Puerto Escondido / Lopez Mateos, Baja Mexico

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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About the Author

Eric Guth

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Eric began work with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic in 2006 as a means to see the world, work with great photographers and engage his environmental studies degree beyond the classroom. His initial years with the company were spent working the waters of Southeast Alaska and Baja California. His move to the National Geographic Explorer in 2008 helped earn him the experience and knowledge needed to establish himself as a trusted boat handler, naturalist and respected photographer in nearly all the environments Lindblad-National Geographic travels.

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