Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos

Feb 07, 2019 - National Geographic Venture

We began today’s adventures with gray whale watching. Expedition leader Jim Kelly took us to one of the four breeding areas known in the area: the small fishing village of Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, located at the northernmost portion of Magdalena Bay. The breeding site is contained within a lagoon, which was accessed using a type of fiberglass watercraft with an outboard motor attached. These “pangas,” as they are called, offer close-up viewing of these magnificent animals that would otherwise not be permitted with larger watercrafts.

Gray whales are one of specimens in the baleen whale family, and they have one of the most extensive migratory patterns among mammals. From the cold feeding waters off the Bering and Chukchi Seas, they begin their long southerly descent to breeding grounds in Mexico, a commute extending anywhere between 5,000 and 7,000 miles in duration—and that’s only one way!

The stars of today’s viewing were several groups of mothers and their calves, who were generous with their time in delighting our guests, a good number of whom managed to get some grade-A wildlife photography for this area.

Time to reconvene and prepare for tomorrow’s venturing!

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About the Author

Octavio Maravilla


Octavio was born in Mexico City and moved to La Paz at age 19, to study Marine Biology at the Baja California Sur State University. He began his field research on California sea lions, working at Los Islotes, a small rookery close to La Paz City. Later, he expanded his research to all the sea lion colonies in the Gulf of California and over the Pacific coast of the Baja California Peninsula — aside sea lions, he studied three other species of Mexican pinnipeds, harbor seals, elephant seals, and Guadalupe fur seals.

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