An encounter with a Gray Whale mother and her baby
February 20, 2009
with Baja Expeditions
Bahía Magdalena (Magdalena Bay) is a 50 km long bay along the western coast of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.
It is protected from the Pacific Ocean by the sandy barrier islands of Isla Magdalena and Isla Santa Margarita.
By late December to early January, the first of the Gray Whales begin to arrive the calving lagoons of Baja. These first
whales to arrive are usually pregnant mothers that look for the protection of the lagoons to give birth to their calves, along
with single females seeking out male companions in order to mate.
Gray whales are among the largest whales. Adults are about 35-45 feet long and weigh 22-35 tons. Females are larger
than males. Gray whales can live to an age of 50 or 60 years. Gray Whales were once called Devil Fish because of their
fighting behavior when hunted. Yet today they tolerate humans in close proximity.
Below are some pictures of our encounter with a gray whale and her baby on our trip with Baja Expeditions.
Note the mother's visible eye in the picture below.
Supposedly, splashing the water with one's hand will cause the mother and baby to approach the boat. In the three pictures
below, Jackie makes an effort to attract the mother and baby to come to the boat. Jackie came very close to touching mama.
Two other members of our group were successful in touching the whales. Below, Jill touches the baby Gray Whale.
Right, Jackie looks on at baby. Below, Terry,
another member of the group of sixteen,
makes contact with mama.
Mama and baby.
Right, touching baby.