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Old 16-03-2015, 12:17   #1
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Whale incident in Cabo

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Anyone who has been to Cabo San Lucus knows that the tourist boats rarely (never) follow the 100 yard rule when whale watching.
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Old 16-03-2015, 13:33   #2
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

I am very sorry someone had to die, but this is inevitable as people crowd around whales wherever they go. It is ridiculous up in the PNW. I treat them as celebrities- know where they are and don't get in their way. Mind your own business. Stay away from wild animals bigger and stronger than your boat.
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Old 16-03-2015, 13:55   #3
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

Doesn't really say what she died from. Drowning? Did the whale hit her with some kind of blunt force trauma?

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Old 16-03-2015, 14:15   #4
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

That tourist was from my area, so it is big news around here..

The rumor is.. The RIB was moving at a very fast pace. The driver swerved but still hit the whale and she was thrown clear of the boat She recieved a head injury either by hitting the boat, or the whale itself.

A delay in medical care is also a contributing factor. There was significant time between the accident and she was in the hands of Emergency medical care.

Its very sad...
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Old 16-03-2015, 14:51   #5
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I am very sorry someone had to die, but this is inevitable as people crowd around whales wherever they go. It is ridiculous up in the PNW. I treat them as celebrities- know where they are and don't get in their way. Mind your own business. Stay away from wild animals bigger and stronger than your boat.
One foggy (!) night in Caleta Partida (Baja California Sur), in our early cruising, we heard whales blowing. Got into the dinghy and paddled towards the sounds.
We were expecting to see the phosphorescence from their passing.

As we got closer to the sound of their breathing, we began to feel scared of approaching such large creatures in the dark, and paddled back to the boat.

Ann
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Old 16-03-2015, 18:18   #6
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
That tourist was from my area, so it is big news around here..

The rumor is.. The RIB was moving at a very fast pace. The driver swerved but still hit the whale and she was thrown clear of the boat She recieved a head injury either by hitting the boat, or the whale itself.

A delay in medical care is also a contributing factor. There was significant time between the accident and she was in the hands of Emergency medical care.

Its very sad...
Another trick the the boat operators like to do is when they pull a para-sailer, they think it's cool to whip them over top of a sailboat mast. They think they are giving the tourist special treatment. I've had it happen once in 2013 when I entered that hole for fuel.
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Old 20-04-2015, 13:26   #7
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
One foggy (!) night in Caleta Partida (Baja California Sur), in our early cruising, we heard whales blowing. Got into the dinghy and paddled towards the sounds.
We were expecting to see the phosphorescence from their passing.

As we got closer to the sound of their breathing, we began to feel scared of approaching such large creatures in the dark, and paddled back to the boat.

Ann
I'm afraid to approach them in the day.

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Old 20-04-2015, 15:54   #8
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

We've had a number of close encounters with whales, and the chap from the PNW is right, sometimes they come to you and they're bigger and faster, so can be hard to avoid.

Once got "trapped" by a mother and calf and a reef. Creepy.

FWIW, we make sure both depth sounders are on, because they may hear that, when they may be unaware of the boat. We also have stopped, and let a calf have a really good look at us, while mother held station nearby.

I am sad for the death of the Canadian woman, what bad luck!

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Old 20-04-2015, 17:12   #9
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

The unnecessary loss of human life is tragic. Especially if it is preventable. There, however, is an unfortunate mentality among many Americans, Canadians and Europeans to trivialize nature. This is well represented in such reprehensible fiascos' as Seaworld, Busch Gardens, Parrot Jungle, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Serpent World, and others. These animals are unfortunate creatures who have been captured from their native habitats and forced to live and perform in a circus atmosphere for the entertainment of the mind numbed sheeple on holiday. The latest trend, of which this appears to be an example, is to take tourists from their sterile motel rooms or away from their poolside loungers on an "environmental adventure" which is nothing short of moving the amusement park from land into their native habitat. There is a term in Literature that is called "Pathetic Fallacy" which is attributing human traits and emotions to creatures in the natural world. And, this is the feeling they hope to create for their own monetary profit despite it being false and untrue. "Oh, look at how cute he is!". . . "It looks like she's crying!". . . Honey . . . I think he wants something to eat . . . give him some popcorn, honey . . . give him some popcorn" and so the conversation goes ad nauseum. So, we have unfortunately lost an innocent person in the pursuit of absurdity and economic gain. But, an equal tragedy is that our diminishing wildlife continues to be assaulted for the entertainment of the masses. As a person who has been an ardent outdoorsman for most of my life and who has a true respect for Nature and the natural world, let's hope these tragic incidents do not occur again and that Nature is left in peace from this pathetic trivialization of our natural world.
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Old 20-04-2015, 17:32   #10
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

