It was 8:59AM and I was sprinting through the resort lobby in Cabo.
“You said 9:00AM! We’re not late!! Everybody chill out.”
The driver shut the van door with a huff and we were on our way to the Main Dock to meet our tour guide. It was a sunny day in Mexico and the air smelt of salty ocean spray and coconut sunscreen.
“Do not lose this slip. It is VERY important. This is going to get you a free margarita once you arrive back to the mainland,” the old man said sternly as we boarded the boat.
I chose a seat up front in the sunshine and just like that, we were ocean-bound. The teal blue water splashed around us as the captain pointed out rock formation after rock formation, claiming they called this one Baby Owl and this one Scooby Doo and so on. Although I could make some of them out if I squinted hard enough, I found it hard to believe that each and every crevice out here had been given their title by someone other than the captain himself.
All of the sudden, he shouted something inaudible and with one hand on my purse and one hand on the hull, we sped off white-knuckled into the deep blue.
“There!” I followed the direction of his gesture, locating a jacuzzi jet in the Pacific Ocean. The water sent out foaming ripples, clearly disturbed by something astronomically larger than our vessel.
“Did you see it?”
A humpback whale four times the size of the restaurant I was about to cash my free margarita tab in heaved herself into the air, as if she was pole vaulting for an Olympic win. Sapphire droplets soared off of her body, twinkling in the beating Mexican sun and then reassuming their positions back in the depths below. Now opening up her wingspan, she gracefully slid her fins out and effortlessly plunged back into the flooded abyss, securing the gold medal.
My wide eyes finally blinked and I picked my jaw back up off the floor. This whole event unfolded in about 0.3 seconds, but sitting there, it felt like I’d been watching the Discovery Channel all morning.
“So they just…They…Why do they do that?”
Maybe I was still in shock or maybe I was just getting another borderline inaudible response, but I never did hear the answer to that question. However, I did find out later that research is actually still being done to see just why whales jump out of the water. I mean, they literally have to get going at at least 18mph to even break the surface, so it’s not just a random activity; it takes a TON of energy. However, most people believe the simplest reasoning for why they jump is for sociality or alertness.
Here’s what I take from all of this: The whale we happened to be following this morning in Cabo San Lucas took two more massive leaps into the sky after that first encounter. So either she was on a New Years resolution workout plan or she just really liked hanging out with us.
I’d like to think the latter.
Making our way back to the Main Dock, I stared ahead, watching colorful resorts and villas swirl together into a never-ending rainbow. I think I found my happy place. That is, until I found out the margarita only comes free with a purchase two full-sized entrees.
Let this be a lesson to you all: Never trust a tourist trap.