TWO OLD BLUE WHALE GUYS, 1000 STAMPEDING DOLPHINS, AND A POLE
Week 7 is now in the books and our guests all of whom hail from New Mexico had a blast.
We began the week heading north looking for the myriad of feeding blue whales that had graced us in Week 6. But they were nowhere to be found. Instead a charging pod of 1000 common dolphins came our way, and luckily they were heading the same way we were. So we all traveled together for at least a half hour at which point one of our guests asked if the dolphins ever stopped to rest. They were astounded to learn that although they don’t always travel so fast, unless they are feeding in one specific area, this is what it is like to be an oceanic common dolphin. Always on the move their energy is boundless, and anyone seeing these large pods at sea will instantly understand that unless there is an injured individual that could not keep up with or survive in the wild, it is nothing other than cruel to capture and subject these animals to a life in captivity.
As the week progressed we could see the water clear up, the Sargasso seaweed patches grow larger, and the marine algae grow to massive proportions. We spent the whole later part of the week hanging out with those large whales that were still here. We saw humpbacks whales breach and were able to observe large patches of skin and even one white lice in the breaching whales landing area. We observed a pod of three fin whales in mirror flat water, where we were able to see the whole upper bodies of these asymmetrical beautiful whales, and we spent a number of hours with a few blue whales.
Surprisingly two of the remaining blue whales who stayed here until the end were two of the whales we have known the best, observed the most and are two of the oldest known blue whales on earth. None other than Nubbin and White Eyes were here until the very end. Both males, we could see how fat and well fed they were and also how they were shorter than the third blue whale who was here until seasons end that we were quite sure was an adult female. It is true that female blue whales are longer than males and to the trained eye this is noticeable in the field in calm conditions with easy going individuals. We became a bit concerned about White Eyes as one of his feces was riddled with parasites, which included flat worms that were quite long and troubling to see. We hope White Eyes is well, and we know he is about to commence on his northerly migration to the waters off California, where he is a regular, just as he is here in the Sea of Cortez.
At the end of the season just as were about to head in, the very last hours had us in between and going back and forth to see these old males of the blue whale world. It could have been twenty years ago as we have known both of them for even longer than that, and it seemed remarkable to end the year with the two of them. I’d not have believed it had someone told me this would happen. It was a happy end to a great season!
The last thing to mention was our trusty pole that inadvertently slipped into the marina one morning and sank. Our new friend and elephant lover Singer Rankin decided she was responsible, and when we had different opinions on how deep the water was decided she was going to get a local man to don a mask and go look for it on the stirred up marina floor. When he surfaced with the pole in hand Singer was overjoyed, as can be seen in this weeks images.
The waters are warming and clearing. It is time for us and the whales to move on. A year end blog will offer up some final thoughts and summaries of this season. But we can say with certainty that the whales were content and very well fed here this year, and we can also say each and every guest we hosted this year saw multiple blue whales and had at least four days at sea. We only had two days out of thirty one on the water this season where we did not see a blue whale, a remarkable record!
Stay tuned for our year end summary and blog, which might a little while to come your way. And thanks to all for following and caring about the great whales!