This morning I downloaded the photos from CFL’s camera and discovered to my delight that he had dozens of photos of me with the gray whales at Laguna San Ignacio. While I was squealing like a teenager (along with all the other women on our boat) he was calmly documenting the entire scene. How thoughtful (and lovable) is that?
So here you go — here are some of the best whale photos from the more than 500 trip photos that we have between us. Tomorrow (or soon, anyway) I’ll write about and post photos of the birds, the camp, the region, and some of the fun things that we did while in San Diego as well.
A mother and calf approach the boat…
Seventeen seconds later per the time stamp on the photos, THIS happens!
Here you can see mom just below the surface, lifting baby out of the water so we all get a better look!
Baby rolls on its side for a better look at us…
And stays on its side for another close approach.
It’s the next day, we’re with another mother/calf pair, and this one seems to be sticking its tongue out at us! (We also saw baleen, but we don’t have any photos of that remarkable “tooth” adaptation.)
Meanwhile the rest of our group, in the other boat, were seeing some nice fluke action…
On the third morning we were out on the water with a group of local children on a school field trip. What lucky kids! Watching them play with this baby whale was almost as good as being with the whale ourselves.
Eventually the kids moved on and we got to take our turn with this exceptionally outgoing whale. Check out this eye shot!
I was shooting video that morning. The way I was squealing, I’m not sure I want to post those videos, but as you can see I got a shot of my hand touching the whale.
By this time several people had kissed the whale and it was my turn to give it a go. I had no idea I was so far out of the boat when this sequence was taken!
From all the upraised hands in this photo, I seem to have just completed that kiss… but alas, there is no photo of that split second. In any case, I’m glad someone finally got a hand on my life jacket!
By the end of that morning’s trip, we were all totally wrung out!
It was windy out there on the water. I had put gobs of sunblock on my head, which — combined with whale spray and sculpted by wind — produced a truly stunning hair style. But I can assure you, this is a smile of pure and total joy.
I’m so grateful to CFL for his wonderful photos. It brings a new perspective to the whole experience for me… one that I’m pleased and proud to share with you.
Yet these photos, awesome as they are, can only give you an idea of what it’s really like. Life changing? Absolutely!