Greetings fish lovers,
In response to some of your expressed fears of me being overworked and suffering from dental burnout, I reluctantly decided to take some more vacation time. I started with my Denver buddies in Hood River, Oregon for a few days of windsurfing on the Columbia River and gorging on fresh blackberry pancakes and blueberry cobbler. After some good sessions over a couple of days to satisfy my high speed wind fix, I headed south to meet Pat and my brother, Larry in Cancun, Mexico. We joined up with Beth, an underwater film maker friend of mine who was there with her partner, Tom to film the whale sharks while they migrate through the Gulf of Mexico and stuff their bellies with tons of plankton and fish eggs. We were invited to join them on a charter boat that was heading out daily to find the beasts and spend a few hours in the water to document their feeding, and who could say no to that? Lest you be concerned, whale sharks are 20-50 foot whale sized sharks that filter feed and wouldn’t harm you unless you mistakenly got sucked into their mouth like Jonah, which would be an embarrassing epitaph to say the least. After a dishonest Mexican taxi driver (is that a redundancy or what?) stole my suitcase of clothes I re-supplied myself with a trip to a Mexican Wal-Mart, and we departed the dock at 9 AM the next morning with the Gilligan’s Island theme music playing in the back of my mind. Two hours and 25 miles later we found the feeding grounds of the whale sharks, and we plopped in the water with snorkel gear to get a good look at the monsters as they lazily swam around sucking in mouthfuls of ocean and plankton. Once you got over the fact that they were the size and weight of a Greyhound bus it was an amazing experience, and even Pat jumped in the water with wild abandon.
We had a great dinner that night and returned the next day to repeat the event, and my Antarctica camera took some great underwater photos to prove how easy it was to get close to the action. The film crew got some good footage, and the other folks on board agreed it was magical to swim with such remarkable creatures. Beth and Tom continued south to film salt water crocodiles, which I decided was a little outside of my comfort zone, so our crew returned to the US to help keep the economy humming along. Hope your summer is going well and write some news from home.
Whale shark swimming Bob