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Entries about dolphins

Whale Watching Panama

ask for Anne

sunny 85 °F

This was an incredible trip. Kryss and I have been whale watching in Newfoundland, Alaska, Hawaii, and in Costa Rica. Nothing in the way of quantity and activity has been like this experience. We saw more whales yesterday than we'd seen on all our previous trips combined. After the first ten, before 10:30 in the morning, we stopped counting.
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We left Panama City with three other whale watchers, a naturalist/guide (Anne), her husband/assistant (Otniel), and the boat captain (William). The forecast promised rain and there were a few clouds in the sky. The water was a little choppy but our able captain guided us on a relatively smooth course toward the Pearl Islands. The Pearl Islands are about 1.5 hours via boat, 40 miles, from Panama City. As we left Panama City on the horizon the skies became blue. Our guide spotted the first whale before we had reached the Pearl Islands. The excitement really started at that point. Everyone scanning the waters with camera in hand for a blow spout, a tail, or the gentle roll of the surfacing Southern Hemisphere Humpback whale.
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We learned from our guide that the whales in these waters come for two reasons; raising their new borns and reproduction. They don't eat while they are in this raising and breeding stage, losing almost a third of their body weight. The warm waters are very conducive for birthing and teaching the new borns. Over and over we saw mothers with their new born coming in and out of the water. The blow spouts were the tell tail warning that a whale was going to surface, but for how long and to what extent was always the question. Many times they would dip back into the water without making a display of their fluke (tail). One very unusual event happened early on, a whale laid his/her tail flat on the surface of the water and then hung down into the depths. For at least 15 minutes we observed this behavior. The professional crew kept the boat a safe distance way as we watched this cool event. Below is a picture of the "hanging fluke" and a type fluke shot.
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We cruised the Pearl Islands for about three hours capturing hundreds of various whale images. In the distant we saw four separate whales breach, coming staight out of the water and crashing down with a huge splash. Unfortunately, they were too far away for a photograph. The whales must have known it was lunch time since we didn't see any around the noon hour, so we headed into Isle Contadora for lunch. Transfering from our boat to the island water taxi I slipped and almost hit the water. Kryss grabbed me and I held onto the cameras. No problems. A refreshing lunch, with two bottles of water and a beer...ready to go again. On the island I spotted these flowers, don't know what they're called but I like the color. We also had time for a family shot!
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Reboarding our boat was uneventful and we headed back to the ocean for a quick snorkle/swim. Then back to the business of whale watching in Panama. As we were searching the horizon for whales, one came right under our boat and rolled onto his/her side to give us a look. The white underbelly and blue rippled waters gave a very surreal look to the photograph. Can you spot the eye? As we were leaving the Pearl's and heading back to Panama City another whale came right along side our boat and as if waving good bye stuck out his/her dorsal fin. Again, another beautiful turquoise color in the water.
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The ride back to Panama City looked like it might be a wet one. The skies started turning gray, fog and mist could be seen in the distance and the captain suggested that I might want to cover up my cameras. I heeded his advise and as soon as I did another whale popped up. I decided to risk a little rain; put on my rain shell to cover my camera if the rain started, and got out one camera. I'm glad I did, one last mammal to send us home. A small group of dolphins started playing in our wake, entertaining everyone with their jumps and fast moves.
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This was one fantastic trip. If you come to Panama and want to go whale watching, just remember whale watching panama and ask for Anne. I know we will.

PS. It never rained...yeah!

Posted by rhislop 13:08 Archived in Panama Tagged islands panama dolphins dolphin whale watching anne pearl whale_watching_panama isla_contadora Comments (0)

Adios....Drake Bay

Hola Ylang Ylang

sunny 85 °F

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Today is tough, John and Jean left this morning we are leaving in about an hour, so sad to go. This is one of the most beautiful spots we have ever visited. The resort is in the perfect spot for visiting the Drake Bay area. We've made new friends, shared great stories, hiked , an seen wildlife that was completely new to us.

On the 27th, travelling alone, no John, Jean or Kyrss, I went to Corcovado National Park with a small group of other travellers. We hiked in the park to the Sirena Ranger Station stopping along to way to see howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, macaws and tapir in the natural habitat. A lot of adventurous backpackers stay overnight at the Ranger Station in open air dorms or tents. Too many mosquitos, spiders, and other crawlers for my interest. The boat ride to and from the park was an hour and half. Both directions we were visited by spotted dolphins, but no whales. Kryss was on a hammock tour and John and Jean hiked to nearby waterfalls.

The 28th was a hammock tour day. Catching a few rays, early packing, making some internet reservations and making the decision to continue this trip until March 2nd. We're going to Panama on Feb 7th, but more on that later.

We will arrive at Ylang Ylang late this afternoon, so until then...via con Dios su amigos!

Posted by rhislop 08:24 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged costa rica bay dolphins montezuma spotted tapir drake Comments (0)

Meeting our neighbors

It´s a small world

sunny 86 °F

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When you travel away from home you should always expect to run into someone you know, lives close to you, or might be related to your third cousin. Our Drake Bay cabin has three rooms in it. We (John, Jean, Bob, Kyrss) have rooms 20 and 22. For our first night 21 was empty. Yesterday, folks from Paonia, CO, owners of the Blackbridge Winery, moved in. Paonia is 80 miles from Fruita. Last night at dinner we met some more Coloradoans, a couple from Boulder and the wife graduated from good old BHS class of '71. Today we met a Montana couple who knows my sister and her son Ryan. I wonder who we will meet next?

The Drake Bay Resort serves meals family style, so when you sit down to eat you really get to know most of the people staying at the resort. Besides us gringos, there are Swedes and French, and a few other Americans from Georgia and Florida.

Today's trip to Cano Island and National Park was very enjoyable. It was about an hour ride in a flat bottomed 20 foot boat with everyone on the lookout for dolphins and whales. A school of spotted dolphins entertained us for about 10 minutes but the whales never appeared. Snorkelling around Cano was easy and the fish were plentiful, including two small sand sharks, an octopus, and blue star fish. On the island we had lunch with a third cousin of T Rex. He must have been quite the lizard...he was followed around by seven females of his species.

All is good....

Posted by rhislop 14:33 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged ocean island costa rica bay dolphins drake cano Comments (1)

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