Thursday, December 8, 2011

Puerto Vallarta

The above photo was taken on our one day in the big city of Puerto Vallarta. The rest of our holiday was spent in Bucerias, lounging on the beach or diving. We tried to swim, honest we did! But as soon as we entered the water and started swimming I began feeling the oh-so-familiar stings across my breasts and belly. I yelled over to Matt to see if he felt them too and he did, so out we got. I had decided to bring my laptop with me this time so was able to research Banderas Bay and was very disappointed to discover the jellyfish are common visitors. It's the same sad story about too many hotels releasing waste and the inability of the bay to flush itself. Of course the high fecal bacteria count was more of a deterrent to getting back in the water than the jellyfish themselves.

We decided to go diving somewhere outside the bay instead and managed to meet a fisherman that was willing to take us out on his panga. On the first day we went to the Marietas Islands and heard a humpback whale singing so clearly that we kept looking over our shoulders while under water. But it was the second day that knocked our socks off. The same fisherman took us to an underwater sea mount that attracked tons of fish - including Dorado (Mahi Mahi)! There was a slight current aound it but the amount of life was fantastic. We saw a school of Manta Rays swim by (see video below - OK, it looked better in person) and heard whales again.

On the way in 7 Bottlenose dolphins swam in the bow wake, turning sideways to look at us staring down at them from above. Once they slipped away our Captain drew our attention to the tiny footprint left by a baby humpback whale. Soon enough we saw the baby swimming close by the side of his mother, both whales swimming slowly and easily with the baby breathing twice as often as the adult.

I still got stung by jellyfish, but only on my face and hands as my wetsuit protected the rest of my body. But there was no doubt that it was worth it for the spectacle we were allowed to witness here.

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