Gray Whales of San Ignacio Lagoon
By: Hayley Carmody
This week at Campo Cortez we welcomed 312 whales to the lagoon. Of that 115 were calf and cows and 197 were single whales. Out in the lagoon there was a lot of mating and playing. The new mothers are very focused on taking care of the young but the singles were putting on a show. There were many whales playing with the boats, gently giving us a ride around. At one point a group of around ten whales were playing with each other. They were spy hopping all around and many were standing on their heads with the fluke high in the air. It was amazing to see the size of the whales compared to the boat.
There were a few friendlies out in the lagoon. One particular whale had a very white face and visited many of the boats in the lagoon. The white face was a good identifier of the whale. The whale swam up to the boats initially spy hopped then came to get a closer look. Everyone was very excited to see the whales so close and a few were lucky enough to pet the animal. The gentle way in which these whales interact with humans is incredible. Every time a whale comes to see people we wonder why it is that they come when we have nothing to offer except our personality.
At the end of the day we all sat back to enjoy happy hour. We shared stories of whales over margaritas and guacamole. Jim Dorsey, the group leader, talked about grey whales and explained much of the biology of the animals. Rubi, another guide, shared the local history of the people and the lagoon. It has taken many years and lots of work to help this lagoon develop in a way that is beneficial for the local people and the whales.