Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guide Report: Feb. 17-21


Week of 17th to 21st of Feb.

Weather: High's mid 50's to lower 70's

               Lows mid 30's to mid 40's

Our first trip with this group was on the 18th of Feb and it was a great day for observations. There seemed to be a high count of males in the observation area (4 miles in length for viewing out of the 20 miles that make up the Laguna). The males were very interested in the females. Two males will pursue one female all over the laguna until it is time to mate. It seemed that most of the mothers and calves were not present that whole day. On occasion a set of a mother and calve pairs would glide closely by our panga. However, they did not want to play that day. On the 19th, we had success with friendlies!! We had found our dear friend "Valentine" and the mother "Valentina" :) We played all morning with them. You could see the excitement on Valentine's face when he approached the boat with great anticipation. He began spy hopping immediately to see which panga he would go to visit first! With the rules and regulations at the Laguna San Ignacio you can only have two panga per set of friendlies. This helps keep down the overwhelming presence of boats while viewing these gentle giants. Valentine could barely hold back the feeling of excitement. He would cruise right up to the boat then return to Valentina as the he would roll over the fluke (tail) and back of his mother. One observation that I noted right away was that Valentina had Valentine in the "kiddie pool" (what I call it) a few days prior to this day on the 19th. The "kiddie pool" is the area on the southwest side of the laguna which is behind a sand bar with lighter current for new born's to take swimming lessons with their mothers. Then, when the calves are ready, the mothers will bring them out to stronger current and will give them a ride on their backs when they tire out. However, this day on the 19th Valentine was swimming quite well next to his mother out towards the mouth of the laguna! Ah, they grow up so quick :)

Due to low tides in the afternoons we would spend some time walking and exploring the bare laguna floor. In these low tidal hikes we would find scallops, clams, oysters, hermit crabs and even an occasional octopus!! Along with various other sea stars and plant life. We had high winds blowing in about a steady 15 to 18 mph with gusts up to mid 20's. We are very flexible about waiting out some of the stronger winds to help create a more enjoyable viewing experience. When tides are high, we love exploring through the mangroves in search for tricolor herons, marble godwits, white ibis, spotted sandpipers and SOOO many other beautiful birds by panga. Once again, a trip that I will always remember!!
All the best,

Christopher Match

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