Avatar
sandy sandy
103,971 views| 56  Posts

Mexican Whale´s Festival!!!!

I have been learning lately a lot of the beautiful Pandas, Gracious Penguins and Majestic Wolfs, (thanks to my friends for sharing) but now I want to introduce to you , our pride the Mexican whales, because February is the month of the Whale´s Festival In México.If you think your family is traveling a great distance to go on vacation, consider that every year, thousands of gray whales migrate to the warm coastal waters of Mexico's Baja Peninsula to mate and give birth. They migrate from their summer homes in the Bering and Chukchi seas between Alaska and Siberia, a journey of more than 6,000 miles. While other types of whales also winter in the Sea of Cortez

The Friendly Whales of Mexico!

In the warm winter waters of Baja California live calves, cows, and bulls that are in a word large. The calves at birth are almost 3 Meters ( 15 feet) long. When full grown the bulls are about 12M ( 40 feet), and the cows are up to 16 M or about 50 feet and can weigh up to

32,000 kg ( 70,000 lb., or 35 tons). To give you an idea as to how big a cow is … next time you see one of those big cross country buses … it's about the same length as these cows.[if gte vml 1]> /v:formulas /v:shapetype /v:shape<![endif][if !vml][endif]We are talking about the friendly whales of Baja California, Mexico,  the gray whale (Echrichtius Robustus).

General descrīption

Grays are a mid size whale generally gray in color and are covered with patches of barnacles and other parasites (whale lice). Patterns of the barnacles differ from whale to whale and allow positive identification of individuals.  These parasites seem to bother the whales sensitive skins and whales have been seen apparently trying to rub them off on the sea floor or against the bottoms of boats or other floating structures. Breaching may also be an attempt to dislodge these annoyances.Gray whales, in Mexican waters, are surprisingly  warm to the touch. There skin is not a smooth as that of faster cetaceans, like dolphin, because when the barnacles are finally scraped off a slight indentation is left in the skin that can be seen as well as felt. The are also short ( 1 cm or so in length) thick  hairs (a few mm) along the upper lip of some individuals. In place of the dorsal (top) fin are a number of bumps or knuckles running along the back, starting a bit past half way and extending towards the tail. The head of the gray whale is also some what narrow, the head and front flippers are use for directional control, and the tail is used for propulsion. That tail is about 5 M or 16 feet wide and is said to generate about 500 horse power. 

COWS AND CALVES

The gray whales are born in the shallow lagoons in Baja California. While in the lagoons the Mothers teach there calves how to swim! YES that’s right. The mothers must TEACH the calves how to swim, supporting them for the first few days of life.  The calfs instinctually know to breath when there blowhole is out of the water and close it when it is not. [if gte vml 1]> /v:shape<![endif][if !vml]While in the lagoons the mothers take the calves to the mouth of the lagoons and have them swim against the tides when it changes. Mother and calf are also seen swimming laps to help get the babies in shape for there long swim to summer Arctic feeding grounds.

The baby calves are about 5 M ( 15 feet) long at birth and weigh about a ton, or perhaps a bit more - that’s about the size of a small car. The calves drink milk that is 55% fat. The "normal" milk you have on your kitchen table is less than 4% fat! On this diet the baby whales gain about 50 Kg ( 150 Lbs) a day!

 [endif]    Dealings with Man

Gray whales are also called "Devil Fish" because of the love the mothers show for there calves. This sounds strange but let me explain. When man was hunting the Grays almost to extinction - twice - whalers found for them a gold mine in the shallow lagoons in Baja California. The whalers would harpoon the baby whales to get at the large mother whales!  The mothers would "charge" the whalers trying to save her calf and would then be killed as well. Whalers did hunt the Gray Whales that used to live along the Asian coast to extinction.  Fortunately in 1946 gray whales became legally protected and have increased to over 21,000 souls. With the number of whales approaching what is thought to be there historical numbers [along the North American coast] the whales have been removed from the Endangered Species List, but are still protected by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, the International Whaling Commission, and by the Marine Protection Act of 1972.

We have taught Grays to befriend mankind. It is awful to kill them! Please stop whaling!!!! A Whale having fun ... [if gte vml 1]> /v:shape<![endif][if !vml][endif]

                            ...another posing for a picture![](/attachments/2008/02/35930_200802030558431.thumb.jpg) [if gte vml 1]> /v:shape<![endif][if !vml][endif]

[if gte vml 1]> /v:shape<![endif][if !vml][endif]  Rubbing a whale. That mouth is about as along as the almost 5 meters ( 14 feet)!

