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"There be whales Cap'n...!"

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   Drove across the peninsula yesterday and went to what was formerly called "Scammon's lagoon". Now it's the town of Adolfo Lopez Mateos ( turns out that Scammon was not a very nice guy as he discovered the grey  whales breeding here and sailed into the lagoon to slaughter them....) . Luckily the locals have now formed a cooperative and ONLY their boats ( NO private boats are allowed) can be in the lagoon for breeding season which runs up to the end of March/early April.

We chartered a Panga and went out to find whales. Took all of 20 minutes before we found "Olivia' pictured in this video and her 3 week old calf. Olivia has become acquainted with a few captain's/boats and will swim right up to the boat to let you pet her ! The calf was like most kids, playing, rolling around, etc. Very surreal experience having a 40 foot animal watching you as you rub her head...

Throughout the day we sighted about 25 whales, many of which would let you get up close, but not touch them. In fact at times we were surrounded by whales of all sizes !

The lagoon itself is a pretty special place with sand dunes on one shore, and mangroves on the other. I'd like to bring Petunia over in the "off season"and spend some time here....

 

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Wow.

 

That is one of the most beautiful, wonderful things ever.

 

What must they think of us?

 

Thank you so much for sharing this.

 

Peace,

Robert

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Liz and I visited Scammon's Lagoon in 1997 and had the same experience with the grey whales.  I think Mexico prefers to call it St Ignacio Lagoon. The salt harvesting was interesting as well.  Very inexpensive then with no fee for camping on the lagoon shore.

 

The only place we've been where whales are practically guaranteed to be seen close up.

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Tom,

 San Ignacio is actually further North than we were, but the setting is very similar.  The Mexican name for the area we were in  is now Magdalena Bay.  I had NO idea that Captain Scammon was such an "opportunist" as once he discovered that the grey whales would return every year to the bay to breed, he also returned every year and slaughtered them while they were then trapped inside the lagoon.

One of  the best parts of the day was seeing how many Mexican families came to the bay to show their kids the whales. These families, and their kids will have a say in the future treatment of the local environment, and the whales as well. You didn't even need to go out on a boat as the lagoon isn't very wide so you could actually sit on the dock and watch them as they swam by...

Graham,

 I needed to do this before the Everglades Challenge kicked off this weekend ! :D

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Graham,

 I needed to squeeze this in before the Everglades Challenge kicked off next weekend !

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That's really cool.  Seeing whales up close is super impressive; I've only seen orcas around here and none recently, although my wife diligently points out anything that could be a whale, anywhere.  But you can see the degree to which whale sightings are valued here:

 

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