And then, we got the surprise of the trip …. baring unforeseen stuff that happens in nature, we expected to see whale sharks because we were there during the perfect time of year for it (although, they didn’t see any the week before!). And I knew that whales exist in the Galapagos islands but sperm whales and even seis or fins but well off the cold northwest coast of Isabela where the Cromwell current upwells and fills the ocean with a bounty of food. We were pulling around the back side Wolfe Island after a great dive with hammerheads when I spotted a blow very near the a sheer cliff. At first, I thought it might be a pilot whale but quickly realized the blow was way too large. Imagine our stunned surprise when the unmistakable dorsal fin of a female humpback whale rose above the surface. And then, we saw another right along her side – her young calf. We quickly jumped into the zodiacs and then on snorkel, silently slipped into the water and approached slowly and non threateningly. You could see the curiosity in their eyes and posture – especially the calf. They must have been as surprised to see us as we were to see them. It was totally unexpected! They slowly swam away and then we hauled ourselves into the zodiac and followed at a respectful distance. We took a large arc out and away from the whale so not to alarm it that it was being chased and ended up will up current. Then we silently slid into the water again and drifted until we passed her and her calf – two different species sharing and inquisitive and intelligent looks with one another. We were fortunate enough to repeat the above process two more times and then with the sun sliding down into the sea, returned to the ship. Richer having spent time with these wild, highly intelligent and magnificent beings. It was nothing short of a spiritual experience.
And WHALES Oh My!
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