Scratching

Patting a whale on the snout ... look at all the barnacles![](/attachments/2008/02/35930_200802030601001.thumb.jpg)

Mexico whale watching will reveal colonies of grey whales that are among the most gentle whale species in the world. Grey whale mothers are incredibly protective and make especially attentive caretakers. Tourists are likely to see mothers at play with their calves, and can be seen carrying their calves on their back when the young become tired. Grey whale mothers are almost never away from their calves, and can be seen giving the young whales constant attention. This is good news for tourists hoping to see a family unit. You will almost never see a calf without seeing the mother close behind. Grey whales also tend to stick together in a pack. This means that there is often a good chance you will see multiple whales on your whale-watching trip. Whales have been migrating from the north to the Sea of Cortez for thousands and thousands of years, and a Mexico whale watching tour is the perfect way to be a part of the ancient tradition.Mexican whale watching offers the opportunity to see a high number of whales including the mightiest creature on earth, the Blue whale. Also commonly encountered are Humpbacks, Fin, Bryde’s,  Pilot and even Killer whales Orcas, not to mention Bottlenose, Long-beaked and Short-beaked common dolphin. In the pristine untouched bays and lagoons, you can snorkel in search of manta rays and turtles while Sea Lions, Elephants Seals and Fur Seals lounge around the beaches. Wheeling above in the clear skies are over 130 species of sea and land birds, from Brown pelicans to the endemic Xantus’ Hummingbird.

Some Gray Whale behavīors.

Swim:

Gray whales cruise at about 3 or 4 knots, it is this slow speed that makes it possible for the barnacles and lice to stay attached. A Gray can maintain a speed of 10 knots for about an hour. Top speed is obtained while breaching and as been calculated to be over 30 knots.  Whales swim by moving there tails up and down. Fish move from side to side.

Spout or

Blow: [if gte vml 1]> /v:shape<![endif][if !vml][endif]

Whale spout is really just what happens when the whale exhales. Gray Whales, like all whales, are mammals and breathe air. When the warm moist air from inside the whale leaves the blowhole on the top it condenses and you can see the spout!  Baleen whales have a divided blow hole, kind of like your nose. From the front or rear the spout has a thin heart shaped look to it and is 2 or 3 meters high (6- 10 feet). Toothed whales only have a single blow hole. Different species of cetaceans can be discerned by there spouts more or less.

Spy Hop:

Spy Hopping is where the whale sticks his (or her) head out above the water for a look around. Some times this is just a quick up and down motion, other times the whales may leave there heads above the water for extended times. [if gte vml 1]> /v:shape<![endif][if !vml][endif]In shallow waters the whales may actually be "standing" with there tail flukes on the sea floor. Spy hoping may be an aid in navigation, or perhaps the whale just wants to see something on the surface. Whales see quite well both above water and below. There eyes contain powerful muscles that change the shape of the lens to allow it to focus both below and above the surface.

Sounding:

Whales will generally take a few short breaths and then dive deep for a number of minutes. Grays can stay submerged for over 8 minutes and dive to deeper than 150 Meters ( 500 feet). Before slipping totally underwater the tail or fluke is shown. [if gte vml 1]> /v:shape<![endif][if !vml][endif]

Breaching:

Breaching is where a whale propels much of there body out of the water.Thay can do this 11 or 12 times in a row. I might be a man whale showing off to the lady whales, it might be to dislodge lice and barnacles, or it might just be whales having a good time.[if gte vml 1]> /v:shape<![endif][if !vml][endif]

 A video taken in the Whale´s Festival, I hope you like it!!!!!

almost 13 years ago 0 likes  6 comments  0 shares
Photo 35751
great blog Sandy I'm with you - save the whales actually the New Zealand govt is always challenging the Japan govt on their whaling stance. I had a friend who got arrested once (she was with greenpeace) for boarding a Japan whaling boat in protest. All that information about the Gray whales is really interesting. They look so friendly! A whole lot of orka visited my bay last month and I missed them =(
almost 13 years ago
Photo 35751
that would be orca =)
almost 13 years ago
Photo 55237
okay lets go
almost 13 years ago
Photo 23048
Thanks for letting us know, where we can go for whalewatching! I LOVE whales! They don't deserve to be hunted!
almost 13 years ago
Photo 43083
Hey Paige sis!!! ^.^ There are MAJOR whale watching events all over the Oregon Coast ~ it's a big deal over there for boat owners and coastal businesses ^.^
almost 13 years ago
Photo 33820
ese texto es muy bonito y informativo ! yo amo animales marinos, quiero trabajar con eso , animales marinos !! me gusta mucho ese texto ! hasta luego !
almost 13 years ago

About

&quot;Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes&quot;.

Learn More

Languages Spoken
english, spanish
Location (City, Country)
Other
Gender
female
Member Since
August 13, 2007