Thursday, February 26, 2009

Road Trip - Thar She Blows!

There were 12 of us traveling together and almost all of us chose to take the whale watching cruise. Some opted for the more strenuous trip on a Zodiac but the Farmer claimed he was too old to be bouncing and slamming around in an inflatable raft. Some of you are old enough to remember Jacques Cousteau and his ship the Calypso. For excursions off the large vessel, he and his crew would ride in inflatable boats called Zodiacs. Sorry, I didn't remember to get a picture of one. They held about a dozen people who were required to wear those big orange life vests throughout the entire trip.

We boarded the boat and got a good look at one of the shopping areas as we pulled out into the bay.


The Farmer claimed he wanted a boat that served drinks and food. Here's the Farmer and I reflected in the window of the boat. Sure enough, the Farmer has a Marguerita in his hand and he's channeling Captain Ahab.


We saw some shrimp boats heading out to sea.


We went quite far from shore. Heidi, I can assure you it was more than 50 feet. We had to go up and down the coast for about 30 minutes before we saw our first whales. You can see how far we were from the coastline.


These are humpback whales and they comes to the waters off the Baja Peninsula to breed and give birth. A second whale helps the mother give birth and they actually have to train the baby to swim, pushing it back up to the surface when it begins to sink. It takes about 30 minutes for the baby to learn to go to the surface to breathe.


It's a beautiful sight to see the tail but that means that the whale is diving and you won't see him again for over 20 minutes. They don't breach (jump out of the water and belly flop) like they do in Alaska. Why? The babies are swimming with them and the breaching might injure them.

Here's another one diving.


It was an interesting afternoon. We we all impressed with the size of these mammals. On our way back in we passed those stunning rock formations again. The amount of water traffic in this area is ridiculous. I wonder if there are alot of boating accident's. It's crazy! Look closely and you'll see some boats in this photo. See how small they are? That will give you an idea of the scale of the place.


And the sea lions. They stink! Literally.


Then it's back on the ship and off to our next adventure.


NEXT: We're headed to Mazatlan, which the Farmer insisted on calling "Mazaltov" all week long. It was pretty funny the first 30 times he said it, but after that it was just annoying.


Heidi said...

What fun!!! I am SUCH a whimp - I love to swim, but wouldnt get on a cruise ship if my life depended on it..... To many Gilligans Island shows.. *snort*
As for the scenery, Gods got quite the artistic hand doesnt he? :)

Mary said...

Oh what fun! And that blue sky and water looks SO wonderful!!!

Lucy said...

Would love to see those rock. They fascinate me. There's a place in Oregon where thousands of sea lions call it home. When you park the car and get out, the odor of them hits you smack in the face. They really do stink. Loved watching them though.

Jenni said...

Wow, whale midwives! That is so cool!

Louise said...

I've never seen whales. In Bermuda I was on the shore and someone who knew what they were looking for said they saw some, but I could never discern them. How fun!

Jody Blue said...

Love the whale info! Enjoying the trip through your camera and words.

Vee said...

Oh left me laughing. The Farmer as fodder once again...

Interesting info about the whales and the boat traffic and I enjoyed seeing your reflections. That's what the entire trip may now feel like...

Mazal tov!

Ritch in Love said...

Oh wow! What gorgeous pictures. I have always wanted to go whale watching. I've heard it can be quite a spiritual and reverent experience.

Liz in PA said...

Fantastic Pictures!
......your hubby is a real HOOT!

And so did you just slap him at the 31st time he said his "funny"?

Do you have a nice sun tan? I hope you remembered your sunscreen?

Do you tip the people who maintain your room nightly, or at the end of the trip? Just curious, cause I doubt I will ever go on a cruise, unless I win the trip!! LOL
So I must get all the info I need, just in case! ROFL

Cottage Rose said...

Hello Suzanne; OH what a marvelous sight to behold. I love the photos, the water is so blue. To be able to see Whales.


Julianne said...

Looks like you guys are having a great time. Seeing a whale in the wild is on my bucket list. Very cool.

You and the Farmer enjoy Mazaltov tomorrow!


Ahoy! These posts are not tedious, I am enjoying the tour. I'm not sure about the whale thing...I think it would freak me out..they are so huge..I love the deck you had and yes, I remember seeing assault weapons in Cuba at the airport and it was very strange. Read ya tomorrow....


Oh, I looks like you are in a James Bond film.

Donna said...

Great pix - and I never knew the momma had to teach the baby whale to swim. Interesting...

Suzanne said...

Heidi - You're commenting at 3:16 a.m.??? Seriously, you need a vacation. Yes, God has quite an artistic hand. I think you'd change your mind about a cruise after you realized that someone is going to be making your bed, scrubbing your bathroom, cooking and serving your meals and mixing you margaritas for a week!!!

Mary - It was so refreshing. Just being in the sun (although some days it was very cool) recharged our batteries.

Lucy - The rocks were fantastic. Yep, the sea lions are a mess.

Jenni - There are also whale escorts, which are males who escort a female with a baby. He serves to protect and defend the two until the baby gets larger. It's not necessarily the father of the baby, but a male that wants to be nearby when she's able and willing to mate again. Those men!!!!

Louise - They're a little hard to spot. You just see the curve of their back, the spout and sometimes the tail (when they're diving). It's really hard to get a good picture.

Jody - I'm glad you're along for the ride.

Vee - Oh gosh, yes the Farmer is fodder once again. He's so funny, how can I not use him?

Ritch in Love - It was great, not quite spiritual because the mood was shaken by a woman who was terribly seasick. EWWWW.

Liz - I didn't really get a tan this time out. I tan very easily, but it was a bit chilly and very windy during most of the trip. It was almost impossible to sit on the sunbathing deck. At one point I thought my glasses were going to be blown off my face!

As for the tipping situation..... in the past we have tipped our waiter in the dining room and the cabin stewards. This was one of those freestyle cruises where we didn't have a specific waiter every meal. The cruise line did something that really irritated me. They announced (in a note delivered to our room) that they were adding a $12 per person, per day charge to our bill. What I objected to was that this was not stated up front. It amounted to an additional $175.

Alaura - I really wish you were along to enjoy the sights.

Julianne - Seriously, you need to work on that bucket list.....get busy!!!

My Friend at Liberty Post - James Bond??? Yeah...I'm a James Bond kinda girl. Sorta. Many years ago.

Donna - I learned alot of things on these tours. Very interesting stuff.

Thanks for coming along with me on the whale watching expedition. I appreciate your friendship and your support.

- Suzanne