There are a lot of beaches in our stretch of Mexico and yesterday we went to our third in four days - Barra de Potosi. Rumor has it the beach at the conclusion of Shawshank Redemption was filmed there, but we watched it recently and unless they did some serious editing, I don't think it really was. Regardless, it's our favorite beach here and I was excited to share it with my sister (mom's already been there).
The beach itself is nine kilometers long, a gentle curve that creates a very large bay. We were at the end with the enramadas (small restaurants with thatch roofs), near a lagoon that is currently connected to the ocean. During the summer the water drops back and the sand cuts off the lagoon from the larger body of water. Last week was the first time I'd seen them connected and Ibis and I ventured pretty far out on the sand bar (we skipped that part yesterday).
Ibis has a hard time sitting still for any length of time, and somewhere between the volleyball, swimming, walking, dominoes, soccer, and reading, he shouted excitedly* that he'd seen a whale. We all laughed him off and continued doing whatever we were doing.
At some point he decided to run the length of the beach, so I joined my mom in a lounge chair near the ocean's edge. A sudden shout - then three more - made me jump.
I turned to see where they were pointing but couldn't figure out where they saw it in the large bay, so I ran to my sister's side so she could point it out.
A burst of water shot up from the surface, then a large back shape rolled above the waves. Then another burst of water. My dad - ever the boy scout - already had his binoculars glued to his face, so we passed them between us as the whales swam along the bay. The small crowd in the restaurant stared at the water for nearly half an hour as the whales swam out of the bay. My sister had the binoculars the longest and told us there was a baby, and someone else was sure they saw two adults. So, three whales total.
Ibis was still on his run and we figured that he should have been right next to where the whales had surfaced. They popped up every couple minutes and seemed to be very close to the shore where we guessed he was.
I never saw the tail like the rest of the people near us, but it was still really cool. I've heard that January and February are "whale season" here but hadn't seen one before today. (I did see one on our long drive last March, but that was from the car so it doesn't feel the same.) I'm glad we were able to arrange the sighting for my sister on her first visit here.
The only bad thing was it turns out Ibis didn't see them at all. He was gone so long we thought he was standing on the shore watching them, but he said the way the sun was it was too bright to look back towards us - the direction of the whales.
Have you ever seen a whale?
*I just finished New Moon and the adverbs are taking over...