Magdalena Bay Day
It was a hot spring morning when the Safari Endeavour docked in Puerto Escondido.
As we wrapped up a delicious breakfast, everyone waited in anticipation for the ride to Adolfo Lopez – the northern tip of Magdalena Bay. It was a beautiful ride along a winding road enclosed by countless peaks in the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range.
We arrived and boarded our pangas (small Mexican style boats). As we entered the bay there was an unseasonable fog bank shrouding Magdalena Bay in mystery.
We took off in our panga with the captain Jaime. We headed north and after passing some nesting frigatebirds, a coyote and a great blue heron we saw what we came for... a mother and a baby grey whale.
These amazing creatures are the longest migrating mammals on earth, traveling a yearly distance of around 12,000 miles.
In Magdalena Bay, mother whales find protection from predators and safety to raise their young in the shallow lagoons. They nurse for nearly two months as the babies grow and get stronger.
The calves will drink up to 50 gallons of milk per day and gain somewhere between 60 and 70 pounds per day. As the calves grow and get stronger their mothers begin to encourage independence.
In fact, mothers have been known to push their calves towards the pangas to give unsuspecting visitors the surprise of a lifetime.
A calf will stick its head up or spyhop out of the water to say hello and take a pet on the head before diving back below.
This experience brings the greatest sense of joy to every single person lucky enough to participate.
Clapping, yipping, screaming, high-fiving, hugging, crying and exclamations of “that was on my bucket list!” are all common responses.
No matter what they yell, everyone agrees it’s the experience of a lifetime.