Thursday, April 9, 2009

Whale Watching Up Close!

Dennis Oliphant is one of the founders of our original SUP paddling group in Bend, Oregon (he's 4th from the right and Mike McColms is the guy in the white tank top on our blog header photo). Dennis sent us these photos and story about SUP stand up paddling in Mexico:

While in San Jose we spent a few days going out and paddling with the whales. A cow and calf had been out most mornings so I paddled out with Mike and Judy McColms to hung out with the pair as the past mornings we seemed to observe without much disturbance.

They were swimming around with us for about 30 minutes when the mom suddenly swam toward me and when just a few feet away she turned and dove. With her tail straight up in the air, she shook it twice (lobtailed) and slapped it just few feet from me. Boom!

The water shot into the air and I bounced around on the board and was totally immersed in water!! Mike got a couple of photos but missed most as he had sat his camera down on his board, still you can see the splash and how close the whitewater ring was to me and my board! I was just a few feet from the epicenter.

It was one of the most exciting experiences EVER! Her tail was about 10 feet across and I was looking right at it maybe 15 feet away. The strange photo with the paddle was when I was
covered/underwater. I tried to take the photo just as she lobtailed but theshutter was slow and I was just hanging on when the photo was taken. You can see the splash and turbulence in the underwater photo. A once in a life time experience!

See you on the water!
Best Regards,
Dennis Oliphant

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