Jeff, loving the travel stories, loving the pictures, envy doesn't even come close to how I wish I was part of an adventure like yours. But, I guess I am a little like Tom, that sized boat out amongst those sized fish? Mmmm, yep, that makes me nervous. And then he runs out of fuel? Now don't get me wrong on this, it is an adventure and it sounds like it was a lot of fun but any person in charge of a boat with paying passengers that lets it run out of fuel is a person that should not be a holder of a license to carry passengers for hire. That could just have easily been out 10 miles from shore. You know what I mean? You were lucky but that boating company needs a serious kick in the pants for doing things as slapdash as that. Doesn't matter that they were in Mexico, they took American tourists and American Dollars and gave back a very third world duty of care.
And while you are talking about getting close to the whales, Down Under if you get your boat within 200 Metres (I think it is) you can not only be heavily fined, there is a possibility of doing time depending on the circumstances. Lets just say that they take a dim view of getting close to these beasts.
Different strokes for different folks