Gray Whales in Puerto Lopez Mateo
After we got back from Gordo we washed up, had some lunch and got ready to begin our 5 hour drive up to Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateo, near Bahia Magdalena. With everyone still amped from the days dives the drive went by super-fast. The next morning, we would need to be up early again for one of my all-time favorite experiences in Baja California. We met up with Captain Rojas at dawn and got ready to head out. Captain Rojas has been working on the waters here for over 25 years and is hands down one of the best. We set off into a dense fog in search of gray whales. Before the fog could even lift off the water we were greeted by a VERY curious gray whale calf and her mom. She came right up to our boat and poked her head out of the water as if she was asking us to play.
Now there’s something very special about the gray whales here. They seek out human interaction. If you place your hands in the water, they will come right up to them and rub their nose and head against you. If you don’t give them the attention they desire they leave in search of another boat that will. It is reminiscent of when a dog wants to be pet and positions itself, so that you are kind of forced into petting her – except in this case these pups are the size of a truck. We spent an entire hour just with this one mom and calf. They would take turns getting rubs and scratches in-between poking their heads out to look at us to say hello. The calf seemed extremely interested in my UW camera. She would come right up to it and then lift out of the water until we were eye to eye, smile and then spin back into the water before coming right back up to me. It was like she wanted me to jump in and play. At one point she lifted up out of the water and was looking at me then moved forward and bumped me in the head with the tip of her nose. It was like being kissed by a small train. But even more adorable was that she came right back up as if she wanted to make sure I was ok.