Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guide Report: Week of Feb. 3-10

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Buenos dias from Laguna San Ignacio J. There are a lot of whales here! After last year’s sparse “El Nino” year we were a little bit worried how this year will look. But all whales seem to be healthy and in a good condition. And there are a lot of baby whales who want to play with us! It’s only the beginning of February but some of them are already curious and brave enough to take a close look at the visitors watching them from the boats. Every day we’ve had interesting encounters with some of them, and they are coming close enough that we can identify characteristic features like barnacle and whale lice patterns to keep track of individuals.

One of the mothers we called Joker because she is making fun of the people in the boat. She comes close and makes bubbles using her blowholes, intentionally spraying straight into our faces! Or she plays with the boat, pushing it or gently bumping and it seems like she has a lot of fun with that, even teaching this mischief to the baby. We saw her bump our other boat a few times, then watch her baby  doing exactly the same. That was fun for everyone!
We spent a lot of time with another mom and her little baby who was still too shy to come closer. Mom was holding her baby on her back almost completely out of the water, so the baby could have a very close look at us without swimming in the current or even moving. We didn’t see the sex of the baby but we thought it must be a girl – so shy and still a little bit scared of all these funny creatures in the boat looking and reaching out their hands to touch the little whale.
There has not been an updated census since January 26, but it looks to be a banner year with many cow/calf pairs and a lot of interesting “adult activity” towards the mouth of the lagoon. More to come!
Patrycja O’Brien – Whale-watching guide

Photos by Campo Cortez guest Jim Taylor

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