Sunday, January 13, 2013

Whale watching (and dodging) in Banderas Bay

"Definition of Tail Slapping: Whales like to lift their huge tails high above the water and slap them down on the surface making a tremendous splash. This can be heard for great distances by others and is probably associated with marking position. Because of the formidable power of the tail, this behavior should be interpreted as aggressive and the creature should be given plenty of room."

Whale playing on the surface

"Slow Down, he is crossing"

Cuidado!  Ballenas en el agua!  It is humpback whale season here in Banderas Bay.  For sailors, it's whale dodging.  On our approach, we changed course to avoid whales. During our 7 hour trip north around Cape Corrientes and into Banderas Bay, we counted dozens of whale sightings.  Rob says you can walk across Banderas Bay on the backs of all the whales.

Many of the sightings were side body views, with portions of the whale's body breaking the water horizon.  Others would be spotted first by their blowholes, puffy clouds of water and air mixed above the water, signaling their breath of air, before submerging again.  Some whales were solo; others were traveling in pairs.  We gave them as much room as possible, trying to anticipate their travel direction and possible change in course.   On the last sighting, one whale seemed to be reaching for the world record of tail slaps - we counted 28!

By 2 pm we were snuggly tied in the La Cruz Marina, re-connecting with more friends that are making their way south.  We were invited to a dinner party (not on a sailboat!)in a lovely furnished apartment here in La Cruz.   Rob particularly enjoyed going between the cold swimming pool and the hot tub. Nancy admired the washer and dryer.

We enjoying a few days of yoga, provisioning at the farmers market today, a Taste of La Cruz last night, street tacos and commenting on each other's sailboats and projects on the docks. 
With the help of some local workers the Shindig beautification process is well in hand.
The laundry is done, refrigerator defrosted with a sizeable leak found and fixed.  Today Nancy is going off on an adventure into the town of Bucerias while Rob test sails some spinnakers on a friends' giant catamarran.

It has also been determined that our radar is busted.... broken.... no worky.  They stopped making this unit over a decade ago so an upgrade may be in order.  It is going to be expensive as we'll have to replace our plotters too in order to be compatible with a new radar. 

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