A Whale Tale


Early morning in Punta Mita Mexico. The sun is rising over the hills of Puerto Vallarta in the distance.  Mangy puppies, grimy chickens and the odd iguana are coming to life in natures  symphony of poverty.  My wife, Thing 1, Thing 2, my dad and I are standing on a rocky foreboding beach waiting for our captain to arrive.  .  I come to realize that while vacationing in Mexico, one must alway adjust one’s expectations downward.  The formula is take the usual star rating system used everywhere else in the world and subtract two stars.  Out on the water now and our captain looks like he might be moonlighting from his drug cartel day job but god can he spot a whale!  We’ve seen four all ready and I haven’t even got my camera out yet.  They are every bit as majestic as I’ve always imagined.  We see it all, baby whales dancing around the mother whales, breaching whales, whale tails, whale humps.  I could go on but I’m sounding like the Bubba Shrimp guy in Forest Gump.   The seas start getting active and the kids are loosing interest in all things having to do with whales at an alarming rate.  Next they loose all color in their little faces.  We instruct captain kid to point our vessel towards shore to avoid chumming up the dark inky water.  I’m getting queazy myself but I keep a brave face, not necessarily for the children but so I don’t lose face with my father.  He’s a former naval aviator and has always been disappointed in my inability to handle myself on the high seas.   Quietly I know he now blames me for passing an inferior aquatic gene to his granddaughters.  We pull back into the the makeshift dock and aside from a couple dry heaves,  no real damage to the kids.  Back at the resort my dad and I compare photos and discover that our point and shoots have just enough shutter speed to catch a bunch of phantom splashes.  We decide to go back into town and see if we can pick up a photograph from a gift shop and pass it off as an original.

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