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Friday, 8 February 2008

Whale of a time

Oh me oh my!!! Mina and I ventured out on a guided tour to do some whale watching yesterday. The boat was one of those inflatable tubes… I was just hoping no sharks thought it to be a meal on rubber! We learned so much about whales, particularly the humped back, particularly how the mother keeps her 1 tonne baby over her pectoral fin (her wing) so she can lift him up for air. Not to mention, there is always a third whale that glides below the mama and baby called, the escort. This is essentially their protector. Sure enough, we came across a mama and her little baby… well, I’m not sure that the term “little” can be used for something that weighs more than a tonne! Up we see the little spout and back followed by the bigger mama. Oh it was just incredible! Eventually, after we followed them for a while, the little one decided to get rambunctious and started jumping out of the water for a splashing good time. Oh he was soooo cute! I could just picture the mama sighing as her little one jumps about… I bet you she was trying to get him to go down for a nap!

The lessons learned on the trip were much appreciated for today…

Duane hired someone to transport Mina, Anika, himself and me by motor boat across the Banderas Bay to the other side where Mina and I would be swimming with dolphins. On that boat ride, I saw a shark jump out of the water only feet away as we whizzed by… much to Mina’s distress… poor girl… it was only two years ago that she couldn’t go swimming in a pool without getting her cousins to make sure there were no sharks in it.

Moments later, the boat came to a stop not even fifty feet away from a huge whale tale flapping against the water… OH MY GOODNESS!!! I grabbed the video camera and captured the incredible display! I’ll try to convert the video and upload it because I find it truly phenomenal… a highlight of the trip for me. He smacked the water over and over as Anika watched with fascination. We all were! Eventually, his back came up and he made an incredible noise from his spout. Oh you guys… it was unbelievable!

We followed this with our dolphin swim, Mina’s favourite animal. This, too, was an unforgettable experience as we swam with our own dolphin per group of five people. She was so rubbery to the touch and super duper fast! She would disappear and then suddenly pop up right beside you! Good thing we were in water… Mina certainly seemed to be in her glory and I hope this is something she'll cherish for the rest of her days. I know I will!

When we jumped out, we all got a chance to get a “kiss” from a huge sea lion! Man o man, this huge head came whipping around and placed its whiskers and fishy mouth on my cheek while some guy snapped a picture… this thing could swallow my head whole! But she was sure cute! Stinky, but cute!

Jeepers, I think that was the best day EVER!

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