Lifting a Dreamer


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.

The whales made sure to say hello to each one of us. Here is Chris saying hi to the whale. Right after I snapped this photo the whale popped up and gave Chris a gentle kiss.

I was lucky enough to get to give the whale a quick hug.

 Mama whale showed us her baby and nudged baby to come up and say hi to us.

Chris got this photo of the whale giving Suzanna a kiss. Too bad I’m blocking the view of Suzanna.

Here’s another shot of Suzanna & the whale kissing.

Lisa loving the whale. I think the feeling was mutual, they kept coming back to her.

My favorite picture of all! Charley and Suzanna with the whale.

Thank you Suzanna & Charley for offering us such an awe inspiring experience and adventure and for lifting us dreamers in to the sky so we could land and see these beautiful, graceful creatures!

Definitely not a Fail Whale.

10 thoughts on “Lifting a Dreamer

  1. Suzanna Stinnett

    Sally, thanks for putting it into words. I’m really at a loss to describe the experience of a whale jumping up to touch my face. It’s just crazy! I’m so glad you and Celia were with us, I think our group was a love-magnet for these amazing animals.

  2. Mo

    Wow! Really, wow. That is so amazing. I’ve hear before about them being friendly, but I didn’t really believe it before I saw these pics of people I actually KNOW!

    I’m so happy you two got to have such a great adventure!


  3. Sally_K Post author

    @Maria – the trip was magical!
    @Toni – spur of the moment adventures are the best, no time for anxiety.
    @Suzanna – love magnet – I like that!
    @Mo – It was amazing! Definitely a WOW moment.

  4. Tabra

    Sounds like you and Celia are having a great time in life. What a wonderful adventure! You’ll have plenty of time for more fun since the kids are all grown up and leaving home. Plan for a trip to Costa Rica within the next couple of years.

  5. Jenny

    I’m so glad you went with S&C, you couldn’t have found better hosts and companions for that trip. We go to Baja regularly but still haven’t made it to Magdalena Bay, partly because we do see whales farther south. It’s thrilling no matter where you see them. Good to meet you at Pacific Catch. I hear you’re the original organizer of that Tweet-up. What a great tradition you’ve started.

  6. Charley Gallagher

    Always touches my heart and soul to experience this again via your blog… I love it and you to for having documented it so beautifully and being who you are…

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