Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I am afraid that I have little to report or convey regarding this years whale season. I have only gotten out once but did get a good ID and had a very short swim with a mother and calf humpback. I can however say that the eastern pacific humpback population is looking real good. They appeared here in their southern breeding/calving ground in large numbers,  looking healthy and with lots of offspring. Hard to say if this is to be a continuing trend or a short reprieve as it appears there is talk of taking them off the endangered species list and therefore making them more accessible to the whale hunters – we shall see. There are of course still the questions of boat strikes, entanglement and affects of pollution, ie. The north pacific garbage gyra (see earlier posts).

At any rate here is my one and only contribution to this seasons whale monitoring. Most of you are aware of my recent medical problems and this is what has prevented me from submitting my usual yearly contribution of 40-80 ID’s. I hope that this will be remedied next season.

My one ID for the 2015 season
           Mom and calf that I swam with this season
                    My pangero and amigo Ishmael

Another piece of news that you may find interesting is that I have been informed by the principal at our local school that SEP (the secondary education authority here in southern baja) has gone ahead with plans for the marine laboratory project that I initiated last year and intends to definitely build it here in El Cardonal – starting in September(?). This is great news and if it comes to be I will be terribly pleased. It will mean that “our” whale families will be cared for and protected long after I am gone and that there will be a place for students to discover the grandeur and extent of this unique bioregion. There are endless marine studies that could come from this and so much to contribute to our knowledge and appreciation of the area.

It won’t just be whales that benefit. The appreciation for all of the natural world in this area will be encouraged by the programs that could be developed here. Even my friends the “Reptile People” will benefit, for they too are an integral part of this bioregion. Here are a couple of Zebra Tailed lizards that just mated in front of my palapa the other day – what a dance they put on. In the 10 years I have lived here it is the first time I have seen this.  

                    Zebra Tailed Lizard

Here’s a little something that many of you, certainly me included, may find interesting. You suppose something like this could happen in your communit

OK – a little astronomy just to be sure we don’t limit our imagination and interests to planet earth alone – though a delightful planet it may be.

1000 possible planets in our galaxy w/ intelligent life

This was a favorite topic when our dear departed Carl Sagan was still alive and his energy and revolutionary ideas still prevail in our search for extraterrestrial life – thank you Carl! I am still of the hope that I will live to see the day when the first discovery is made. Perhaps not intelligent life but ANY life.

                    Space Craft Messenger orbiting Mercury

This is an artists rendering of the space probe “Messanger” that has been orbiting the planet Mercury for the past 10 years sending invaluable information to us about planetary evolution, plate tectonics and solar radiation. Getting to know the neighborhood as we approach the day of freedom from being earth bound.

And finally this article and some wonderful pics of our sun – THE CREATOR. For a treat also google Ahkenaton (an Egyptian pharaoh) and find his beautiful prayer to the sun – truly ahead of it’s time.

Have you heard “THE HUM”? For generations people in different parts of the world have developed entire mythologies around a sound described as a background hum from our planet. However, the search for the truth could now be over as researchers claim that microseismic activity from long ocean waves impacting the seabed is what makes our planet vibrate and produces the droning sou

The pressure of the waves on the seafloor generates seismic waves that cause the Earth to oscillate, said Fabrice Ardhuin, a senior research scientist at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.

The continuous waves produce sounds lasting from 13 to 300 seconds. They can be heard by a relatively small proportion of people - who are sensitive to the hums - and also by seismic instruments.

Sorry you will have to google the above for more info, try: Earth’s Hum (?)

Only got to visit with my Q’s for one week this season (again due to medical complications but always a such a treat for me). The same day they left two of their friends from Quebec came in to stay in their home for a few days. Patrick and Annie took to El Cardonal and the sea as though born to it. Kayaking and/or snorkeling every day and lots of hours of rooftop tranquility. They were very kind to me and I like to consider them my friends. Here we are at our local tacqueria the night before they left.

                    New friends Patrick and Annie

Being a big fan of archeology here are a couple of interesting developments in that field. If it hadn’t been biology or astronomy it probably is in archeology that my academic interests would have found a home.

This is a recently excavated site in a most unlikely spot. A bit of a mystery – not as in extraterrestrial – just interesting. 


 And this one which once again completely blows the “Columbus discovered America” myth. When, oh when, are we going to look history in the face and start telling the truth of things?

Far removed from archeology or maybe just a different kind of “digging” here’s a little something from the world of physiology and genetics that is very exciting. It is not surprising that there is so much more to discover about the mysteries of life and DNA is a cornerstone so when a new discovery is made it brightens our perceptions. Always remember however, not to be blinded by hyperbola.

 DNA - the core of life on earth

I am learning a great deal about myself as my physical reality changes. I may very well be returning to California in the near future to begin a new phase in my journey. I feel a desire to be near family – as you might expect after my medical affairs – perhaps to return here to Shangri-La during the whale season to continue my monitoring and to also help develop the path of the marine laboratory if it is indeed to become a reality. I have reluctantly given up my romantic/melodramatic ideal of a “last kayak”. I am simply not ready yet and I have found that living here alone has become just difficult enough in my weakened state to discourage my staying here and waiting for a sign to launch into the sunset. At this point I have decided not to have radiation/hormone therapy for my cancer because I intuitively feel that it would weaken me beyond repair. The stroke too has left me with a far less than satisfactory physical presence for the life I have led here for the past 10 years. I find that I have a deep desire for family.

I am trying to remain strong of body, mind and spirit but change is upon me.

This says it quite well:

Acceptance is the road to all change. If resisting has failed and frustrated you, try to accept what is. As hard as it is to believe, acceptance can open different opportunities for change than resistance. Struggling can sometimes swallow us even deeper into the quicksand of our problems. Difficult problems take time to resolve. The more frantically you pick at knots, the more entangled they can become. To untangle yourself try relaxing. Gently and patiently work with your difficulties and in time you will be freed from what now seems impossible. You are being called to heal yourself, not to agonize over your mistakes. Quit over thinking; this is what surrendering really means. Don't focus on your problems and don't obsess about "fixing" things. Avoid forcing "positive thinking." These thoughts can be psychological irritants. Just leave yourself alone! When you pick at things they never heal. Simply relax and give yourself some time.

    Bryant McGill