Whale Sharks – August 11th

I wake early to ensure I am up in time for the weather report on the Sonrisa HAM radio net, that mean 6.45 am. Some weather could be coming, I barely hear the net but catch the weather for BLA.It sounds OK, NNE at 12-14 knots but yesterday they gave a possible 18-22 so am still cautious. I am anchored in the wrong spot for 22 knots from the NNE.

I row over to Kens and have a coffee with him, he missed the net so was glad for the weather information. Ken had issues yesterday with his water maker and thinks both his engine raw water intake and his thru hull for the water may be blocked by some grassy like debris that was floating everywhere yesterday due to the new moon and high tide. I go back to Entre Nous and get my snorkel gear, dive under his boat and check his thru hulls, both are clear. I suggested I clean his prop whilst I am in the water, he gladly accepts ( no one refuses a free prop clean ). H sets up his solar shower on the deck so I can rinse off the salt water. We have another coffee. I spot a couple of tourist panga’s out looking for whale sharks and take a closer look with Kens monocular ( a pair of binoculars cut in half ). Ken is like me and sees mainly out of one eye !!.  The tourists have found the whale sharks. We chuck the snorkel gear in the dingy and Ken grabs his camara, off we go to the other side of the bay.

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AWESOME………AWESOME……………we soon spot 5-6 huge whale sharks feeding ( on Plankton), they are 25 feet long and about 5 feet across at the head. We slip alongside on and follow its trail side by side. Then Ken drops over the side to swim with them, he is trying to get close to one off the bow of the dingy but its traveling too fast. Unbeknown to him another is coming up towards us from the stern, it gets closer and I think to myself…Ken is going to shit his pants when if he turns around, with perfect timing he turns around to get back to the dingy and sees the whale shark. Thru his snorkel I can hear him saying…..” Holy shit” as the monster passes within feet of him. It was spectacular, something that big beside him in the water. Ken gets out of the water and its my go. We motor over to one of the tourist panga’s who are watching another Whale shark and I slip over the side, with the fins I am able to keep pace with the Whale Shark as it feeds, I am no more than 4 feet away, snorkeling alongside this colossal being.  Just amazing……will never be forgotten. The whales are on the move and feeding, so we devise a solution to keeping, not only up with them but also alongside the heads. Ken drops a line out of the dingy and ties it to the stern. I hang on the 12 foot line and he tows me alongside the whales. Brilliant, awesome, amazing, no need for the fins so I ditch then and do some motorised snorkeling.

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Back to Drifter and I drop Ken off, say goodbye as I am moving to to a better anchorage for the potential weather and Ken is off to the village later in the day for his supplies and internet. I motor round the motor and slip into the Puerto Don Juan anchorage, only to find my autopilot wont disengage. Shit………I try switching it off and on to no avail. It will engage but not disengage. Right we are going to have to steer and and anchor but using the autopilot, this should be novel.  I take it slow, make adjustments using the autopilot find my spot and drop the anchor. Safe and sound. I dive down below and start checking, nothing is jamming the steering cables but it still wont disengage. I take the power down and disconnect cables. That does the trick, the damn thing must have had a brain fart. Its working again.  Point to note, the GARMIN GHP12 and GHC10 are troublesome, too many software glitches. Would’nt recommend to anyone.  I look at the clock and it’s 11.30 am, a busy morning so far. I am putting the shade covers up when I notice another boat coming into the anchorage………it’s Derrick and Trisha on Interabang. Have’nt seen them since Santa Rosalia. I give them time to anchor and tidy up and then go over to see them, immediately they say there off to get clams so they jump into my dingy. we get to the beach and start collecting clams, only then to be told by Trisha that they have to be of a particular kind, not the ridgy ones but the ones that are mottled in color and smooth. Derrick and I look at each other and from his look it means we have to obey the mighty one. I try and slip a few ridgy ones into the bucket but Trisha spots these at 50 paces and discards them. As she is going to cook up a treat for us we don’t complain. I have to say at this point, when Derrick goes spear fishing, which is often. Trisha places her order……I want one of these, two of these and if you can get one of these it would be extra nice.  Derrick normally returns with the order. Me, I shoot and miss most fish I aim at. Meanwhile, the vastly experienced Derrick is hunting down his pray to order.

Back to Entre Nous for a bit of a tidy up. Watch a episode of Game of Thrones, well actually two. Have a snack for a late lunch and then at 4.00 rejoin Interabang for a game of Baha rummy. This lasts until just after sun down and I return to Entre Nous, slip into the hammock which is slung up on the foredeck and read a few chapters of Reginald Hill.

Decide to have bacon and eggs for dinner, as Trisha needs some bacon for tomorrows Clam feast, so defrost a pack from the freezer, watch a stupid film and decide it has been an action packed day and retire to bed at 10.00. Have trouble sleeping, am wondering whether Gatorade has caffiene in it. Have made up a 2 litre mix to replenish sugars and salts and drank most of it during the day. Need to check. Calm night, a little wind blowing thru the hatch so the fans are running all night. The stern anchor light is attracting the fish and the pelicans have surrounded the boat, one is sat on the dingy and I can hear a bird  walking the decks. Turn the speed of the overhead fan up to drown out the noise and it’s sleep time.

Wonder what tomorrow will bring…….?

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