The original name of the Twitter Fail Whale designed by artist YiYing Lu was Lifting a Dreamer. I find that name very appropriate after this past weekend spent with my Twitter friends @brainmaker (aka @emerald150) and @charleegee.
A few years ago, I wrote a blog post titled Twitter is magical. This past weekend was magical because of Twitter!
A few weeks ago, I received a DM (private direct message on Twitter) from my friend Suzanna (who I met thanks to Twitter) that said “Crazy short notice, but C & I fly plane to Baja March 1, & have 2 seats available. Thought of you and your C. 4 days, amazing trip. Wanna go?”
My response was “Seriously?”.
My gut response was “Hell yeah!” But my practical side knew I needed to get more info. (Typos happen on Twitter)
It all happened so fast, within 24 hours I had exchanged several emails with Suzanna and Charley, scanned a copy of our passports, arranged for a dog sitter, and scheduled the time off work. I learned we were going to have the opportunity to hug a whale!
The whole trip was very exciting. We were scheduled to depart on Thursday, March 1st at 8am. Unfortunately, the night before a big storm came in and we were forced to postpone (almost cancel) the trip for a day. Celia and I scrambled to reschedule meetings, notify work, etc and were able to make it happen. Friday, we all arrived at Gnoss airport in Novato (a teeny tiny airport I did not even know existed in Marin County), we pulled our bags out of our car and put them in the small plane, parked our car in the hanger, climbed in the plane, a 1968 Beechcraft Bonanza (which kind of reminded me of flying in a 1968 VW Beetle with wings) and took off.
Two and half to three hours later we landed in Mexicali, a VERY windy landing, but expert pilot @CharleeGee did an awesome job! I felt totally safe in Charley’s flying hands.
We happily visited the toilet, filed all the required paperwork, visas, etc. and then got back in the plane to head to Hotel Serenidad in Mulege.
Hotel Serenidad has airplane parking! How cool is that?!
Day 2: the day we were supposed to go visit the whales got postponed due to HIGH winds. So we headed to the town of Mulege to check out the scene where we happened upon the most gorgeous bougainvillea plant EVER! It just happened to match my top.
Day 3: While drinking Margaritas on night 2 we all prayed to the wind god and goddesses to please calm the wind (at least I did). Woke up early on Day 3 to discover CALM beautiful weather. Woohoo! Whale time! We hopped on the plane and headed to Laguna San Ignacio, Baja Calif Sur, Mexico to visit the whales!
Chris and Lisa flying next to us on our way to see the whales!
Here are all the pictures you’ve been waiting for.
Six of us set off on a 2 hour tour to see the whales accompanied by Max the panga driver and whale charmer. Photo taken by our new friend Chris. Chris (pilot friend of Charley’s) and his wife Lisa were awesome traveling companions. We really enjoyed spending time with our crew of 6. I can not even begin to tell you how grateful I am to Suzanna and Charley for giving us this amazing opportunity.
Celia and Charley petting the whale. I really had no idea what to expect but I certainly did not expect the whales to come right up to the boat and say hi. What impressed me the most was how incredibly quiet, gentle and graceful these creatures are. You wouldn’t even know they were 2 inches away from you until their heads popped up out of the water. The boat didn’t even rock slightly when they swam under, around or next to it. These are truly gentle giants.
Definitely not a Fail Whale.
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