Bahia Magdalena

Feb 01, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Today was an incredible day! Under overcast skies we hopped into our expedition landing craft and zipped around Bahia Magdalena searching for gray whales. After only a few minutes we found them—and not just one but several whales circling in a small area. Mothers had small calves with them and there was some fantastic close interaction between the adults and their young. One mother in particular, affectionately known as Olivia by the local pangeros (local boat drivers who join us and know a lot about the whales), repeatedly nosed up against our boats with her calf alongside. Guests leaned out of the boats, eager to touch the whales.

Over the course of several morning and afternoon rounds of whale tours, just about everyone had a chance to pet the whales, which feel surprisingly smooth and rubbery. Photographers madly snapped photos of the whales next to and under our landing craft as well as spyhopping nearby. Some folks even got to put their hands inside a baby whale's mouth and feel its tongue and baleen. The moms sometimes pushed their calves towards the boats, much to everyone's delight. One mom seemed to go to sleep as we petted her head while her calf frolicked right nearby. It could not have been a more wonderful day with whales. While many guests were cruising around looking at whales, some folks visited Isla Magdalena to stroll across the dunes to the Pacific beach. A few jackrabbits and coyotes were spotted along the way, as well as some interesting shorebirds, herons, and cormorants. All in all, it was an idyllic experience.

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About the Author

Emily Mount

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Emily grew up in Boulder, Colorado and Pullman, Washington. Her love of nature began as a child during family vacations spent hiking, camping and exploring the mountains and deserts of the west. In contrast to her outdoors interests, Emily pursued an intensive young career as a classical violinist, culminating in degrees in history and music performance at the University of Washington.

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