Whales, Dolphins, Marine Mammals: The Bucket List

Zipolete, Mexico

Skinny-Dipping or Snorkeling in Zipolite, Mexico

I chose it because the beach was of a clothing-optional variety, and coming from a fairly purist Southern family, I’d not seen a lot of that sort of thing: strangers’ boobs set free in nature and whatnot. I couldn’t very well tell my girlfriend at Read More

La Marmotiere

Sailing to Les Ecrehous in the English Channel in the Early Morning

As the boat slowly sailed past the St Catherine’s breakwater, on the north-east corner of Jersey, a small flock of Brent geese, winter visitors from the Arctic, took off ahead of us. Clearing the breakwater, our skipper, Richard, revved the motor, Read More

Lighthouse

Winter Critter-Cruising on an Aquarium Research Boat on Long Island Sound, Connecticut

"Whose idea was this?" I demand. There is an inch of snow on the ground, the temperature is in the teens, the weather forecast is for more snow, and the living room floor is covered with ski clothes, hats, socks, gloves, long underwear and anything Read More

Whalewatching off Cape Cod

Whale Watching by Boat From Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The massive head of a humpback whale appeared right next to us, coming up from underneath the boat. The smaller (but still massive) head of her calf then cleared the surface and the two moved off. Someone shouted. A group of whales was bubble-net Read More

minke whale

Swimming With Minke Whales on the Great Barrier Reef

We float quietly in the water, holding onto ropes tied to the boat. One by one the whales appear, drifting up from the dark below. We’re swimming with dwarf minke whales on the Great Barrier Reef.  But this is a swim with whales program with a Read More

Sea lions love to play with snorkelers. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

Swimming with Sea Lions and Dolphins in South Australia

As I squeeze into a wetsuit, one thought keeps pushing to the front of my mind: sharks. This is Australia after all, the state of South Australia to be more precise and it’s known for those nasty Great Whites of “Jaws” movie fame. From the Read More

One frisky manatee begged for attention.

Snorkeling with Manatees in Crystal River, Florida

The baby manatee nuzzled my cheek with its fleshy whiskered muzzle, and when I began to scratch under its chin, it went vertical in the water, grabbed my hand between its two rubbery fins with their five broad, flat fingernails each, and hugged it to Read More

Gray Whale in Laguna Ojo de Liebre, Baja California (photo by Bob Bowers)

Petting Baby Whales in Baja California, Mexico

A two-thousand pound newly-born gray whale lifted her head a foot from our panga, presenting an irresistible petting opportunity.  I was one of six passengers on that side of the shallow boat, and together with the other five, reached out and stroked Read More

baby whale shark

Swimming With Whale Sharks in Mexico’s Yucatan

Glimpsing the cluster of huge, spotted heads in the water, I peer closer. I'm not sure if I'm hallucinating after slouching under the intense sun and sitting on a boat for an hour. But as our guide yells out and slings on his snorkel mask, I realize Read More

Manitoba polar bear

Bond with Churchill’s Belugas and Polar Bears

Hudson Bay’s August weather and tides finally cooperate on a four-day adventure to Churchill, Manitoba. Three men and I ignore the 7 a.m. chill as we tug into wetsuits and carefully scoot kayaks across the Churchill River’s rocky shallows. We paddle Read More

Na Pali Coast, Kauai

Sailing, Snorkeling, and Watching Dolphins on Kauai’s Napali Coast

It's not often that the captain of a tourist catamaran is rendered speechless by what he sees in the course of a daily tour, but I'm here to tell you: A pod of approximately 750 spinner dolphins (his estimate, not mine) will do it. Followed by Read More

bottlenose dolphins

Snorkeling and Diving with Dolphins in Eilat, Israel

The dolphin is swimming so close that I could reach out and touch it, and it looks much larger than I had expected. I remind myself that being underwater has a magnification effect; things appear a third larger than they are. Even so, this toothsome Read More

Dolphins in the Ten Thousand Islands

Chasing Dolphins in the Ten Thousand Islands of Florida

It’s not even 10 AM, so I’m surprised to see the enthusiasm on this sultry summer morning in Southwest Florida. We launched from the Marco River Marina a little over an hour ago for a tour on the Sea Excursions Dolphin Explorer, a catamaran tour of Read More