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Cow Calf operation, Whale style, pouring rain

and horrendous pecking seaguls.. unintended consequence

rain 16 °C

So today was an exciting day. ... even though I got soaked, literally that is.
The day started with a typical Argentine hotel breakfast buffet. That is instant coffee, white bread for toast, and a few cakes or something really sweet, maybe some rolled thinly cut processed ham and cheese. Thank goodness I brought packages of instant oats with me. Oh! YES I forgot the efficient German Tourists. They arrive at breakfast at the same time. Eat and then leave at the same time, then all are gathered promptly to catch the bus for their excursion. and all is good.. just DON┬ĘT get in their while during this process and everything is fine.. one poor soul this morning... gobbled his breakfast as fast as he could and he was still the last to leave.
So off to the bus station I cycled and when I was cycling in rain showers.. I shoulda known something was afoot.. actually I did as I checked online and the forecast was for rain.
Caught the bus for an uneventful ride to Puerto Piramides, on the Valdes Penninsula. Well eventful except for the school outing, making me realize kids are the same all over the world.
Puerto Piramides is basically a four block town whose main industry is catering to tourists interested in whale watching.
Arriving at about 11:00 pm I was advised by the operator I chose to wait until 3:00 as the 12:00 tour was full of school children.. good Idea.. sat around in their coffee room and ate my grocery store bought lunch of buns cheese and apples.
So at three in the rain we were off.. It is very efficient. They have boats on huge trailers that are on the shore, once loaded the boats are pushed out to sea using a large tractor.


Off we went with the tour guide promising we would see whales. I knew we would at this stage as I had seen a few just from the shore with my binoculars.
So after a tense 15 minutes or so we saw our first whale.. a cow and her calf.. then another and another and so on...we saw huge quantities of whales sometimes about 6 or so at a time.


So some interesting stuff that came out of this was that there were sea lions swiming around the whales. Apparantly females off to the breeding grounds where males were already staking out territory.. they were being playful..
The other was the seagulls. Apparantly the area has a growing population of seagulls. They have started pecking at the calves as they surface, taking advantage of their thin sking to peck at the blubber below the skin surface.
This in turn causes infections in the calves which are sometimes fatal.
The cause of the huge seagul population is the large landfill used to accomodate the thousands of tourists who come to see the whales... weird huh!!
So much for unintended consequences...

Posted by Suraza 17:22 Archived in Argentina

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