Thursday, February 12, 2015

San Ignacio Lagoon Guide Report

Guide Report From San Ignacio Lagoon
Gray Whale Sanctuary


February 6 thru 11, 2015


"I'm Stephan, a new guide that just arrived to Campo Cortez. I was born in France and have a strong passion for wildlife, especially marine mammals. As a marine-guide and naturalist, I previously worked in several countries and got to see many species, sperm whales and orcas in Norway, southern right whales in South Africa, humpback whales in Iceland and a huge variety of dolphins off the coast of the Canary Islands in Spain. But I hadn't met any Gray whales in the wild so far, so I I was very excited to come and work here in San Ignacio Lagoon. My first encounter with the Grays exceeded my expectations. 

The plane flew over the lagoon before it landed at our airport. From the window I could see my first Gray whales swimming at the surface and blowing. No doubt, that was the proof that these amazing animals are really abundant in the bay. During our first whale-trip, it didn't take long before we had our first close encounter with the whales, just after we reached the observation area. I found out that Gray whales are very active and confident ; they are keen on interacting with the boats, show a lot of curiosity as they spyhop more often than any other whale I've had the chance to see. It's amazing to see how these bulky creatures can lift themselves so high above the sea surface.
On the second whale watching trip we managed to pet some whales. It was the first time I touched a whale. What a great moment to feel the rubbery skin under my hand. One mother and its calf, particularly, were very trusting and circled the boat many times during the next trips. It seems like babys are gaining self-confidence very early this season since the mothers don't behave in a protective manner and let their offspring play with us. We also observed a few matings and breaches under Baja California's ever-shining sun."