The past week and a half produced both one of the most amazing gray whale encounters I have ever witnessed and an almost record number of hours on the Sea of Cortez for one week.

The gray whale encounter lasted over one full hour and was witnessed by both GWC co-directors Gershon Cohen and Michael Fishbach.  A mother gray whale pushed her calf up to our boat and the calf spent an amazing hour blissfully having its head, mouth, baleen and even it’s tongue stroked and petted by everyone aboard.  We could easily see the eye of the whale opening and closing with delight as the interaction progressed.  One and all were left with a sense of awe and wonder at the encounter, and the mystery of why these gray whales seek this kind of interaction with humans.

Last week we spent 6 days at sea including one epic 13-hour day.  62 hours at sea mostly in very calm weather brought us 40 blue whales as well as a spectacular display of jumping by a huge pod of about 1000 bottlenose dolphins.  White Eyes was seen almost every day during the week, easy going and showing his tail fluke with almost every dive.  Nubbin reappeared and was observed into the sunset with a small group of bottlenose dolphins tracking him.  We had one large adult humpback whale breach right in front of the boat, saw a pair of fin whales, and one day we were literally surrounded by blue whales all day long.  We saw nesting blue-footed and brown boobies, brown pelicans and a spectacular display of nesting magnificent frigate birds with many males having their red balloon-like neck pouches fully inflated.

The number of identified blue whales for the season is growing and well up into the 20’s at present.  Keep your eyes peeled for our next report in about 10 days time.