Archive for March, 2013

glassy seas and starry eyes

It is difficult to put into words, and even more difficult to try and find the proper words to transcribe the pure awesomeness of my day.

Happy Easter.

This morning started out with blue whales and fin back whales around the boat, and while we still had guest out in zodiacs, we puller anchor in pursuit of the pair of fin whales, because honestly who needs to see another blue whale (sarcasm, although we have had 3 amazing different sightings already this trip).

The water could not have been calmer, and the whales could not have been closer. At one point I looked down the side of the boat only to see the whale swimming so close to the boat underneath the water that I have to assume its flipper was touching the side.

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After we decided to continue towards our destination we were interrupted again by a school of mobula rays. Very similar to manta rays, but “smaller” in size, although still quite large. While watching the rays we were greeted by a breaching marlin, which was epic.

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We also came across another large pod of dolphins who played with the ship for a  little bit. A young humpback whale who we watched fluke along the ship a few times, and also a feeding frenzy in the water of pelicans, yellow footed gulls, herrmans gulls, blue footed boobies, and brown boobies.

Then it was time for lunch.

The summary of the morning is short and dry, because there are no words that can be combined to express the majesty and splendor of the day.

Fin back whales are not as dynamic as humpbacks, they don’t typically breach, or lift their flukes out of the water, because they don’t have to. They are long thin streamline machine that does not take much effort to start a deep dive. They are the second largest animal to grace this planet racking it at a record 89 feet, and also  asymmetrically colored. Their lower jaw on the right side is completely white. It is the only white part of their body. They are gorgeous and parasite free, not collecting any of those awesome species specific barnacles I discussed previously.

But over all they are simply elegant and it was amazing to be able to view them so close, and in some of the calmest most crystal clear conditions I have ever experienced.

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dust clouds of nudibranchs

I do work really hard here, even thought the longer I work here the harder that is to believe. Almost as hard as believing I get paid to do this. I have already been diving in the Pacific Ocean this week and the Sea of Cortez. I have watched blue whales on three separate occasions, spent over an hour watching humpbacks breach, was woken up by the chatter of hundreds of dolphins as our boat traveled through their pod, pet grey whales and decided to have a massage on my day off yesterday. What more could make that better then the extreme plethora of nudibranchs I experienced today at Elephante… again.

 

Things have been really great, but too busy to sort through pictures and update my blog, I will try to insert some photos later.

 

For all of you that have been crossing your fingers for me, I wanted to let you know that I did get the internship at the Bimini Biological Field Station working with their Shark Research Lab. So I will be spending the better part of the summer in the Bahamas. ❤

San Ignacio

Grey whale love in Laguna San Ignacio

 

Wish I had something new to report. but this is all still exciting. Most everything I own today was completely covered in the mist of a grey whale today as the wind blew their exhalations straight into our faces. We couldnt have been happier

doesnt get any better than this

blue whale hanging with the rub rail

 

We were watching a blue whale as it swam around without direction. luckily for me coming up under the port side of the bow and blowing a big breath in my face as it swam next to the rub rail and off to sea.

time for change

Today starts the first day of our 12 day photo trip. We will be venturing to other San Ignancio, which is suppose to have much better grey whale interaction than we have actually already been experiencing, we will be heading further north on the pacific side, and on the sea of cortez side.

Possibly bringing rough weather, but worth it for the adventure and new locations we are going to experience.

My last day off! <3

My last day off! ❤

Today was perfect

I just had the utmost  most fulfilling day off ever. As far as boat standards go, and even beyond. Woke up this morning in Magdalena Bay, went on the 7:30am whale watching trip, and kissed my first whale.

When we go out whale watching the behavior of the whales can change drastically from trip to trip. One trip that goes out watching whales breach, spy hop, and more often than you would think they see  the mother whale push the calf to the surface and towards the zodiac to be sure that it gets pet. But  by nature the baby whales are curious of us and come over to the boat to be pet on their own. I have been having some pretty good experiences with baby whales, but am always exuberant and feeling super lucky when I can splash the mom into being interested in me too. [whales like to be splashed :o) ]

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Many of the guest are very concerned with getting the perfect “shot” and forget that they have the chance to play with a baybe whale, and if they are awesome enough, maybe their mom too. They have been  calling me the whale whisperer, but everyone on the crew and staff with agree playing with whales is all about karmaImage  and it takes a lot to be as excited as I am and splash up the storm I am willing to. How can you expect to pet a whale when you don’t ask it to play?

A lot of people go out there with the goal to kiss the whales, and although I have already been out four times before, I have never felt the urge to throw myself over the side of the zodiac and lean in for a big smooch. Today was no different. I was splashing away anyways. The mom came over to me and stuck her colossal sized rostrum right into my palm, and I pet her and pet her and pet her, slowly she drew her body further and further out of the water, leaving us in the perfect set up for a 90/10 kiss. She leaned in 90, and I made the first move leaning back 10 percent and smooching her right on the face.

My first on hands experience with whales was rubbing the mother and calf at the same time, one in each hand, and as I thought it wouldn’t get more gratifying than that, I feel pretty elated and euphoric.

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The euphoria could be a result of the hour long massage I had this afternoon. Holy jesus did I have a schedule of chores planned out for this afternoon that completely disappeared halfway into my massage. Never have I ever had such a change in consciousness without realization during a massage. There were knots in places I never considered having tension. [my forearms were one of the most painful places to be touched! Who would have figured]

This of course was followed my a glorious nap ended my alarm so I would be awake in time for Flip Nicklins afternoon presentation. Soon followed by another nap. I woke up in time to get ready for guest dinner. Through all the time I have been working for Lindblad this was my first guest dinner, a lot of stewards will eat guest dinner served to them in the lounge, but I have never ate guest dinner in the dining room or the lounge before. I asked Flip yesterday if I could accompany him to dinner this evening, he said yes and saved me a seat.

If you have not googled Flip yet, I suggest you do. He is a whale king.

Dinner was complete with (complementary) red wine (as is custom for “captains dinner” aka the last real meal before disembarkation), espresso, and vanilla ice cream covered in blueberries.

I am sure that there is something that could have been better, but I say that just to fill in the blank.

easy livin

Saturday marked the start of a new week around here, new guest and a whole new rotation of employees aboard. Although I was sad to see the last rotation leave, it is always nice to have people on who aren’t completely burnt out.

My 2 best boat friends left but Flip Nicklin came and brought his whale karma, so hopefully it will balance out!

Day 1: Sunday: Long Beaked Common Dolphin. The most common of the common dolphin.

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Day 2: Monday: Blue Whales: the largest animal to ever grace the earth.

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Day 3: Tuesday: Breaching Humpbacks. Over and over and over and over again.

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