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Whale watching in Baja

After spending the summer feeding in Alaska, gray whales begin their incredible migration south to winter in Baja California . They travel for 2-3 months to reach the warmer southern waters where they will mate and birth from mid-January to end of March. Large numbers of grays congregate in 3 bays along Baja’s west coast; Laguna Ojo de Liebre, Laguna San Ignacio and Bahia Magdalena (the southern-most bay, only 3 hours drive across peninsula from La Paz).


These shallow and highly-salinated bays increase newborn calves’ buoyancy and help keep them warm, despite their lack of protective blubber at birth. As fellow mammals, gray whale calves are born live and nurse their mothers’ milk, which is 50% fat (the gain 60 pounds per day diet!).
Here, gray whales will sometimes swim near small skiffs and allow themselves to be touched. Concern has grown about the impact of boat traffic around whales, and the number of boats allowed in the breeding lagoons is restricted. Along the migration route, boats’ proximity to whales is also limited.


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