We had a long weekend this weekend and and so me, Susan, Joana, Stacey, Erin, Cori, and April went to the Samana peninsula to go to whale watching! Friday it was rainy, but luckily it was nice on Saturday, which was when our scheduled tour was. We wandered around Samana Bay for a while looking for any sign of whales and then when some were spotted, we had to wait about 45 minutes before we could go to the whale watching area. Whale watching is highly regulated and only one large boat and two small boats are allowed in the area of the whales.
When we finally were able to see them, they were coming to surface spouting and then diving back under. At first they were in pretty shallow water, but then we followed them in to deeper water and they started diving deep and showing their tale. We watched the same two whales for about an hour. They were gorgeous.
It was fascinating to me how predictable the whales were. They were averaging being under water for six to nine minutes before surfacing again. Kim, our guide was also able to predict what side of the boat they'd be on. She would say "The whales have been down for about seven minutes. Organize yourselves for a viewing at 3 o'clock" and then everyone would frantically rush to that side of the boat. I though it was hillarious how much peolple scurried around on this wobbley boat to get a good view. It was amazing that the boat didn't flip!
I was on the top level of the boat and everyone was as happy as could be. The bottom level, however, had a different crowd. The people on the bottom were throwing up and lying around all over the place. Among these people were my friends Joana, Susan, and Erin. Susan said once that when Kim said the whales had been down for 3 minutes, she had just enough time to run to the bathroom and throw up and get back to still see the whales! The crew was all over making sure people had bags to vomit in and they were also moving things all around to make sure that no ones stuff got covered with vomit. It was amazing how clean the boat remained given how many people were throwing up. Stacey, April, and I were very happy that we felt fine.
While we were searching for the whales, they put on a tape of humpback whale songs, and this may have triggered the entire vomiting fiasco. The humpback whale songs sounded exactly like a person vomiting and the first person to vomit did so during the recording.
Now whenever I hear humpback whale songs on relaxation cds, I'll only be able to picture the infirmary that was the Victora II Whale watching boat. Also, everytime I hear some one say the time or use a clock as a directional reference, I'll picture everyone frantically rushing to one side of the boat to get a good view of the gorgeous hump back whales.
I wasn't able to get a picture of the whales' tales, but Cori was, so when I get the pic from her, I'll post it up here.