We were pounding across the rough sea between San Cristobal and Santa Cruz, with the four of us seated on the upper deck bench of the “Sofia Girl,” when Captain Naim “Nacho” Zabala shouted and pointed. There, off to our left, was the unmistakable spout of a whale. And the whale didn’t just disappear into the vastness of the sea. It swam toward the boat. As it came up closer, it rolled over on its back, showing its white underbelly clearly under the blue water. Then it rolled over again, swimming straight ahead of us, and leaped out of the water, head first, diving back down, rolling over again, this time on the right side of the boat. Everyone on the boat was standing, pointing, yelling. Of course, we were all standing on one side of the boat, and the captain had to remind us, as the boat listed, that balanced weight would be a better idea.
It was a Bryde’s (pronounced Bree-dahs) Whale, measuring about 40 feet long and weighing around 15 tons, that was playing with the boat and captivating its passengers. It was amazing.