Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Friendly Gray Whales of San Ignacio Lagoon

Pine Mountain

Hello again from Pine Mountain. Spring is here at last. A couple of days ago after I finished my daily chores I saddled up my horse named Rocket and went out to check the fence line on the back fields. It was a relaxing and enjoyable ride. The birds were out flying around calling to each other. A couple of squirrels ran up a tree and a rabbit ran through the field. A hawk flew overhead looking for mice. Down at the stream several fish swam in one of the deep pools.

I returned from my ride, unsaddled and put away my horse then went to the house for lunch. This week our main feature is about my friend Leanne and whales in Mexico. I hope every one enjoys it.

The Friendly Gray Whales

of San Ignacio Lagoon

The Great Migration

Each winter from December through April, a magnificent event takes place along the Pacific Shoreline.

A primal calling brings forth the longest known mammal migration. From the cold Arctic waters of the Bering Sea, Pacific Gray Whales make their way South to the remote warm water lagoons of Mexico’s Baja peninsula.

It is in these desert lagoons that the propagation of these mighty giants occurs. Although hunted to the brink of extinction only a few decades ago, Pacific Gray Whales have made a remarkable comeback from an estimated few thousand animals world wide to a recently estimated population of 25,000 animals.

At San Ignacio Lagoon, man and these giant Gray Whales have formed a unique and peaceful relationship. Dubbed as “The Friendlies” by the locals because of their curious and gentle nature, they often approach the skiffs to interact with the people on board. These friendly Gray Whales actually seek out human interaction.

Often, mothers with calves will approach the skiffs to present their calves to you, encouraging you to scratch their backs and baleen as they lounge around the skiffs. Over the years, this extraordinary behavior has become a regular occurrence only at San Ignacio Lagoon. It is this trusting gesture of friendship that makes a visit to San Ignacio Lagoon a once in a lifetime, spiritual experience.

Last year’s trip was truly unforgettable. There’s just no other way to say it – these whales WANT TO BE PETTED!

At one point, our ponga was surrounded by not one – but THREE PAIRS of mothers and babies, all looking for an opening toward our outstretched hands. I’ve never seen anything like this.

For reasons known only to the Whales and God, the Gray Whale comes here each year not only to bear it’s young, but also to seek out human contact. It is one thing to pet a whale in a Sea Park or watch it through glass. It is nothing like being on the open ocean and having a thirty foot whale gently take your hand in it’s mouth while it looks you in the eye. I have touched and petted dozens of whales. I have had them bring their babies up to me, proud as any mother can be. I have watched them nurse and have been fluke slapped for getting too close while they mated.

At night, we fall asleep listening to them blow outside our tent while coyotes howl at the moon. At low tide, I like to walk through the lagoon, looking for the tiny octopus that dig into the sand and mark their boundary by piling stones outside the entrance. I have watched Osprey carry off rabbits and coyotes catch clams by sticking their tail into the shell when it breathes, then take it to a rock and smash it open.

God works His magic in San Ignacio Lagoon, and it is why I will be there again next year.

Green Energy

The cost of energy keeps increasing every day. There are ways to save money on energy without spending a fortune. If you are at all mechanically inclined there is a book that will show you how to save energy. It has been called the alternative energy bible. To get your copy got to Alternative energy

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Better Health

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Cheaper Travel

Learn how to save money on you next vacation. Go to cheaper travel

How would you like to travel for free? Go to Free Travel

Do you like to write? How would you like to get paid for going on vacation? Go to Travel Writing and learn how to become a travel writer.

Pine Mountain Evening

I am relaxing in my easy chair in front of a cheery fire in the fireplace. Squeekers my African Grey parrot is sitting on his perch munching peanuts. Tonight I am trying a sample coffee from called Fire starter. It is a very dark robust coffee that is french roast. It was taken out of the roaster just before it burned. I have finished my coffee now and put squeekers in his cage. I have closed off the fireplace and am ready to get some sleep. Good night all see you next week.