Mostly because these are the photos I have done - to date - I've decided to outline a fun day Clint and I had post-wedding in PV: whale watching!
While I've been heading down to Vallarta since I was 11, I've never gone officially whale watching down there. I've only been twice in my life, actually - once in Boston when I was 16 and then last May when Clint and I were on the Oregon Coast.
Each winter there are approximately 300 humpback whales which hang around in Banderas Bay while stopping off on their journey to mate and reproduce. According to some whale watching information I found, these whales are "Californian." Must mean they say "duuuuude" a lot.
We DID see several humpbacks on our 4-hour tour, and although none of them decided to breach, we got the pleasure of seeing that at breakfast one morning, so I consider it a wash :)
Not only did we get fed breakfast, lunch, and all the Coronas and margaritas we could guzzle; the crew was extremely passionate about whales as well as knowledgeable - we found them immediately after we got into deep water and kept seeing them.
The crew also took us closer to a couple of sea turtles resting. Bobbing on the surface of the water like coconuts, it's difficult to tell if they are, indeed, turtles until you're extremely close. They showed off their shells and flippers for us quite nicely.
Later, we tooled across the bay to Los Arcos to see the Blue-Footed Boobies, gulls and pelicans. The water was crystal clear that day - we could see all the way to the bottom just from the boat! Too bad those in the wedding group who went snorkeling didn't have such a great experience :) You know, so they'd have been able to better see killer fish coming out of the depths...
We even ran into a mother humpback and her calf extremely close into shore near Los Arcos - evidently they were recuperating from each getting hit by a boat the week before. We weren't told if it was a whaling boat or not, but either way, both seemed healthy and were taking advantage of the peaceful, warm waters to rest up and do a little feeding.
On our way back to the marina, we saw a couple more whales as a bonus, along with some mating mantarays! Of course, we couldn't really see those - even though they, too, were very close to the boat - because their black bodies made it hard to discern body parts from waves. Still a very cool day!