A Whale Of A Time
Actually, the word “interesting” does not come close to describing the experience. We were picked up this morning at 9:00 (Mexican time; before we could get in the van, Eduardo had to distribute the empanadas which some people had ordered yesterday). They should name Eduardo “Mr. La Paz”, since he seems to know everyone and has a finger in everything; bus tours? We can do that. Swimming with the whale sharks? We can do that. Empenadas? We can cook those.
After reaching the Malecon, we got ready to climb aboard the boats:
The weather, which had started out threatening rain, slowly turned sunny and hot. After motoring along for a while, a whale shark was spotted by Danny the deckhand, who swam out to it and marked its position. The rest of us quickly followed:
Factoid: whale sharks are only found in two places in Mexico; here in La Paz and at an island off Cancun.
They really are quite remarkable; we followed two while we were out there, one smaller one and one as big as the boat itself. They are spotted like a Dalmatian and swim quite slowly, varying their depth as they go. We were warned not to actually touch them (although they came close enough a few times that it was hard to avoid). There is a fine if you get caught touching them, but the main reason for not doing so is that they have very sensitive skin, and a touch may startle them to the point where they react quickly, and a blow from their tail can knock you unconscious. Because they remain below the surface, we couldn’t get a picture, but Eduardo and Danny took video on an underwater GoPro camera, which he will deliver later in the day. It was an experience quite difficult to describe; you feel quite dwarfed by, and in awe of, these magnificent creatures who seem totally unaware of your presence. To be this near them was a privilege.
As a bonus, we were suddenly surrounded by a large pod of dolphins, adults and babies, who played around the boats for quite a while, one mother and baby passing so close to the boat and so near the surface you felt you could almost reach down and touch them:
What more could we ask for?
We returned back to the RV park at around noon. Some of the other men and women were variously having haircuts, manicures and pedicures done by another friend of Eduardo’s (yes, we can do that too). The weather turned overcast and a bit rainy, although it is quite warm. Jeannine showered and left with some other women for a visit to some fabric stores downtown, while I held the fort at home.
At 4:30, we carpooled to dinner at a restaurant right on the Malecon downtown. Off to Puerto Escondido for one night tomorrow.