Humpbacks

I had the alarm set for 6:15, but I was wide awake at 5:00 and unable to sleep any further. I lay quietly for awhile before rising and going over my gear for today’s outing. I extricated the Walden surfboard from the basement and arranged all of my fishing gear. One of the night watchmen was outside in the dark gathering leaves from the ground to keep the camping area spotless. I could hear Alan rattling around his camp and at a little before seven we made the hike down the beach to the marina where Luis was waiting with the Mantaraya to take us out for a half day expedition on the Pacific.

Luis is totally mellow and always in good tune. That’s what attracted me to using his boat when I saw how he interacted with the tourists he was dropping off yesterday. We followed the coast to the south casting our lines out and trying to catch a fish as we motored over to Caleta, the left hand point break about a fifteen minute boat ride from Chacala. The tide wasn’t quite right and the wind was ruffling the small waves. We opted to head out a few miles and have a look at some humpback whales.

Luis was an expert at finding them and after they’d dive he could anticipate where they would surface next. We’d move forward and sit and he’d say listen and we would hear a faint noise like the wall of a bird or creak of a gate hinge and sure enough the behemoth would break the surface not far from our waiting point. One came up so close it startled us and I could barely snap a picture. I never knew you could listen for whales before and was skeptical after the first time, but we heard it time and again, each time before a whale would rise up somewhere nearby. Awesome stuff.

Coming right at us!

Only to dive at the last minute

Then we got serious about fish. Luis rigged up six trolling rigs and we headed out for the blue water to search for dorado, wahoo or anything big and fun to catch. Unfortunately, the fish never got serious about us and although we trolled along for a couple of hours we only managed to snag a couple of mackerel which we tossed back into the sea.

We headed back in to Caleta and the little left was lining up pretty nicely along the rocky headland. I jumped overboard with my surfboard and the boys motored over to the next cove to do some more fishing while I surfed. I caught four decent three foot waves always keeping an eye on the shallow rocky bottom figuring out how close to the point I dared take off and still not hit the reef.

Blue footed boobies

We fished our way back around the corner to the cove and settled up with Luis then trudged on back to camp with our load of gear but sadly no dorado to make a batch of ceviche. It was a great day to be out on the sea and an experience I would have regretted backing out on. I always hem and haw about should I do something or not, but inevitably I’m most always glad to have gotten up and ventured out.

The afternoon was a lazy one. Tired from the day’s activity, I did a lot of reading and swimming around out front. The campground really filled up with people squeezing their way into tight spaces between already established camps. It has gotten more social with folks wandering through introducing themselves and seeing what you are about. Everybody brings along a dog and some of them are pretty unruly and barky dashing through everybody’s camps, but like most dog owners their particular dog is special and entitled and does no wrong. Later in the evening, one of the guards came by and, gasp!, asked me to keep Cali on a leash because she was barking and offending the older Mexican couple in the tent behind me. If you’ve met Cali, you know barking is not her thing. The last time she barked was a week ago when a little spotted mini Cali jumped in the open RV door and startled us while we taking a nap. After a few irritated minutes of feeling, well, special and entitled, I started leashing her until we get past the oldies or at least walking next to her and herding her away if she wanders in their direction.

Too lazy to cook, and loving the Chacala tradition of making each tortilla fresh to order, I wandered with Alan over to the usual taco stand and ordered a quesadilla, basically a giant taco with cheese and a regular taco. It was a pleasant evening so we took our time eating and watching people going by on the dusty main drag. For as many people as are crowded in here, things got pretty quiet as the night wore on.

All corn, no harina allowed in Chacala

5 thoughts on “Humpbacks

  1. AWE-and then some!!👍😃The humpback got so close to you guys!!! I am excited just viewing the pictures! How thrilling that must have been!! And you got to 🏄!!! What a stellar day, even if our sweet tempered Cali got blamed for something she didn’t do. Bravo for shaking it off! I LOVE 💘you MY VALENTINE❣️❣️❣️

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  2. Really, PJ? What kind of boobies are we talking about? Mike, I can’t believe how close you got to the whales. That must have been so awesome! I really have hurt feelings on poor Cali’s behalf. She’s such a sweet girl and I say, “BAH!” to the complaining Mexican tenters. Love to you both. Meema

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