!!

However – here are some shots I took the other day on the reef.

Cortez Round Stingray

Guinea Fowl Puffer

Giant Coral

King Angel Fish

Can’t resist a bit of proselytizing:

The Kaldveer Method