One might expect that finding a fifty foot long animal that frequently throws itself completely out of the water would be easy in a place that has between five and seven thousand of said animals; such an assumption would (apparently) be very wrong. Exercising vast amounts of patience and eating vast amounts of snacks we searched for literally hours this morning and had no luck finding cooperative whales, and finally returned to the boat for lunch and of course discovered a mother and calf sleeping a hundred feet from the stern. Unfortunately there is such a thing as “whale etiquette” (who knew?) that states that whatever boat finds the whale first gets it for as long as they want it, but luckily the group that hoarded this whale for the entire day was small and allowed six of us at a time to join them. Being in the water with a sleeping whale is all kinds of awesome, in case previous journal entries didn’t make that fact clear.
The day’s other highlights included the return of the Cirque du Soleil founder’s thirty million dollar yacht (which apparently is currently being used by this guy), an awesome “fly by” with a mother, calf and escort, and some snorkeling through two of the wrecks that are out here – since the reefs have been charted for well over a hundred years one can only imagine what sort of captain made the decision to deviate from the course that every single other boat follows (“You know what? We’ve never tried going left here – let’s give that a shot.”). We’ve all gotten fairly comfortable with one another at this point so Nats played gatekeeper at the hot tub tonight until I crashed through, missing a step and toppling in while everyone already in the tub demanded drinks. Tomorrow morning is our last trip out amongst the whales before we lift anchor, and as always it’s sad to see the trip coming to an end after six very fun-filled days.