Poo, quesadillas and a dead fish.
By Rodrigo Manterola
24 February 2019
Half way into the season our whale friends are finally growing in numbers at the lagoon, this year’s season has been different for sure, weather conditions mainly related to climate change have prevented ice formation at the gray’s feeding grounds thus keeping them longer in the artic seas, also, interestingly enough, our gray friends have been spotted in southern latitudes than usual, reports from sightings as far south as Puerto Vallarta are not uncommon this year.
Whales are not the only migratory species affected by these weather conditions, Brant’s geese and white pelicans were also late to their winter hangouts along with other species. A strong remainder that denial does not make the problem go away.
It is interesting to observe how this year also brought an unusual amount of water to the Vizcaino desert making it bloom with color for a few weeks, the semper dry Adam’s tree bushes were beautifully adorned with their characteristic red flowers and their not so always visible small green leaves. Flowers of all colors along with every shade of green embellished the road to Campo Cortez at least for a few days.
For Carrie, coming to San Ignacio is a ritual. In her blood, just like the whales, runs San Ignacio lagoon’s water and you can find it embedded in her DNA, no question about it.
For us at the camp it’s always a pleasure to see an old friend, the wealth of knowledge she embodies, is both inspirational and educational for every guide at the camp, she devoted her life to the observation and protection not only of the gray whales but also of their environment. The interconnections between all the species in the ecosystem was clear for Carrie since she was young, a lifetime of research and science put within the public’s reach.
But what does the poo, the quesadillas and the dead fish have to do with all of these?
Well, having Carrie around is like having an excited genius kid around, she will jump and scream of emotion if a baby whale poo lands in her hands, and it did. She picked it up and bagged it for a later microscope session where all the guests at the camp could find the secrets behind the babies fat rich milk diet after digestion.
The dead fish happened to be a half beak fish, an elongated fish like the needle fish, and whom maybe out of bad luck escaped from the bite of a bigger fish in a jump just to land in the dryness of a panga and to finally be found next morning as stiff as a stick.
Well, that all sounds good, but what about the quesadillas you may ask?
A set of two quesadillas was smuggled out of the kitchen by yours truly to be enjoyed in a later snack that by design, included a nice hot cup of coffee. Unfortunately for the writer of this post I forgot about the whole idea and a day went by, next morning, I found these three items lying together on the same shelf, of course my appetite was deterred by the poo in a bag and the fish-stick, so I decided to have the nice hot cup of coffee and just write about the whole thing.