Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday August 23, 2016 Whales

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Tuesday August 23, 2016
After a quick breakfast at the hotel we went outside to gather to catch our bus.  Someone hollered and we looked out to the Pacific to see two humpbacks breaching for our distant viewing pleasure.  Then as we went to the street someone pointed out an iguana area where there were a total of 10 iguanas we could see near the bridge.
After an hour's ride to Puerto Lopez and a fair wait at the dock we finally boarded a boat.  I found it extremely off that they split up our group in two on two boats, then proceeded to add starngers to each boat...  I assume our group of 32 was too big for just one boat.
One the way out they make the obligatory stop to see the blue-footed boobies.  Someone asked where to look, and they were told to look above the white poop streaks...
Then we bounced our way out to try to find a pod of humpback whales but this trip was nowhere near as good as our trip in August 2014 (you can find those photos at http://souvenircuenca.blogspot.com/2014/08/wednesday-august-27-2014-whale-watching.html.)  The boat did find a couple of whales but I was initially on the wrong side and couldn't shoot through bodies on a rolling boat so I missed a couple of initial breaches.   Later I was able to get up top and got one series of decent shots.  Overall I think we saw about 6 decent breaches while the other boat only reported seeing two, so I guess I shouldn't complain.
Back on shore we went for lunch again where the only options were beef, chicken or vegetarian.  Everybody wants a good fish dinner but the organizers claim that people has trouble with fish meals on a previous excursion so they were avoiding fish meals.  We have to get those on our own, like probably tonight.
Back on the beach it was a treat to watch the fishing boats attracting the pelicans and frigate birds with small fish thrown their way.  The fishermen seemed to make a big show of it just for our benefit.
Again, I apologize for the poor quality of the photos which are batch edited for speed purposes because the laptop and the internet connection restricts my abilities greatly.  I will have to re-do all the photos from this trip when I get back.  Thank you for your patience.
I hope you enjoy the photos.  That was the day's excitement,   Cheers, Al 
NOTE that you may click on any photo for an ENLARGED VIEW.

Whales breaching within view of our hotel.

This is at full-out zoom capabilities

A surprising start to our day

The egret is oblivious to it all

Cool reflection on take-off

Another decent reflection shot

And now, another reflection...

Egret close-up with yellow feet

Long tails on these iguanas

They really have a lot of colour pigment in their skin

This double-chin needs a tuck...

Puerto Lopez beach and boats

Frigate birds everywhere

Cristina's first pose of the day

Second pose on the dock

Blue-footed boobies and their guana (poop)

Speeding out to the whales

First breach I caught late

And the big splash for our benefit

Another big breach

And another breach

The start of a series for one breach




Just showing off a fin

Back to the beach and the frigate birds

Gooney landing of a pelican

But they are so graceful just soaring effortlessly

Competing for sky space with the frigate birds

A perfect landing

Love the huge wingspan

Pose #3

Buzzards on the beach too

They can glide inches off the water

Gorgeous in flight

One caught some food thrown by the fisheman

Jockeying for position to get a free feed

Obviously this is a daily ritual

Food is thrown up the the frigate birds as well.  Top left has a catch.

I just love their silhouettes

Quite the sight...