We are now happy to know that in mid-May, Los Tiburones Ballena can still be found behind the house. This morning, around 8:30 AM local time, the water just north of El Mogote was flat calm like an Adirondack Lake, practically. As a result it was quite easy to notice offshore about forty yards, the two telltale fins, about nine feet apart, gliding through the water in the most relaxed way imaginable, the tailfin sweeping lazily in a six-foot arc from side to side, and the dorsal lifting slightly out of the water with each sweep as the giant fish moved ahead in about four feet of water. I have seen and swam with these animals in this very water and I can tell you from experience that the pectoral fins would be lightly dragging the smooth bottom, kicking up clouds of light brown sand.
There was only a lone kayaker out there, and he didn’t even seem to notice the huge fish, as he was facing the other way. However, if nothing else changed, in about six minutes the kayaker would get a nice surprise as the shark would pass him within a foot or so.
I had to get back to work so I couldn’t follow up on that encounter. It’s nice to know that these fish are not gone for the season, despite the recent tour operators’ posts on FaceBook – “Last chance to see the whale shark before November!!”
Anyway … the main goal right now is to somehow mitigate the sadness of leaving this place. I suppose the knowledge that it exists, and the ability to imagine quite easily a trip here and there to revisit will help. And to know that before long, it will be possible to make this or some such place like it (although that’s pretty rare to find, I think) an extended home … that should be enough. As well, and more importantly and sustainably, the internal reminder that there is beauty and peace to be found everywhere, because peace, ultimately, is from within. A clear mind in crowded suburbia is better than a clouded mind in paradise … right? I’ll just keep telling myself that, but niggling in the back of my mind will be the fact that a clear mind in paradise is … well, about as good as it gets.