January 19, 2013

On the trail of whales and dolphins in Banderas Bay, Mexico

BAHIA DE BANDERAS, Nayarit, Mexico - Admiral Sylvia Fox, Pam DiTomasso and I boarded an outboard-motor-equipped panga this morning at 8 a.m. (Yes, I got up early enough for an 8 a.m. boat trip - hold the comments, please.)

We've done many whale-watching voyages in Banderas Bay, usually aboard a sailboat. We have never been disappointed.

But I was a little skeptical of how much fun it would be, given that in September we were actually swimming in the water with leviathans like these in the Kingdom of Tonga, in the Vava'u Island group.

But a boat ride is never to be turned down. So we went. And, yes, except for my getting a sunburned nose, it was great... Really great.

Think we got close enough?
The captain of our panga, a 28-year-old Mexican fellow named Mario, was fabulous at finding the whales and keeping us close enough for photos but not so close we violated any Mexican rules.

Yes, there are rules about this stuff in Mexico.

Sylvia shot nearly 500 photos
Capt. Mario was a fount of good information. When we spotted the normally placid whales swimming and diving like college students on spring break, he explained that there were as many 10 male whales trying to, um shall-we-say date(?) a female humpback.

On the water, above the water, under the water, love makes the world go around. Si?

He also found us a large pod of dolphins which we stayed with for nearly an hour.

Sylvia used her new (well, it was new when we went to Tonga) Canon camera today, shooting nearly 500 shots in a rapid fire setting. I shot a measly 300 photos with my trusty Canon Powershot 560.

Between us though, we got some great stuff.

Posted below are some of the other photos I pulled from my 300. She will no doubt post some of hers later.

Hmm. 300. What a great name for a movie!

Which way did she go?
Bottoms up!
On the move

Pam and Sylvia

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