Watching gray whales dance northward, dancing to the Latin Beat; happenings that marked the beginning and the end of a day in the life of motor home nomads like us. Don’t ask please what is around the next turn, we just don’t know, we can’t pretend to predict what is next on the horizon.
Camping in Caspar Beach, just north of Mendocino, CA, the tour book advertised the three weekends scheduled for the annual whale watch festival and celebration of daffodil days. (yes, the daffodils are in full glorious bloom) Little River’s festival coincided with our stay so off we drove to meet the ranger and docents from the Van Damme State Park and head toward the coastal headwaters to encounter the whale migration northward.
Due to the still impending tsunami alerts, we were not allowed down on the beach but walked above on the headlands with binoculars, scarves, hats and gloves in the low 50F temperatures and great hopes in our hearts to actually see some migration activity; there is no guarantee after all. These great whales keep their own schedules, males migrating first while the mom’s and babes stay south until April, when the little ones gain enough layers of blubber to survive the long dance northward and cold temperatures to boot.
Lucky we were! Told to eyeball until we saw spouts of water rise like wisps of smoke, then train our binoculars on that spot for a chance glimpse of body or maybe tail of the whale. Our group saw numerous wisps and bodies moving rapidly northward, a good distance away, making photography impossible but planting the vision in our minds forever.
The experts educated us on the flora, fauna and scat details of the wildlife on the headlands such as this small, yellow plant and the mushroom in the photos.
The day continued to amaze us as we toured the galleries and met the people of this ragged coastal area around Mendocino. One jewelry artist alerted us to another treat. Her husband plays flute and sax in a Latin (octet) band called iMAMBO This. Better yet, the venue is about a mile from our campsite. We showed up at 8:30 with varied expectations. We left at 11:30, expectations surpassed, having danced almost every Mambo, Salsa, cha cha, and variations thereof, moving to the beat, not caring if our moves were “right” or not and learning from the friendly crowd that kept the Inn hopping into the Daylight Saving Time night.
Indeed it was a day of bookend delights, new friends, adventure and eagerly dancin’ to the beat at hand.
Photos, dancin’ to the iMAMBO This and the video at Caspar Inn