Guide Report 2
Gray Whales of San Ignacio Lagoon
February 27, 2014
By: Liisa Juuti
We were honored to have Mark Carwardine, a talented zoologist, conservationist, wildlife photographer and writer as a guide for our British group in the camp. He gave excellent presentations on the gray whale, photographing and wildlife in general. The weather was exceptionally cloudy with almost no wind, except of the last gorgeous day, the sun shining all day long and ending with a stunning sunset and a rainbow over the lagoon of San Ignacio.
On our first whale watching trip we found the "hugger", a beautiful female gray whale with her calf. She would swim beneath the boat with her tummy up and "hug" the boat with the flippers in the air. Then she would start pushing it. Our clients were astonished, screaming out of excitement as it seemed she would flip the boat over. The baby was patiently waiting aside while her mother was having fun with us. Another beautiful moment was to see one baby´s probably first contact with a human. We found the mother and the newly born calf in the mouth of the lagoon and patiently followed them from a distance for a good while. The mother was first protecting her baby by being in between the boat and the baby. Then after some time she seemed to get more confident and let her baby between her and the boat, then pushing the baby towards us! Then she came to show example by letting us touch her and kept pushing the baby towards the boat, until the calf got encouraged enough and popped out her head for us to pet her. That confidence towards us, humans, from the mother whales's side just melts my heart!
On our walk to the shore we found octopi, stingray, chocolate clam, scallop and an interesting looking seaslug. We learned to differentiate the female octopus from the male, and how to take the scallop out of the shell.