Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On A Mission
By Michael

This guy (or gal?) perked up to greet his long-lost buddies.
Shortly before we left La Paz, we fulfilled a final obligation: we repatriated some hermit crabs the Wondertime crew took from the beach at Bahia Gato a few months ago. Bahia Gato is about 90 nautical miles north of La Paz, up into the Sea of Cortez. It was a good shakedown of the boat changes and fixes we completed during our three-month La Paz stay.

It was only a six-day trip, just there and back really, but we had a great time and the voyage was made even more special for two reasons.

First, the girls spent more than 5% of the time on deck. Usually, they hunker down below, likely suffering a bit of mal de mer. But this time, they were topsides with us at least half the time, and enjoying themselves.

The other reason this trip was memorable: blue whale sightings! They really are blue, a pale shimmering silver blue, unmistakable from the humpback whales and sperm whales we've seen. And they are unmistakably larger than other whales we've seen. For each of the 10 sightings, we saw only the back of the whale, no breaching or fancy fluke raising before a dive. But these backs are so broad and large it is startling. Smooth and glistening in sunlight. Blue whales are not just the largest animals on the planet, they are the largest animals known to ever exist. Like all the other whales, we never saw them before first hearing them, a loud whoosh from their blow hole. No, we don't have any pictures of them...but following are the other pics from our mission.


Captive life was not as grand. Note the collection of hermit crabs just visible
in the crevice where the sand meets the rock.

Windy and the girls helping guide the long-journeying crabs back to their cousins.
Eleanor (left) and Frances (right) scrambling on the smooth red sandstone
at Bahia Gato.
We hiked up to get a better view of our boat at anchor here at
Isla San Francisco, a waypoint on our trip to Bahia Gato.

Windy holding the dinghy off sharp rocks while the girls mess about in the tidepools.
The shoreline of Baja is interesting, everywhere. See the little speck on far right, center?
That is Frances's hat and shoulders, busy moving sea snails around in the tidepools. That's
our dinghy up on the beach beyond her.
Frances watches Eleanor zip by at 15 knots, me towing her on
the boogie board behind the dinghy.


  1. So cool about the Blue Whales! We heard they were coming back but never saw them ourselves. Also cool you kept the hermits alive long enough to repatriate. We had trouble with that:(

  2. Oh so glad you returned the hermit crabs! I read the post from Wondertime when they said they had given them to you. Beautiful pictures! Love the color of that water.


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