March 21, 2011

Happy whales to you!

We were on vacation last week. Another Lindblad/National Geographic expedition, this time to the Baja Peninsula in Mexico to go whale watching. This is not an advertisement for Lindblad, but to me they provide the best vacation. I love going on a small ship (yet be able to keep your own space), see tons of wildlife, be surrounded by naturalists that teach me all along the way, have the opportunity to go swimming or snorkeling, go on daily outings in a zodiac, go on nature walks, and eat great food.

This expedition, which started in San Carlos near Bahia Magdalena and ended in Las Paz, was called Among Great Whales, and so it was. We saw grey whales, blue whales, humpback whales, pilot whales. We swam with sea lions, had dolphins swim over to escort the ship and ride the bow a number of times, and saw tons of birds. The highlight was being able to touch a grey whale baby: an incredible experience. Some grey whale mothers and their calves hung out around our zodiacs for hours, and everyone got to touch them. The animals actually sought us out to be stroked. Totally amazing.

As in Alaska, we lucked out with the weather and even in the Pacific it was calm sailing. In the Sea of Cortez the water was like glass which allowed us to see the blue whales. One of the Lindblad advantages is the flexible itinerary, so when someone spots something of interest, the captain will take the ship there and allow everyone a good look. And the expedition leader will choose an outing depending on weather and tide conditions to optimize your experience. Their staff is the best.

This was a "photo expedition", and we certainly took advantage of the opportunity and returned with about 1200 photos that have already be whittled down to about 500. I have just posted a few of my favorites here (ones I took). Dan will be posting his on his web site soon, so take a look there. He's got some great ones.

1 comment:

webb said...

Oh, Anneka, those experiences are worth a whole lifetime of ordinary vacations. We have had two experiences like that, so understand the feeling.

We swam with manatees years ago and, like you, spent a lot of time with a mom and her calf. About ten years ago a manta ray visited our group of divers off of NC, and allowed people to "ride" over its back. I did not actually ride, but watched from 20 feet above - running short on bottom time!

It gives one a completely different understanding of the cooperation between man and creatures. Somehow, we must be related.

So glad you got that experience. Glad you're home safely.