Archive for February, 2013

finally some grey whale fun!

baby grey whale face

baby grey whale face

loving grey whale fun :o)

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swimmy

weird last couple of days… or so it seems. It is always hard to differentiate between days here. Yesterday was my day off and what a great day to have off it was, there were so many activities planned, and I was planning on doing them all. Woke up early to get my scuba gear set up for later and headed out on an early zodiac ride of Los Islotes.

pelicans are amazing

pelicans are amazing

Los Islotes is the island we go to where you can snorkel with the sea lions. It has cormorants, blue footed boobies, dive bombing pelicans, and magnificent frigate birds all over. There of course are sea lions all over as well, as it is a pupping site for them.

blue footed

blue footed

After my zodiac ride I got suited up and headed out with Alberto to go dive with some sea lions.

brian filming alberto before our dive

brian filming alberto before our dive

The concept is so completely cool, but they continue to make me nervous every time they come up next to me. I haven’t been nipped yet, but other people seem to be in the habit of it, and I just try to keep my fingers to myself. We cut our dive a little shorter than usual, I was getting pretty chilled, and he had gotten all the footage he needed and was planning on videotaping some of the guest while snorkeling.

sealions

sealions

So we called over the watch boat and threw our gear in and hopped in.

 

diving cormorant

diving cormorant

We started to head in the direction of the other zodiacs to pick up Albertos free diving flippers when Gus noticed a guest swimming in a dangerous spot under the zodiacs, and I noticed the guest did not have a snorkel in their mouth, and it was at that moment we understood that the guest was not swimming at all, but floating unconscious. We alerted the zodiacs and the pulled her out of the water with unbelievable haste. It just so happened that the doctor and oxygen tank were in the zodiac she was pulled into, but it seemed to late anyways. She died and was brought back to life 3 times, but was in stable condition by the time we were able to get to La Paz and send her to the hospital in an ambulance.

cormorant

silly pelicans

Everyone seemed relieved to not have a dead body on the boat, since a guest died in the water at Los Islotes about two weeks before I got on the boat, but I still don’t feel very good about the situation since there doesn’t seem to be much of a chance of a similar quality of life at the end of all this seems… slimmer than slim, but peace of mind seems to go a long way around here. Overall it was good that we cut our dive short, and had the watch boat drive us over to where we found the lady, but who knows.

We had a beach bar b q at Dispensa which is another awesome beach, where you can walk across the desert and end up at the other side. Which I did, in search of these seemingly ‘common’, but truthfully highly elusive jack rabbits.

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The beach on the other side was (of course) gorgeous. Full of dead puffer fish, trigger fish, lobsters, and tons of shells. The sunset was beautiful, but the sunrises recently have been really taking the cake.

DCIM100GOPRO

Humpback whales were breaching next to us all day long. Good thing to help the guest start thinking of other things. I worked to much get a chance to enjoy them.

sunshine

 

The beaches we go to have been really amazing. I am still thrilled and surprised with how much stuff you can find and how many dead and dried out creatures there are all around. It seems like every beach we go to you can walk across the dunes to another beach. The views have been amazing and the water, although a little chilly, is always refreshing and exhilarating to swim in.

super sunrise

super sunrise

Today was the first day of our expedition and we spent the afternoon at Isla San Francisco. I had enough time off to head over there and explore. The desert is such an interesting place to me, and I am not sure I will ever completely understand the logistics of it all. The land is elevated, the plants are abundant, the water is teeming with life, and the wildlife is… well thriving in a place that seems completely unnatural to thrive in.

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So I walked across the desert on a little bath from one beach to another, only to find many more creatures on the beach to add to my album of dried up dead things. From this beach I was able to see a well beaten path that went up the mountain and across all the peaks, it was too beautiful to not try and I scampered to the top as fast as possible, which ended up not being super fast as the trail slowly got smaller and smaller and the amount of rubble was ever increasing. I would have loved to go across all the ridges, but was worried about making it back to the boat in time.

cactus skeleton and trigger fish

cactus skeleton and trigger fish

beach on beach on beach

beach on beach on beach

Walking back to the boat was interesting though because I ended up crossing a field that seemed like an old lake bottom with dried up salt beds.

 

It was beautiful, and an awesome time off the boat.

Happy anniversary . this update format is horrible but i cant wait to fix it

DSC_1355 DSC_0013 DSC_0020 DSC_1208 DSC_1231Interesting few days around these parts, I’ve been getting out watching the grey whales as much as possible while we are on the pacific side of peninsula. The other half of our itinerary is spent in the Sea of Cortez, where there is a chance to see a whole other range of animals. I was under the impression that  grey whales are some of the most friendly whales you will ever encounter, nudging the zodiac, sticking their heads out of the water to be pet, overall playful. My experience with them thus far has been almost opposite of that. The whales seem completely not interested in us, and it feels more like we are intruding than spending time with a curious creature. I don’t blame them though; some of their babies are only a week old, and so teeny. I think any creature that was pregnant for over a year would not be keen to so many new visitors during the first week of their fragile babies life.

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Yesterday started off with the sunrise behind a rock.. or possibly area.. called Lands End.DSC_1201

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A beautiful natural arch that the ocean has carved out of the rock over time. We then continued to San Jose del Cabo, to let the guest off into town, and take on water and laundry and all the other little task the guest don’t need to know

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of.

After lunch onboard I could see some humpback whales in the distance as I was working in the dish pit, occasionally looking out the window to view them getting a little closer. I was pretty focused on getting the dishes done as fast as possible so I might be able to sneak a little nap in before dinner service, but that just didn’t happen.  With only a few dishes left my friend Jimmy ran into the galley and shouted  “There are whales mugging the boat”. Of course I think he is overly excited and continuing finishing most of my work until I don’t think I can stand in any more, and run out to see what these ‘whale muggers’ are up to.

There are 2 humpback whales who seem very excited about the boat. I was surprised we stopped for the whales I had seen off in the distance, but apparently they practically cut the boat off and gave the captain no other choice. The captain said we could stay and watch them as long as they stayed interested in us, which ended up being over an hour and a half.

They would come up on the port side, and then starboard, fluke like they were swimming away from the boat, and then come up right under it. It was so wonderful and refreshing to remember what it felt like for whales to actually be excited to see you. It was just what I needed and I loved every second of it.

They would roll on their backs, do headstands and let their flukes pop out of the water; blow long streams of bubbles and then stick the tip of their nose out of the water. Overall beautiful, playful, majestic, but my favorite part of it all was how loveable they were. So far grey whales have been a nice addition to the list of things I have seen, but I am just in love with humpbacks today.

I’m glad that the whales put on a good enough and long show for everyone, because it was not long after that we reached the rough seas that had been anticipated, possibly just slightly worse than anticipated…  seemed like 6 to 8 foot at first but swiftly rose close to 9 to 12 foot waves. For dinner the captain found a cove to anchor in, and that was good while it lasted but the rough seas lasted till about 7 am today. The evening ended with guest losing their dinner and the morning began with the crew not wanting any. Luckily for me I escaped that nasty sea sick bug and was only irritated by the horrible noise that sounded like the steel hull collapsing slowing underneath the pressure of the sea. The rocking and levitation was almost too much, but I cured that problem by laying on my back with a pillow on top of each shoulder and secured under my head. A cozy little arrangement.

We will see what tonight has in store for us when we leave this cozy cove.

Happy anniversary mum and dad ❤ ❤ ❤ Thanks for everything, everyday, and I love you both always.