Gray Whales of San Ignacio Lagoon
By: Liisa Juuti
Last night I asked my fellow guides what do they feel when being around the whales. We were in the middle of the desert at night, staring at the sky with beautiful shooting stars, waiting for the car engine to cool down to get back to our camp. Our attempt to get to the village to celebrate the whale festival had failed and we were contemplating our experience of the camp under the stars. "Joy. Happiness." says Rubi, pouring the last bit of water to the radiator. "Well, they just totally crack me up every time I see them" says Hayley while making odd movements and singing a song with whale-related lyrics. It is our second last night at the camp.
The next day, on our last day at the camp, Cuco kindly offers to take us, guides, to a whale watching trip so that we can touch, kiss and play with them, too. But to our surprise and amusement NONE of them approach us. Not a single one of them! We sing to them, splash, call for them in different tones, just as we encourage our clients to do. But they keep hiding. Hayley wonders if they have already left the lagoon. But I know they are still out there. Maybe they are too sad to come and say goodbye, I reckon. We end up having a wonderful yet nostalgic whale watching trip, without seeing any whales.
It is difficult to leave the lagoon. I have gotten used to the busy routine, ever changing sunrises, the sound of the bell calling for whale watching or happy hour, the stingy look of the coyotes, the red mangrove seeds floating in the water, the whale smell on my face and the "norteña" music. Not to mention the gorgeous night walks to the bathroom lit by the stars and moon, the daily interaction with the whales or the many giggles with the guides and the family at Campo Cortez. It has been such a positive and intense experience and I have difficulties assimilating it. All I can say is THANK YOU. Thank you whales, thank you family at Campo Cortez, thank you Hayley and Rubi, and thank you clients! Not only have I learned from the whales, birds, invertebrates and plants around the lagoon, but also from the many interesting and inspiring guests. Oh, and what do I feel when around the whales? Peace. Bliss. Grace. And Love. What else can one ask for? I am ready to migrate to my home, just as the grays. See you next year!