1983 - I remember one fantastic morning kayaking in Magdalena Bay on the Baja. My wife and I were leading a kayak group on a two week trip to watch whales. Most of the whale watching was from shore as it was mainly females with new calves. This was a perfectly flat calm day, lots of whales, and great fishing. I remember saying to myself... "What a way to make a living!"
Before I tell you what happened next - let me say we always had rules when going out on the Bay with whales present. You always go with at least one other boat and you always stay in the shallows to avoid the sometimes aggressive female Gray Whales.
One client decided to go for a paddle so in another boat (K-2) I was off. Whales blowing and calves cavorting as far as you could see. The warm sun of early March was beating down. "What a way to make a living!"
The other person was drifting along at the edge of the channel and shallows when a small calf approached his kayak and actually started nudging the boat. Joe was thrilled and got a great series of photos.
Just as I said "What a way to make a living!" I looked over to see Joe airborne still sitting in the seat of the kayak with the coaming attached above the powerful spy-hopping / ramming adult mother whale. She struck the bottom of that kayak directly under Joe with incredible force launching both paddler and kayak into the air.
Now we always did safety procedures about what to do in the event of a boat rolling over. You always maintained contact with your kayak to take advantage of the boats flotation system. Whenever on the water PFD's were always required.
Back to Joe and the mama whale... Joe calls (yells) to me as he holds on to the broken kayak "what do I do?" I shout back - "get away from the kayak" and off Joe swam. Suddenly the whale returned and began lob-tailing the kayak with her flukes. There was nothing to see but white water, yellow kayak parts, and a whale's tail as I sped the 100 yards toward the last place I saw Joe.
When I got there, I found Joe holding some of kayak parts, still sitting in the seat and coaming that broke out of the boat. He had a big grin on his face - I think mainly from being happy to be alive. I still don't know what told me to make the instant decision to have Joe swim away from the boat..? Without doubt thank God, it was the correct one.
After getting Joe into my boat we headed back to camp. His first question was how are we going to paddle the 65 miles back to San Carlos? Duct tape I answered. My wife's first comment back at camp after witnessing this, "What a way to make a living!" After 10 years guiding trips from Baja to Alaska (with no injuries) that fall we packed it up and started new careers.

Moral of the story -Keep your distance, but oh what a way to make a living!!!
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Old 21-04-2015, 09:28   #11
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

Chenega,
The issue is not the vehicle--kayak or motorized vessel . . . it is the act. Nature should not be conceived as another form of human entertainment where we purposefully intrude/disturb wild creatures in a natural environment for our personal enjoyment. Disturbing a newly born calf and its mother on a "nature tour" is a good example. This, however, is not the same as those who have intervened in the lives of wild animals for animal conservation to preserve a species--which is always the result of undue human pressure on the animals and their habitat. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 21-04-2015, 09:58   #12
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

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The unnecessary loss of human life is tragic. Especially if it is preventable. There, however, is an unfortunate mentality among many Americans, Canadians and Europeans to trivialize nature. This is well represented in such reprehensible fiascos' as Seaworld, Busch Gardens, Parrot Jungle, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Serpent World, and others. These animals are unfortunate creatures who have been captured from their native habitats and forced to live and perform in a circus atmosphere for the entertainment of the mind numbed sheeple on holiday.
There is only one animal show at Animal Kingdom and those are birds. It is hardly a circus like atmosphere for the birds. If those birds were treated poorly they would simply leave since they are allowed to freely fly.

Disney spends a fortune tending the animals at Animal Kingdom and while Disney does not like to call it a zoo, it is a zoo with amusement rides. Animal Kingdom is one of the very few accredited zoos in US were less than 10% of over 2,000 zoos accredited. Animal Kingdom is involved in conservation activities and shares the same accreditation status with the NC state zoo which is really nice facility. The NC zoo, which is an amazing place, can't hold a candle to Animal Kingdom. The NC zoo does not have Disney's money and they do a great job with what they have but Animal Kingdom is something else and it goes beyond just money. To imply that Animal Kingdom is a circus or a "reprehensible fiascos'" is flat out wrong.

Later,
Dan
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Old 21-04-2015, 10:07   #13
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

Had a few encounters with whales. Twice they chose to swim with us. Once was crossing from Cabo to Mazatlan. It was night time and the big boys/girls started swimming right along side us. They were so close their breath was fishy smelling each time they exhaled. There were 2 of them, possibly 3. We tried the stereo loud, starting the engine etc... nothing worked. Eventually they just left but it was like 45 minutes before they did.
Another time was in the Straight of Juan De Fuca, a big Killer whale was headed right toward us from the bow, I changed course, but so did he. Eventually he passed us right beside the boat, I could have touched him with a boat hook. As he passed he rolled to one side and looked right at me with that one eye.... Kinda felt like he was saying.. "now who's the boss?"
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Old 21-04-2015, 10:30   #14
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Whale incident in Cabo

Last year, off Point Vincente, during an unusual bloom of krill, there were a number of blue whales feeding. We went looking. We saw the whale watching boats leave the area as we approached so we figured we missed our chance. Still we hove to and waited a while.

After 20 minutes a blue whale at least 100ft long surfaced right next to our boat. It was not more than 30 ft from the cockpit. I could look down into the blow hole which seemed to be as big as a basketball hoop. We stayed hove to with the diesel idling and the whale stayed near us for 45 minutes or more.

Every few minutes it would surface and breath. It did that half dozen times then sounded raising its flukes which were as broad as our LOA, very impressive close up. Then after about 20 minutes it would surface near us again and repeat the cycle.

Clearly, it could have done us harm by intent or mistake but it did not. It was a wonderful experience for us.


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Old 21-04-2015, 10:38   #15
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Re: Whale incident in Cabo

From my friend's trip to Mexico:

Next time, I would not go with black bottom paint. We had a 60 foot whale swim up within 4 feet the other day just checking us out. I think it thought we were looking pretty cute. I don't want to look like a humpback worthy of mounting, so maybe red would be a better choice.
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