The following is a celebrity blog from Rick Reikenis of the East Bay Group. He describes an incident in the vicinity of Isla Palenque that he had the good fortune of witnessing:
Living on Florida’s southeast coast near the beach, I can attest to the fact that, if you pay attention, the ocean will surprise you in a different way every day. It can be the pastel coloring of the clouds at sunrise or sunset, the way the water plays in the wind, formations of pelicans patrolling the shore, or dolphins showing off as they pass by. From one day to the next, the sea shows a different side of itself, and if you will allow yourself to see it, you will be amazed anew each day. The sea around Palenque also does not disappoint. The combination of the volcanic nature of the area’s geology together with a tidal range of up to 18 feet produces a continuous kaleidoscope of changing dynamics for anyone willing to pay attention and appreciate the show.
An impromptu fishing trip to rock formations 15 minutes from Palenque also provides lots of the unexpected. Catching no fish (also unexpected) some of us decide to cool off in the water, and find ourselves surrounded by up to 40 dolphins and a family of humpback whales. What a treat! For about an hour, we get a priceless show, and more than one of us got to actually touch a whale! (Ed: the person who got to touch a whale, and the person in the shot below, is our own Dave Frodsham.)
They appear to be the size of submarines. OK, they’re not really as big as a submarine, but just as impressive. The parent whales continuously watch out for the child. We are just interlopers in their world, uninvited guests to be tolerated. We are awestruck by their size, ease of movement through the water, and obvious caring for each other. I don’t know if they decided on purpose to entertain us or play with us, or just show off. Maybe they just didn’t care that we were among them, but we got a show that no one had bargained for. The backdrop for the whole show was an impressive 5 foot ocean swell that any surfer would covet, with the waves crashing on the rocky island shore less than 400 yards away. The storms and rains also cooperated and stayed well away so we could get the full benefit of nature’s grandeur. Certainly not what we expected, but much better than what we expected.