Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Whale Tales

Tina and I took an Eco-Tour to see the gray whales in Laguna Ojo de Liebre. A bus took us from our RV park to the lagoon.
We pass the salt flats where sea salt is harvested by evaporation. That is a huge pile of salt.
The salt company exports tons of salt that has a variety of uses, most of it not for eating.
 A beautiful morning with calm waters.
These are the boats, called pangas, that are used for the whale tours. Our guide is waiting for us.
 Climb in and don a life jacket.
And we speed away to find the whales. Gray Whales migrate down the west coast to these waters every year to have their babies in the warm shallow water.
We saw tons of birds on this trip, many new to me, like these Brant Geese (I think). I will leave most of the birds for a separate post, because this one is crowded with whales.
After many pics of open water and the backs of heads, we finally saw a whale spout. And suddenly there were many whale spouts.
 This is my best picture of a whale spout.
I also have a bunch of pictures of whale backs. You see them while the whales are doing their rhythmic breathing. They make 3 to five short dives, surfacing to breathe before doing a longer deeper dive.
 Sometimes they are just resting on the surface like this one.

When you see the tail flukes, it signals a deeper, longer dive.

This behavior is called spy hopping. 
 They poke their head above water, hovering with the eye exposed.
It is believed they do this to look around above the surface. They were probably curious about who was looking at them.
One of the highlights of the trip was this newborn calf swimming with its mother.
 The guide said this big baby was less than a week old.
 Mom (on left) and baby rise at the same time to breathe in this pic.
This magnificent whale came up close to the boat and played with us awhile.

 And good-bye!
 We left to let those other tourist get some pics.
On the way back we passed thousands of birds...it is a bird sanctuary as well as a whale sanctuary. I think these might be Royal Terns.

 Wouldn't this make a great jigsaw puzzle?
 Beautiful protected sand dunes...no dune buggies here.
 Guess who's on the salt barge? An osprey on top, and ...
 a sea lion!
 More sea lions.
 And we watched a pair of ospreys courtin'

 Or something...
Hope you enjoyed. Sorry I couldn't post all 500+ photos I took. The two videos refused to upload. Tina and I drove on down the road a ways, and tomorrow we'll find the beach where Beth and Mitch landed.


  1. Beautiful pics, Liz! Thanks for the info on the sand dunes, I was getting ready to load up Peewee and head on down to you! LOL!

  2. Amazing pictures Liz! Really enjoyed seeing the whales and the bird pictures are so unique. Definitely worth a puzzle or big picture.


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