March 18th, 2011 by J.H. Soeder
A Gray Whale Juvenile looking out from the water at the boat
As a few of you may have already read about my trip, I have been promising (and been asked) for more pictures and more video.
So here is my first “crack” at a video (call it more a teaser trailer) of an overview of my trip:
The Whales of Baja from Jon Soeder on Vimeo.
To reiterate, in was an incredibly profound adventure and specifically for two reasons.
The first is that the whales came to us in the boat. We had no food, nothing of value that they wanted. But they still came and gently played beneath our boat and throughout the short visit, lift their huge head to look at us and to be touched by a human hand. That is profound in itself, simply because I don’t know where on earth a 40 ton mammal will do that!
I don’t believe any mammal except man that comes close. I don’t even think man does that with other races, much less his own. These mammoth beings could turn the boat over and wreak havoc on the participants. Instead, they lounge and play about the boat. They are gentle and peaceful. And for those skeptics, well, you will have to see for yourselves. Eight people on a boat witnessed this.
And that is not all.
The females with their calves (children) brought them (2 months old – 3 tons) to the boat. In two separate instances and on two separate days, with two different females, the females PUSHED their babies to our boats. They each lifted their children up to the surface! You could look through the clear water and watch this phenomena.
Suddenly you had a “baby” looking at you. And it was looking at YOU! The instinct was to reach out and touch it. And the baby allowed you, responding to your touch by letting you continue to touch it!
There are those of you who call these creatures wild animals. Well, I have to tell you, you are quite mistaken. We treat them as caged animals in Seaworld. BTW, Seaworld has nothing on this – wild whales that let you come up and touch them!
But these whales are free.
A friend of mine asked my why would a whale do this. Well I will tell you what I know.
Gray Whales know that man is now responsible for their ultimate survival.
And so the logical solution is to demonstrate their peacefulness to us – that they wish us no harm. And so they even bring their children to us to touch and possibly bond. And maybe, just maybe, some men and women will take that idea back and help give them a chance at life and living free.
I would love to call myself a romanticist. That would be easy and it would be the end of my story and my experience. Probably some of my readers (more astute and learned) will scoff at my statements. But when a whale comes to you, looks at YOU, and lets you touch it, for me there is no other explanation.
We owe whales a chance at being free, just like we are free. We need to cease the harvesting and hunting of whales.