The weather was dreadful when we reached San Diego to board our boat, with the wind so strong the palm trees along the waterfront road were bent almost double. El Nino was battering the coast, and when we stopped for a quick meal before boarding the ship, the café owner reassured us by announcing "You must be mad - you'll all die!"
Our confidence wasn't boosted at all when we saw the boat that was going to be our home for the next week - to us it looked more like something that would take day trips around the bay.
But we went on to have a wonderful and very memorable trip. Here is a little report I wrote about it at the time:
Setting out from
After 24 hours we reached the calm of a group of islands and were glad to go ashore to visit colonies of elephant seals (although the smell had a few people reaching for the bags again) then sailed on to the main focus of the trip – the San Ignacio Lagoon in Mexico where we spent several days touring the lagoon in small boats, watching the grey whales.
The whales were as curious as we were, coming right up to the boats and up out of the water to look at us. Getting so close to these gentle giants was a sensational experience, especially when a baby whale was brought by its mother to see us. The tiny looking baby was probably bigger than my car, which really put things into perspective for me.
But it wasn’t just about the whales – it was about the wonderful variety of wildlife at sea; dolphins, sunfish, pelicans, albatross and playful seal pups. It was about the “green flash” at dawn and spending a week in cramped conditions with strangers who soon became friends. It was about storms and sunshine and being as different from my routine everyday life as it could possibly be.
And one day it was about boiled broccoli for breakfast.