February 18 - We arrived on Salt Cay. I was excited to finally get on the island. Nervous as hell but happy. When you get to a new place you never know what to expect. I mean, you have ideas and dreams of what it will be like, and you hope and dream it will be amazing, but you just don't know, until you touch down and see the ground. SO it gets me real nervous for my friends who travel with us. Love the hell out of the people who travel with us and I want them to have an amazing time. So until I see where we will be spending the week, and until we see the animal we are hoping to encounter. I am an emotional mess.
We landed and the first thing I noticed was this tiny little airport. It was as small as the airport off Cat Island, Bahamas. And, as my good friend Daniel Botehlo once told me, “the smaller the airplane, the smaller the airport…the best diving!” So based off of this, I was thinking we are in store for some epic shit! At least I hope we are.
We drove through town and Salt Cay lives up to its name. It is filled with salt ponds. This was once an economic salt producing powerhouse, that dates back all the way to the 1800’s. Salt Cay was once the economic hub for the salt industry, distributing all throughout the Caribbean and the americas. All that remains of that industry, are the historical buildings and salt ponds, which pepper the island. And donkeys! There are donkeys all over the island. They used the donkeys to carry the salt to the long boats that would come in and pick up the salt. Now they are left alone to freely roam the island and be cute donkeys…enjoying the life their ancestors obviously did not have, as beasts of burden.
We got to our Villa, and were blown away with not only the house, but the view of the ocean, sunsets and sunrises here are just the best. This is not going to suck hanging out here for the next few weeks. So, so far, so good. Lodgings are a check! Humpback whales…we will see? Tomorrow is our first day in the water.
February 19 - Our first day on the water. We went out looking for whales. Sadly the whales are late this year, which is unusual for this time of year. Normally by now, there are a lot of female whales with newborn calves hanging around. However this year, the mothers and babies are late? Most of the whales that are here now are horny young males, all seeking out females to mate with. So it was difficult getting close to them. We could see breaching whales and we would approach them, but when we did, the whales would run (or swim away, if you want to get sciency on me.)
SO despite our efforts we did not get any encounters, other than breaching whales in the distance. My stress level is through the roof right now.
February 20 - We went today and hit the freaking jackpot! There were a lot of whales today. It was still horny male teenagers and they were still kind of skittish, but they were a lot of them around and close together, which made jumping in for encounters really good. Even though, many of the encounters were brief, it was still great having the opportunity to get in and see some whales. We saw a mating pair, (from the boat) which was great. We also were able to jump in and see a bunch of whales courting and flirting. It was a great day. We left the water that day, really excited and hopeful for the week. All of us thankful for this great start to our week.
Have to note that, the morning was beautiful, but the afternoon was tough, wind and rain came in and made the ride home extremely crappy. I was hoping it was just a passing storm and nothing that was going to stick around. Sadly it did and we were not able to get out the following day.