Feb 23, 2019 - National Geographic Venture
It was a day dedicated to whales. Pacific gray whales, to be specific.
After a beautiful westward transit across the Baja Peninsula, we arrived at the breeding grounds of Lopez Mateos. This is the birth place for many of the approximately 90 individuals that return yearly from the cold waters of the Bering Sea. Gray whales are known for this epic annual migration between Baja (breeding) and Arctic (feeding) grounds. Today was our opportunity to see females with calves as well as singles near the mouth of the Pacific, the latter company seeking out suitable mates for next year’s litter. The mixed demographic led to varied behavior ranging, including breaches, spy-hopping, and even some close contact with our boats (done mostly by the adults), as well as calmer moments with mothers and their weeks-old calves further into the lagoons.
Beneath the blue skies of Lopez Mateos were many hoots of excitement, smiles, and encouraging splashes intended to coax over curious whales. To share the water with an animal as large and magnificent as this is quite a privilege, but doing so with a species that, at times, seems just as curious by your presence as you are of its own is something truly special, and one not soon to be forgotten.
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