The previous night’s wind had subsided by the time the sun began its’ morning ascent. This meant our skiff would debark as planned.
After a few cups of camp coffee and a light breakfast the group headed on over to the palapa for a quick information session. Soon after we donned our life vests and waded out to the waiting panga.
In no time at all our small skiff was bouncing across the water as our guide gunned the motor and we headed out to sea.
We had learned that although the grey whales frequent the entire lagoon at San Ignacio, there was only a small area where we were permitted to get close. This is to ensure that the disturbance to the mother and calf is minimal.
The grey whales make the 8 week journey from Alaska to congregate in San Ignacio where they give birth, breed and care for their young. After that they hang out for a bit, then make the long journey back usually by the end of April.
The number of grey whales out in the lagoon was incredible. We could see numerous whales breaching and spouting water. Mothers and calves would swim side by side their long backs gliding effortlessly past us. The sheer size of these creatures was overwhelming and most made our panga seem ridiculously small.
The desire to edge closer was immediately followed by the urge to back away out of respect. Our boat driver expertly navigated our small panga, to minimize disturbing the whales but one of the larger whales got a little too close and bumped our skiff with his large tail. We were knocked around a bit and sprayed with water but luckily no one fell overboard.
After this friendly whale love tap, we spent some more time, watching the whales until our boat driver suddenly exclaimed “mirar alla, mirar alla” and excitingly pointed starboard. At first we weren’t quite sure what we were observing, but soon came to realize where all the baby whales were coming from.