Sharing moments in time…

Friendly Whales


When you go to San Ignacio, you hear immediately about their friendly whales and the numerous encounters they have where whales allow the watchers to touch them and even “play” with them!  The guides ensure that these encounters are the whale’s choice – they will not pursue a whale or force one into a position where the boat controls the behavior.  They will cruise alongside a whale (or more frequently, a mother whale and calf) until the whale takes the initiative to move closer to the boat.  In many cases, the female whale will encourage or even push the calf towards the sciffs.  The resultant interactions can last from a few seconds to over an hour.  Here’s a picture of some happy campers (above and below the water) enjoying each other’s company….

San Ignacio encounter

We had two such encounters in our three days on the lagoon – both for extended periods of time with the whale(s) moving back and forth to different sides of the boat, rubbing its back on the underside of the boat, and allowing everyone frequent opportunities to touch the whales.  My wife Dee noticed our guide gently pushing a baby’s nose back into the water – after he told her that some whales considered this a “game”, she also had the opportunity to take turns with the whale  in pushing back and forth.  We also had the opportunity to tickle the whale’s mouth which resulted in the whale opening its mouth and allowing us to feel the baleen that it uses to filter its food – quite an experience!  The whales would also sometimes push the boat with their noses as part of the game.  Nothing like playing with a new found friend – especially when the friend is 16-40 ft long and weighs between 1 (at birth) and 40 tons!

Here's looking at you!

17 responses

  1. Thats quite awesome!!

    March 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

  2. What an experience! Never knew whales were so friendly.

    March 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    • Colline – it was definitely cool – they seemed to really like being around us

      March 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      • Makes me want to go whale watching even more 🙂

        March 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      • Colline – highly recommend going if you can – amazing animals!

        March 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm

  3. Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

    March 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

  4. what an AWESOME experience.

    March 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    • Marina – it was really incredible – hard to capture how special it was in a photograph that can only capture a small fraction of the whale above water. I took a few underwater but the water was too murky and I was kind of “blind shooting” without being able to see the display on the camera from the boat.

      March 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

  5. What an amazing time! I don’t think many people get a chance like this! It’s so cool to see the photos! Thanks for sharing this! Wish I was there!

    March 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    • Thanks Judy – We have been very lucky to get to the places we’ve been and seen what we have seen – I’m very glad that I can share it in some small way.

      March 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

  6. Now I know what we missed 😦 Thank you for sharing these awesome pictures!

    March 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm

  7. And again, I gasp with amazement!

    March 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

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