Gentle Giants: The Pacific Gray Whales of San Ignacio, Baja California Sur


whale waving

Posted by Caroline Aguiar


It’s hard to explain how I feel about the whales which live under the great oceans of our world.  It seems to me the whale is indeed a magical creature.  There are countless fiction, and true life stories of friendly encounters between people, and whales which brought deep feelings of love, joy and gratitude like the story I’ve added here below.  I believe whales are just as curious about us, as we are about them.  Please allow me to share with you this beautiful story of trust, and gratitude between whale, and man.

“A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighed down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.  This is her story of giving gratitude.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Faralon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so badly off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her… a very dangerous proposition.  One slap of her tail could kill her rescuer.  They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.


When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.  She then came back to every diver, one at a time, nudged them, and pushed gently, thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eye was following him the whole time, and he also said, he would never be the same again.”

One “thing to do” on my personal bucket list is to visit the Gray Whales in San Ignacio, located in Baja California Sur.  As I write this post, the idea of actually touching one gives me the shivers, and a warm fuzzy feeling inside.   Maybe I’ve watched Free Willy too many times, but is it truly possible to communicate both physically, emotionally, and verbally with these amazing leviathans of the sea? From what I’ve seen so far, it is, and I’d like to tell you more about it here in this post.

Rancho La Bellota is planning a yearly whale watching tour for January 2015. Right now we are updating our site. It’s now under construction, but by Sept. 6th it will be up and running again complete with dates, costs, and logistics if you’re interested in joining us on a San Ignacio Whale Watching Tour. Raul and I will be your hosts, and guides in collaboration with a reputable Eco-friendly whale watching touring company in San Ignacio..




The Pacific Gray Whales of San Ignacio Lagoon is a whale watching holiday like no other! San Ignacio Lagoon has earned, quite rightly, the accolade of being one of the finest whale watching destinations for experiencing the full repertoire of Pacific gray whale behaviour. Following a migration path that has been re-enacted over millions of years these giants of the sea spend three months nursing young in this protected lagoon before making the hazardous journey north along the Pacific coast of North America to their feeding grounds. San Ignacio Lagoon, set among the coastal desert landscapes of the northern part of Baja California Sur, is one of the birthplaces of the modern whale watching industry.

The grandfather of whale watching in Baja, Pachico Mayoral, first encountered a “friendly” in this lagoon over 40 years ago. An adult Pacific gray whale approached Pachico’s  small Panga and with outstretched hand he stroked this barnacle encrusted animal and in an instant the gulf between whale and man was bridged forever. Close encounters between whale and visitor are a frequent occurrence today.


If you’re  interested in more information regarding these trips you can contact us at: we will be happy to answer any questions, or concerns regarding the trip.   Look for up and coming dates for our next Whale Watching Tour January 2015!


I would like to share a beautiful video with you at the bottom of this post. Hope you enjoy it!





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