Saturday, February 17, 2007

Goodbye, Mr. Nibbles

Robert is here, finally. He drove all the way here with our friends from home, Danny and Lindsay. They made the 2300-mile trip in 3 days. I greeted them with joy mixed with extreme guilt that our friends, in their excitement to escape the Midwest freeze, did not fully consider the brutal drive time. Robert promised he'd be here for Valentine's Day even if that meant 14-hour days on the road. On the evening of the third day Allison and I gave up hope and went to bed only to be awakened at 11:00 pm by Robert's knocking. Forget that he drove the last four hours on the ragged Transpeninsular Highway in the dark, he was here on time as promised.

Our friends, who are much younger than us, were surprisingly cheerful. We stayed up late laughing over their recollections of the drive's highlights and hardships. Poor Lindsay, who spent most of the drive in the back seat surrounded by items crammed into every spare space, had to endure the constant commotion of Allison's hamster, Mr. Nibbles, as he raced on his wheel. She took responsibility for Mr. Nibbles' comfort even while her own suffered; gingerly rearranging his cage when she shifted positions or tried to recline for a nap using a roll of paper towels as her pillow. Imagine her shock when upon unloading the cargo we discovered Mr. Nibbles was not in his cage. Some point on the last few hours on the road, Mr. Nibbles gnawed his way out of his prison and probably leapt into the dark Baja night at the first opportunity, something the rest of the abused passengers probably wished they could have done. But, like I said, our friends are still very young and haven't adopted the inflexibility that age and experience bring. To them the trip was an adventure to laugh about.

We took them to Magdalena Bay on the Pacific to see the whales. Thankfully, the day was sunny and pleasant enough. We followed one mother and her calf for nearly an hour hoping for that elusive surfacing beside the boat which both delights and startles everyone. The prize is getting to pet the rubbery skin of the gigantic mammal before it re submerges. Second place is getting sprayed when the whale blows. For me, the goal is getting a good photo which is harder than you think. Everyone new to whale-watching asks the same question: "Will a whale try to tip over a boat?" To which they are always reassured that whales are the most intelligent and docile sea creatures and have no evil intentions of knocking you out of your vessel and then swallowing you. But, Robert, of course, has a story for us. He's been told of an incident where a boat bumped into a calf who then squealed for its mama who in anger or defense dove to a certain depth and shot up directly under the boat sending it airborne and tossing its passengers into the sea. Gratefully, he refrained from sharing this story until after the ride.

This morning the men are fishing after yesterday's aborted attempt due to heavy winds. They are out with an experienced Mexican fisherman from Juncilito, near Port Escondido. Hopefully, they will return with some Yellowtail. They've managed to fit in a few rounds of golf on the Loreto Bay course which is torn up due to remodeling but still, according to them, very promising. We plan to spend this morning poolside at the Inn and walk the beach. The wind which has been brutal the past several days seems to have died down giving us a spectacular sunny warm day. I feel satisfied that our friends are having a good time so far. As they put it, anything beats the dull bleakness of a Midwestern winter day. As for Mr. Nibbles, we hope he's alive and well somewhere, having abandoned forever his post on the wheel, a feat many people would like to attain.

No comments: