Sailing away with Nikk and Jan

Posts tagged ‘Humpback whales’

What We Do While Soaking up the Sun

How is it that almost another two weeks has flown by since the last blog? Nikk and I sailed up to Punta de Mita yesterday, getting in a little more sailing before I leave on Wednesday for ten days in Portland. The Humpback Whales are in abundance now, the mothers and newborns hanging out close to shore. We saw a baby breach over and over yesterday on the way up, and then this morning as we motored into the rising sun, the bay so calm there were almost no ripples, I luckily saw whale spume just slightly ahead of us. Sometimes the whales just stay at the surface, breathing and relaxing, we steered away from it, and then it blew and dove, flicking it’s huge flukes.
A week ago Nikk and I hiked at extreme low tide along the beach about two miles to a beautiful sandy beach with overhanging trees that we’d seen often from out on the water. It was about 3pm, and the rocks were baking hot. There were big and small rounded granite boulders, and layers of red and cream sandstone, interlaid with big fingers of basalt sticking up out of the other rocks. We needed a geologist! The rocks are further colored by the brilliant white and stinky pelican poop that gets deposited when the pelicans roost on the rocks or in the trees above the rocks. We finally reached the beach after some scrambling over the last rocky obstacle, and avoiding of the spiny sea urchins exposed by the low tide.

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After a boiling hot hike it is great to shed the clothes and swim in the warm, salty water, watching out for sting rays on the bottom. Last week a swimmer stepped on a sting ray as he was entering the water for a swim. As we were drying off on the beach a mother whale and calf came swimming by right offshore, the calf breeching and cavorting. Suddenly a small boat with two guys and a dog came zooming up right next to the whales. The mother rolled and flapped her pectoral fins at the boat, as the dog stood on the bow and barked crazily. The boat followed the whales staying about 25-50 feet away, which I think is illegal. Nikk took a lot of pictures.
So here are two for those of you who like to see whales; Nikk had to zoom in to get details, so the pictures are not as crisp as they could be with a bigger camera.

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We also went on a three hour hike up into the hills on Valentine’s Day, and found two medium-sized dogs who hiked with us up and back, a herd of goats, and a little stream with a spillway, a pond, and lots of irrigation hoses. It was another hot day, the shade provided by huge trees all along the dirt road was really welcome.

Another thing that we do on a hot day like today is take two huge bags of laundry into town to the Lavanderia, walking along the cobblestones and practicing our greetings en espanol. My Spanish is improving each week we’re here, thanks to mi professora Anna who teaches Mon and Wed mornings. If I don’t go birdwatching tomorrow morning to an estuary about 8 miles south of here, I’ll be learning more about the past, present and future tenses of verbs. Someday maybe I’ll be able to write a blog in Spanish. Someday way in the future, I think. But I have found several apps for iPad to learn Spanish, and practice while I’m away from the marina. This blog will be continued in March when I return from Portland!

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