Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Well ... The Horse is a Surprise!

If you have ever seen the animated movie "The Road to El Dorado" you might remember the scene where Tulio and Miguel are in a rowboat, lost at sea, almost near death, with a HORSE in the boat.  I think it was Miguel who asks Tulio, "Did you think it would end like this?" And Tulio says, " Well, the horse is a surprise".  So my mom and my sister and I took a whale watching expedition trip yesterday.  We got picked up off our ship in Samana Dominican Republic. We were herded onto a very small "boat" with a "metal" roof. I distinctly remember saying to my mom, "Don't worry - I am sure this is just the boat that takes you to the whale watching boat".  We were packed in so tightly that there was no air space between us.  The boat had obstructed views and was quite cramped.  The first thing the captain said was everyone had to put a life jacket on. Okay.  We all obliged. Then we found out that this was indeed the "boat" for the day. We took off in what I consider stormy seas and we spent the next 90 minutes packed in shoulder to shoulder, butt to butt, on our journey to see the whales.  The bay is notorious for having over 3,000 humpback whales each winter. As we continued towards the bay - every wave we hit brought down gallons of cold water on our heads.  Wave. Splash. Wave. Splash. We had to close our eyes to prevent the river of seawater from blinding us.  About halfway to the bay - the symphony of seasickness began. One by one the sardine squished whale watchers started getting sick. Wave. Splash. Vomit. Wave. Splash. Vomit. Seasick bag after seasick bag was passed out to the passengers and believe me - they were ALL full. When we finally made it to the bay - the captain said that although the bay USUALLY has 3,000 whales - today there are only 3. Three whales.  That is all. I mean we DID get to see the whales  - which was AWESOME but you could only see them if you could kind of lean and squeeze your head through a small opening between other people's shoulder blades. It was tricky.  Only the people on one side of the boat could see - and even with that - only the people lucky enough to be on the end had a view. So we sat for an hour and saw the 3 whales - maybe 3-4 times and was time to go back.  Wave. Splash. Vomit. Luckily my sister, my mom and I stayed strong and never got sick.  We were drenched, teeth chattering and a bit beat up from the ride.  When my sister asked if that was what I thought the whale watching trip would be like - the only thing I could say was, "Well the horse was a surprise!"

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