The adventure above and underneath the surface (whales and manta rays, Puerto Lopez)

Jumping humpbacks and a giant manta ray – what an adventure!

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It was not just one adventure but two. We drove an hour north of Montanita to Puerto Lopez after hearing, that it was season for humpback whales (the season starts in mid-June and ends in October). Puerto Lopez is a small fishing village with 16,000 inhabitants. The local fishermen attract sea birds as they load of the morning’s catch.

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It was in the beginning of October and we were hoping to see some whales together with Mr. and Mrs. Smith

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Our guide told us that we were guarantied to see whales and we didn’t sail for long before we saw the first one flipping its tale in the water.

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We were getting closer and closer to the whales, and one was coming straight against the boat 

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The humpback whales are known for jumping, but at the same time is was the end of the season, so nothing was sure. BUT – the amazing thing happened, and a humpback whale jumped out of the water.

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It happen again and again and again – it was just one of the most amazing things to see that close. Esben even got this great serious of photos of one of the whales jumping, and this whale is just a child. Click on the picture to get it in full size and quality wlEmoticon-camera The adventure above and underneath the surface (whales and manta rays, Puerto Lopez)

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We were “whale-high”, but had to say goodbye to the whales

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The whale-watching tour included snorkeling at a nearby reef. We haven’t been snorkeling after taking our PADI scuba diving course on Galapagos, and was surprised how our ability to see underwater life had improved. All the scuba diving on the Galapagos islands have improve our skills to find and see animals underwater. We had a blast snorkeling, and the water was not really cold – but chilly.

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Some great photos and for the first time I spotted a moraine eel (right picture)

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Like I said – one adventure just wasn’t enough, and once again we sailed out from Puerto Lopez – but this time we were hoping to scuba dive with giant manta rays.

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BUT, the conditions were very rough with strong current at the dive site, and we didn’t even got under the surface the first time we tried. The dive master decided to set a buoy, which we could use for descent and finally we were under water.

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But no luck – no manta rays in the first dive. I really suffered because of my seasickness, and had to take an extra pill for the seasickness before the second dive. I manage to complete the second dive, but felt really sick, so I didn’t wanted t move away from the anchor line. The other divers took of, but Esben and another dive instructor stayed with me. To our luck a giant manta ray came by and staed with us for 15 minutes or so.

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The dive master estimated it to be 6-7 meters in wingspan – one of the largest ones she had ever seen

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Incredible – despite of my condition I am really happy, that I manage to take some good photos of Esben and the giant manta ray

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I barely made it to the surface before I threw up into the water – at this moment I was glad that the current was strong, so it quickly carried away my puke. I slept almost all the way back to shore – but it was worth all the trouble to see that giant manta ray. Will we do it again – yes, we will, though I still hate to throw up.

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