When this group of vacationers hopped in a boat to go whale watching, they expected just that—watching whales. They would never have imagined it to be much more.
San Ignacio Lagoon is located in Mulegé Municipality, Baja California Sur. It is also known for being one of the last two nursing and breeding grounds for eastern Pacific gray whales.
The lagoon is part of El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, the largest wildlife sanctuary in Latin America. The water is shallow and warm, which is ideal for the gray whales to give birth to their young.
Whale watching is highly regulated there for obvious reasons; boats pose a danger to these beautiful specimens. There are limits on how many boats can be on the water at the same time, how long they can stay, and how close they can get.
Boats must turn off their engines and are not allowed to approach whales; one must wait for the whales to come close—if they come at all. Though, the whales here are known to seek out interaction with humans, and that’s exactly what happened next in the case of these hopeful whale watchers.
So imagine how delighted these lucky boaters were when a gray whale calf and its mother appeared right next to their boat!
Moments later, the two whales appeared again on the other side of the boat. This time, the calf was close enough for all of them to reach over and touch it. The woman, named Sabrina, couldn’t help but squeal with joy upon touching the animal.
And when she spots the mother right under her baby, pushing the calf up out of the water, the woman can’t help but yell out with delight. The mother whale was underneath holding up her calf for them!
Then, something even more unexpected happened; the mother whale came up to the surface as well, and Sabrina quickly put her hand in the water to touch the mother whale.
Although the encounter with the marine mammals was brief, this group can count themselves lucky to have the experience of a lifetime to remember and the wonderful tale to tell.