Humpback whales, up close and personal

Just dropping by to say hello

Well, sometimes up close. Meet the migrating humpbacks off the coast of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. July, August and September are great times for whale sightings. The annual migration drives much of the tourist season here.

The whales play and frolic, breaching, slapping their flukes and fins and generally show off for the tourists. Every now and then they come very close to a boat to say hello. And as spectacular as seeing them: hearing them underwater sometimes kilometers away as you dive. Their high-pitched whine is a surreal treat in the underwater world where you can usually only hear your own breathing.

I was shooting with a point-n-shoot camera, so forgive me.

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The dumbest-looking birds you’ve ever seen

Silly, silly birds

Meet the Blue-footed Booby, one of the birds the Galapagos Islands (and in this case, Isla de la Plata) is most famous for. The bird’s vacant, surprised expression says it all. Throw in it’s odd walk and lack of fear of humans and they appear to be the dumbest bird alive.

But they’re also really beautiful (in a silly sort of way).

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