It’s our third day chasing bait balls from the Belle Amie and things keep getting better and better. On day one, it was mahi mahi by the hundreds, sea lions, and tiny bait fish. Add Minke whales to that on day two with glimpses of elusive striped marlin. Day three brought more Minke whales and marlin which gave us a real shot at filming them. The chase is what I imagine to be as close to being a Navy Seal as I will get, sitting on the edge of the panga, hanging on until the captain yells “GO!” for my chance to be a part of an age-old and primal hunt for bait alongside shimmering and shining predators. When we’ve been lucky to find stationary bait balls, it is both a thrilling and comical experience swimming away as thousands of bait fish envelop you, searching for shelter. As their numbers dwindled, I accumulated my loyal school who circled me as I dove, hoping they wouldn’t be noticed by the circling mahi.Kylie- California.
Back on board, I’ve just finished my 5th bowl of carrot ginger soup as I write this, probably to the Chef’s dismay because he keeps running out while I’m around. The crew is nothing but extremely helpful, nice, and fun to be around, and they share my excitement for every underwater experience, big or small (although Pascal did tell me I am easily excited when I marveled at the microscopic jellies drifting amidst the mahi).
We’ll see what day 4 of the bait ball chase brings!