Spy Hopping and Tails
We were fortunate again this year to have Jose as our guide for out Gray Whale outings. Jose is very knowledgeable about
the whales. According to Jose, the whales are not "spy hopping" when they raise their heads out of the water. Most of the time
they do not come up far enough to expose their eyes to the air. Further, they do not see that well outside the water. Why do
they "spy hop"? Because they want to. It is worth noting that the day we observed the most "spy hops" was at a very strong
tide. The whales were swimming in place against the tide and raised their heads against the tide.
In this picture the whales eye is visible.
We did not see a lot of tails above the surface in Laguna San Ignacio. This is because the Laguna is rather shallow. The tail
comes above the water for deep dives.
The whale in the next two pictures spent over an hour under and around our panga. At one point he was lying upside down
under our panga with a fin sticking up on each side. He bumped our boat several times, one time sufficient to cause some
water to come over the side of our panga. Note the side of the boat in view in the second picture below.
And here this whale honored us with a moderate close up spy hop.
These pictures of other pangas give you an idea of what it was like to observe the Gray Whales.
Women do most of the whale touching.