Friday, October 24, 2008

Somebody call Animal Planet!

David woke me up in the morning saying dolphins were out and about so I sleepily woke up and made my way up on deck. David thought they were "Those ones without dorsal fins, Northern Right Whale Dolphins right?" I am going to backtrack and show my true nerdiness here. Not only do I read any field guide about Cetaceans that I can get my hands on, I even made a chart of possible species to be seen and marked the ones we saw last season with a column for this year as well. I was practically dying to see these strange dolphins with no dorsal fin (the only type of dolphin with no dorsal fin in the northern hemisphere). So I grab my camera and wobble (sea legs? what are those?) to the bow while the boat bounces underfoot. I was amazed to see maybe 100 of the finless dolphins porpoising a few hundred yards to starboard. David is a good man to put up with all my giddy excitement with wildlife. They left us in a froth or water and we resumed our watches.

So far it has been a good trip for dolphins and whales, though scary at times already. We came across a few playful Humpback whales and watched as they moved their bulk around so gracefully. As usual I was on the bow trying to snap some pictures and I almost pooped my pants when a whale surfaced 6 feet away from our bow and immediately went back under. We were soon surrounded by two flanking us on starboard and one on port. We kept moving away but they kept getting closer. We decided to take our leave before they decided to make a boat sammich out of us. That got our hearts racing for a while.

Anytime I hear splashes,squeals and squeaks my ears perk up and my eyes scan the horizon. I know some playful dolphins want to come show off and play with the boat. We had a group of 200 or more common dolphins coming towards us. Groups of them split off to come and do under water acrobatics and big leaps out of the water and reentering with hardly a splash. High divers would be jealous of their grace. They left after a while and sailing resumed as usual.

Later that night we rounded Point Conception and anchored in Cojo bay for the night. A full belly and a full nights sleep it a much appreciated thing after doing 2 to 3 hour watches for a night.

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