From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California
Feb 21, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Bird
Bahia Magdalena & Isla Magdalena
A cool morning greeted us at the northern tip of the 60-mile-long island, Isla Magdalena. A windy morning, that calmed down as the day wore on. We had been hearing whale blows since early in the morning, as the gray whales ignored our ship anchored in their path. After a hurried breakfast, we were divided, and some of us were taken to the beach near the ship. A coyote slowly lurked in the vicinity, and eventually disappeared in the short mangroves. One group headed straight out to the other side of the island, and enjoyed enormous quantities of shells of all colors and sizes, and the view of two coyotes. Some of us stayed near the inner side of the island, and visited the mangroves, as well some of the lovely brownish dunes in the vicinity. The brown color is due to the strong presence of phosphorite and magnetite in the sand, two very common minerals in the area.
The other group made their way to the vicinity of the marvelous gray whales, mothers with babies. Some of them are barely a few weeks in age, others are already a month old. And the calm waters of the lagoon serve to train these young animals and prepare them for their very long trip to Alaska later on, at the end of March or beginning of April.
The mothers force them to swim against the strong currents of the tides, back and forth during many hours of the day.
On each Zodiac we had a “panguero” or Mexican fisherman, who holds the permit for watching the whales in this lagoon.
After lunch we continued to watch the whales, enjoying them “spy-hopping” and even breaching!
As the day wound down, we all returned to our ship and enjoyed a good cocktail and a group of Mexican musicians, rendering for us many Mexican songs.