Whale Watching – The Biggest Show on Earth

Written by Cliff Calderwood

Continued from page 1

Today most whale watch boats have sophisticated equipment and communications that helprepparttar captain findrepparttar 142626 whales. But if a company has been organizing whale watch trips for many years it’s a sign they’re doing something right and a safe bet for you.

My most rewarding trips have been when a naturalist or whale expert has been on board to provide information and narraterepparttar 142627 tour.


Because ofrepparttar 142628 very unpredictable nature ofrepparttar 142629 whales, they’ll be rare occasions when you just don’t see any. So make sure you book on a cruise that offers a guarantee sighting or you get to cruise again for free.

Offering a guarantee is another good sign of a confident and experienced whale watch company. But remember if they spot one whale and you weren’t watching or somewhere else onrepparttar 142630 boat when they did – tough!


Whale watching onrepparttar 142631 open ocean means if you suffer with motion sickness at all then take something about an hour before you boardrepparttar 142632 cruise.

Experienced whale watch cruise captains do not go out in rough seas, but it’s not a harbor cruise andrepparttar 142633 whale feeding grounds are usually miles from land. The open sea can be a little choppy even inrepparttar 142634 summer months.


Recommended things to bring on your whale watch are a camera and plenty of film or memory cards (if you’re digital). If you’ve got binoculars take them as whales sometimes surface yards fromrepparttar 142635 boat, and having binoculars will give you spectacular views and close ups others without them just won’t get.

Wear sneakers or something rubber-soled for good traction on a wet and slippery deck. And take sunscreen, sunglasses, and if it’s got a tie strap – a hat.

Because ofrepparttar 142636 breeze and open water there’s usually a 15-degree difference from land out inrepparttar 142637 ocean. So take a sweatshirt or windbreaker just in case, and especially for a late afternoon trip. Alsorepparttar 142638 boats will go out inrepparttar 142639 rain and if you’ve got a poncho take it.

The whales are waiting for you. These mesmerizing animals have traveled thousands of miles so you can view them playing and feeding. It’s reallyrepparttar 142640 biggest show on earth. So go ahead and takerepparttar 142641 adventure - they don’t stay for long.

Cliff Calderwood is the owner and contributing writer of www.new-england-vacations-guide.com . You can read other vacation articles and get a free travel report at his New England vacations online guide site.

Chimborazo: Climbing Glaciers Near The Equator

Written by Steve Gillman

Continued from page 1

I think he said he didn't likerepparttar papery rainsuit I was using, and he frowned at my homemade ski mask. When he saw my insulating vest, a feathery piece of poly batting with a hole cut in it for my head, I just pretended not to understand what he was saying.

I hadn't intended to go climb Chimborazo with such lightweight gear, but I'd come to Ecuador on a courier flight, and could bring only carry-on luggage. I had12 pounds in my pack to begin with, so byrepparttar 142532 time I put on all my clothes that night,repparttar 142533 weight on my back was irrelevant. The weight of my body, however, wasn't. Paco had to coax me up that mountain.

Hiking On Glaciers

The glaciers start nearrepparttar 142534 hut, and hiking became mountaineering. I put on crampons forrepparttar 142535 second time in my life (there was that sledding hill). During one of my many breaks ("Demasiado" - too many, which I pretended not to understand), I noticed my tiny, cheap thermometer had bottomed out at 5 degrees fahrenheit. I wasn't cold, but I was exhausted at times -repparttar 142536 times when I moved. When I sat still I felt like I could run right up that hill.

We struggled (okay, I struggled) up Mount Chimborazo, hiking, climbing, jumping crevasses, until I quit at 20,000 feet. Of course I had quit at 19,000 feet, and at 18,000 feet. Quitting had become my routine. Lying had become Paco's, so he told me straight-faced thatrepparttar 142537 summit was only fifty feet higher. I wanted to believe him, orrepparttar 142538 lack of oxygen had scrambled my brain. I started uprepparttar 142539 ice again.

The Summit of Mount Chimborazo

We stumbled ontorepparttar 142540 summit at dawn. Well, okay, I stumbled. Paco, who seemed slow and tired down atrepparttar 142541 refuge, was energetic at 20,600 feet. Dirtbag Joe, a nineteen-year-old kid from California with ten bucks in his pocket, borrowed equipment, and my Ramen noodles in his stomach, was waiting for us, smiling.

The sky was a stunning shade of blue you can never see at lower elevations. Cotapaxi, a classic snow-covered volcano, was clearly visible 70 miles away. We enjoyedrepparttar 142542 view for a few minutes.

Handshakes all around, and it was time to head down. I was told you don't want to be on Chimborazo when she wakes up. She wakes up at nine a.m.

Paco kept looking at his watch and frowning. He got further and further ahead, like he planned to abandon me onrepparttar 142543 mountain. When I finally caught up, atrepparttar 142544 hut at nine a.m., I heardrepparttar 142545 rocks falling out ofrepparttar 142546 ice above asrepparttar 142547 sun warmed it. Now I understood - we really did need to get down by nine. A thousand feet lower my mountain climbing adventure ended with a photograph that mercifully can't show my shaking knees.


To climb Mount Chimborazo, it's cheapest to wait until you get to Ecuador to make arrangements. Talk to almost any hotel manager in Riobamba, and he or she will find a guide for you. It's also cheaper if you're part of a group.

Steve Gillman is a long-time backpacker, and advocate of ultralight backpacking. His advice and stories can be found at http://www.TheBackpackingSite.com

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