Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Swimming with Pilot whales.

Just when we thought it couldn't get any better...it did. 

The morning started off the way it usually does with coffee and checking into the morning cruisers net. Isla Isabel is a beautiful island. It is referred to as the Galapagos of Mexico. We have been here before and always enjoy the blue footed boobies, frigates, iguanas, and the reef snorkeling in crystal clear blue waters. 

 After the net we threw on our gear and headed out toward the pinnacle rocks. We had heard there was a school of tuna around the north side of larger rock. Go-pro and spear gun in hand, Bret and I jumped in the water and started the swim around the rock. We were both running out of breath as we are away from the protection of the rock and the current was super strong. Just as we were about to give up and float back, we spotted them. Hundreds of tuna just hanging out waiting for Bret and his trusty Riffe spear gun. Bret went 0 for 2, but we loved watching the huge school of fish split in 2 and then come back together to evade the spear. We got some good GoPro footage then hopped back in the dinghy to head back to the boat.

 Dolphin are always fun to see, so when we saw fins we moved in for a closer look. We followed the fins about a mile off shore, and soon we realized we were not following dolphins, instead we were in a pod of Pilot whales. There were 6 to 8 in a tight group, then about 5 solo rangers. Dolphin like to hang out when the dingy is making waves, but the moment you get in the water they typically bolt. The pilot whales were on the move, but not leaving the area. Bret and I both wanted to bail in and get a look from beneath the waves. Bret went first and was able to get some video as they swam by. Having no expectation that they would stick around, I slid off the side of the dinghy and into the water. Once the bubbles cleared and I could see them clearly and I had the most amazing marine life experience to date! A Pilot whale about 8 feet away came toward me. He swam beneath me rolling belly up and it felt like we were making eye contact. Looking at the others I could see that one of them had a tuna in his mouth and I could hear them singing to each other as they moved along. I could sit here at the laptop for hours and not be able to come up with any combination of words to fully describe how amazing it was.

 Marne and her "experience"

 The captain dives in!

The official vid.

The sun is now setting and we are 6 hours into an overnight sail to Mazatlan. We will rotate watches every 3 hours. Time to get some sleep before my first watch. 

Until tomorrow,

SV Liahona

Marne and Bret

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