Mon, Mar 6, 2017
There’s whale watching and then there’s whale touching. Lots of the former in US territorial waters but for the latter, head down to Baja.
We are camped near the Pacific Ocean at the Malarrimo RV Park in Guerrero Negro.
Guerrero Negro is famous for its salt farm and for Scammon’s Lagoon, fertile breeding grounds for gray whales.
Whale watching is big business here and we were told that the calves will approach the boats so that you can pet them. And they weren’t kidding.
We entered the bay and the whales were everywhere. Never mind that we missed the peak as the Alaska migration was already underway.
As our pilot approached the whales, he cut the engine to coast in. We were told that tapping on the side of the boat would attract them and sure enough, the momma / calf pair came right in. Momma stays close by to ensure the safety of her baby and she bumped our boat a few times to let us know that she’s there and she cares.
Here’s a calf that put his/her head right on the rail within a foot of my hand. I couldn’t resist to give her snout a touch. Felt a bit like a neoprene wetsuit only different. Here she is on the approach with momma just on the left.
Here’s an adult with her snout covered in barnacles. They all have them.
Getting this close to whales isn’t without it’s issues. Being mammals, they breath and it’s in through the nose. And when the exhale, it’s out their nose.
If you are close to and downwind when a whale blows, you get, well, a snot shower. Ask me how I know. Face, coat, everything covered in salty stuff. Oh well, no complaining here.
This wasn’t the direct hit that I experienced but there’s a reason this fellow has turned his head.