The fantastic Gray Whale Migration to Magdalena Bay in the Baja is a true natural wonder. It happens yearly, the Gray Whales come from the Bering Strait and Alaska to the warmer waters of the Baja in order to mate and raise their calves. These amazing mammals come to warmer waters to mate, and the gestation period for these whales is 12 months, so when they return the next year, some mamas are giving birth while others are mating. The peak of this gray whale migration is January to March of each year. Red Travel Mexico and I co-sponsored another trip together this year, our last one was also to the Baja, and it was a fabulous experience!
The trip for the Magdalena Bay Whale Watching Season had been in the works for quite a while. The trip was combined with La Paz Whale Sharks, Espiritu Santo Sea Lions, and eco camping in Magdalena Bay. Truthfully, I am not really much of a camper although I love adventure and nature. I want my amenities, like my own private bathroom and shower. Red Travel Mexico’s Eco Camp was a wonderful surprise for me, and I want to go again, only longer! Eco Camping is awesome! And no, I didn’t have a private bathroom or shower.
Magdalena Bay is surrounded by sand dunes and mangroves, and I had never seen this environment prior to this trip. It was magnificent. The eco camp was up in the dunes, with amazing views of the bay and of the dunes. The area was staked out, where you could walk, and where you couldn’t walk. It is very important not to harm the natural environment of the dunes of Magdalena Bay. So allow me to show you the layout of Red Travel Mexico‘s Eco Camp!
So there was the row of guest tents, and two wash basins around the circle of the camp. There were two bathroom tents, and they were amazing. There was the dining tent, and that is where everyone could hang out, look at books, play cards, and of course, eat our meals. The only energy was solar energy, and an emergency backup battery. There were plenty of solar lamps and lanterns to light the way in the dark of night. I was hoping to see coyotes, but didn’t glimpse one. We all kept the tents tightly zipped so the coyotes wouldn’t slip in, looking for food.
Before heading out for a whale watch in Magdalena Bay, our guide showed us a map of Magdalena Bay. It is on the Pacific side of the Baja, but as you can see, the area is protected and rather shallow. Predators don’t often go into those waters, allowing the Gray Whale calves a chance to obtain some maturity before the long migration back north. Orcas, or Killer Whales, are a major predator of whale calves. Everybody has to eat, right? These calves are so precious, but so are the killer whale calves. As Musafa says, it’s a circle of life. (from the Lion King!)
So, after breakfast, we went looking for adventure, and Magdalena Bay was extremely windy. A young man on the boat was named Jack, and I called him “Jack Sparrow”. It was so fun to have a 12 year old along! He became very excited at any sighting, just like yours truly and my friend Carol from Wayfaring Views! Dolphins are common in Magdalena Bay, but they rarely come too close. I managed a bit of video of them near the boat. It reminds me of something a whale shark researcher told me in Mozambique when I was there on a volunteer trip. He said, “Dolphins are bastards.” You can imagine my reaction! But he’s right, they tease you by coming close, you get your camera, and then they disappear or go far away. Same with trying to snorkel with them. They come in close, you get in the water and boom! No more dolphins. Bastards! LOL.
Back to the whales! Here is a video I managed to take, and you will see a part where mama blows at the surface, then dives. I put my GoPro Hero 7 Black as deep in the water as I could, up to my shoulder, and caught her and baby headed under our boat. Precious!
While you are watching, subscribe to my channel, Tam Warner Minton! I’m not National Geographic yet, but there’s plenty of cool content.
To summarize Magdalena Bay, I have to say I must go back. And stay longer. The wind in the Baja can change day to day, and we had high winds the two days we were out there. It’s just the way it is. Stay longer, and you have a better chance to have a calm day. Plus, Red Travel Mexico also has a Turtle Program combined with Whale Watching, and that is the next trip I’m doing with them! I thoroughly enjoyed whale watching season in Magdalena Bay. And that was the second part of our trip, the Whale Shark Adventure was first, and we had a perfect day for that!
Stay tuned for our adventure at Isla Espiritu Santo, snorkeling with sea lions! And don’t forget to check out our amazing trip to Cabo Pulmo last year with Red Travel Mexico.