Between Muertos and Frailes … here, there be whales!
That is right, as we head out to cross the Sea of Cortez, we are following the same route that the humpback and gray whales follow. They feed along our route. Maybe a less egocentric way to say that is we sail along their migratory and feeding routes.
Two days ago, we had a very close encounter. The pictures prove we were indeed near whales, but I was so busy maneuvering the boat to stay clear of them that I missed the best shots.
We had a pod of whales come up under the bow of Spiritus–a place where you only ever see dolphins. They were so close that I feared a collision, so we took a sharp evasive turn to clear the rest as the leader –then 7 or so more whales– surfaced around us.
We had seen them ahead for an hour and were slowly catching up at out leisurely five knots. When they sounded last, Carolyn had come up to see them and they seemed to take forever to rise back to the surface. I actually, told her “See, you scared them away!”
About that time .. instant …great breaths, and plumes of mist were everywhere as the first came up under our bowsprit.
No picture could have captured it anyway, but I still wish. It was like a picture from the deck of a a whale boat … they were that close. But, unlike whalers, we had no ill intent.
Our only concern was to make sure we moved away from them … but the majesty … and the awe it inspires is well known to cruisers. It was Carolyn’s first whale tail … and first close encounter. She was almost as much fun to watch as they were. I had a whale nearby about five years ago, in our last boat, off Newport , Oregon. He stayed with me for almost an hour turning when I turned … great beasts. People and whales … all creatures great and small.
Spiritus has seen her first whale too! ” Spiritus, meet Leviathan. Leviathan, Spiritus.”