This was truly a grand week for our guests from California and Maine.
Week 5 began with one of the most remarkable sights I have ever seen in all my years on the water. In the flat calm of Monday’s afternoon – me standing in the bow while everyone looked from here to there for the 3 surface feeding blue whales we had spotted – one of them glided silently right underneath the bow of the boat on its side with its throat completely inflated with water and food! It all was beautiful beyond words; it froze us all in place and nobody had a chance to get any images, but it forever be imbedded in all of our minds!
The week continued with surface feeding blue whales everywhere we seemed to go. We collected both humpback and blue whale feces samples for our collaboration with Harvard, so that was very good. We saw a surface feeding humpback which after pooping proceeded to breach high in the air 5 times.
The lovely inquisitive Short Finned Pilot Whales graced our presence with their explosive short breaths and their unending curiosity. We saw a pod of common dolphins close to 2000 strong. There was snorkeling and a trip up north to the waters where the great white sharks live (don’t worry – nobody snorkeled there).
We even saw a thresher shark (we think it was a thresher but are not experts on shark IDs) jump high in the air which was captured on film.
We all left thrilled once again with all of their encounters with the giants of this earth: the majestic blue whales that graced us with their presence time and again as they have throughout this thrilling 2015 season. We now can see that many of them are thin, as their spinal processes can be seen. It is good that the food is so thick here this year as many of these blue whales do need to be fattened up a bit.
The bird numbers are generally down and it was only on the last day of Week 5 that we observed our first baitball with diving birds and speedy dolphins all getting their fill.
There is a sense in the air; it’s tough to explain. The blue whales may soon depart on their timeless migration out of the lovely Sea of Cortez. The next two weeks will tell that story and I will surely report what we see.
Stay tuned for the week 6 blog next Sunday as the 2015 season begins to wind down.