I have a lot of wonderful memories of my time sailing the Pacific, and as the years progress I’ve noticed that some memories remain right at the top of my mental Filofax.
The whales of Puerto Vallarta certainly make themselves known during the winter months; their majestic presence never ceases to inspire awe, and when I see them it’s pretty typical for one particular memory to come flooding back, one of the most wonderful mornings of my life thus far.
I’m back on the little sailboat with Doug, and we’re just off the coast of Cabo, at some point in mid-December.
We used to trade shifts, so we could always keep moving. I’d sleep during the night, and he’d sleep during the late morning/afternoon. I’d wake up, we’d hang out a bit, I’d often make a meal for us, and then Doug would go to sleep while I manned the ship.
This particular morning, I woke up and there was a lot of noise around. Weird noises I hadn’t heard before. Even now, I can hear it so clearly in my head but I’m sad to say I cannot describe it very well for you.
It was a sort of “splooshing” of water, followed by what was definitely something slapping the water. Hard. And couple of moments later, the boat would rock gently.
It was about now that I noticed we weren’t moving either, just bobbing. We obviously had no sails up and the engine was not running. We were just sitting there.
I opened my porthole and turned on my left side to gaze out. It was my favorite thing… I could lay my head on my pillow, yet still see the waterline and the birds, and it was just the most peaceful thing to me. Laying there looking at what mostly amounted to nothing but half blue, and half a different shade of blue.
Laying there, still a bit sleepy, I noticed a whale breaching off in the distance. How cool. What a funny life I have right now.
I should get up. I bet Doug is hungry.
I got dressed and made my way to the bathroom for a pee and to freshen up. Again, that noise. Again, the slap. Again, the boat rocking. I was still waking up and noticed it was happening kind of a lot, so I just stood and looked out the porthole for a moment. Soon I saw a whale breach not 20 feet from the boat.
SPLOOSH. SLAP. ROCK.
That’s what it was!!
Another two at the same time. And there’s another, way over there. And another, even closer than the first!
OMG there are whales everywhere.
I quickly finish what I’m doing and run up on deck.
“Doug Doug DOUG!!!! OMG!!!! There are whales all around us!!! HOW AMAZINGGGGGG IS THIS?!?!?”
“Yep. Morning sleepyhead.”
He says casually like it’s not the most incredible thing there ever was.
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