Monday, March 28, 2016

Whales in Mexico - March 2016

Victor and I spent three days watching, touching, and even kissing California Gray Whale mothers and their two-month old calves in remote Laguna San Ignacio, Baja California Sur, Mexico. A 3-day adventure with Kuyima.

The whale-watching was great! Every time we went out, we all got to touch the whales! They are accustomed to coming right up to the boats and interacting with people. Sometimes a mother and calf will just swim nearby and not approach, but each day, at least one pair and usually several came up to the boat.

It was tough to get good photos, since the boat and the whales are in constant motion. I got many pictures of the water, where I just missed the shot of the whale. Click here for an album of 14 photos.

For an aerial view, see this 3:32 drone video. (Not mine, of course!)

It was also tough just to get there! Click here to see Laguna San Ignacio on a map. From Mérida, we flew first to Mexico City, then to La Paz. From there, a six-hour bus ride brought us to Loreto where we spent the night. The next day, another five-hour bus ride took us to San Ignacio, where we spent the next night. Finally, the next morning, Kuyima's van took us the last 90 minutes to their cabins (seen in the first photo in the album). The last half of that was over a rough unpaved road. I made one mistake: Both Kayak and Google showed no direct flights between Mexico City and Loreto, but there are some. I need to figure out what flight search will show more.

By necessity, the facilities were spare. There was no wifi, no cell phone service, no radio, no TV, no news. The solar power meant we had to turn off the one light bulb in our small cabin by 10 pm. There was a small simple toilet for pee in the cabin, but for everything else, including washing up, we had to go outside.

Each morning, a 30-minute boat ride would take us to the whale observation area. In the afternoon, there was sometimes an organized group walk. The weather was warm in the middle of the day, with strong chilly winds in the morning and evening.