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California gray whales have been brought to the edge of extinction by commercial whaling activities twice in recent history; first in the 1850’s and then again at the turn of the 20th century. Today these whales are protected by the three countries whose waters they inhabited during their long migrations (Canada, the U.S., and Mexico). The population has rebounded and encounters like this aren’t at all rare as newborn calves will literally seek out human contact in the warm water lagoons of Baja, Mexico. Looking into the eye of a whale and seeing intelligence and curiosity looking back…have they forgotten how we have treated them in the past, or just forgiven us?


  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
    Gina Ruttle (...about 4 years ago

    It amazes me that many of the grays are so curious and devoid of fear of humans considering that many of the whales we see today knew commercial whaling. I have looked into whales’ eyes and been inspected by them. Indeed it is life changing. A superb image, Michael…plus I am delighted that you add information in your image description. It enhances the viewing plus can serve to educate. WG

  • phatpuppy
    phatpuppyabout 4 years ago

    Beautiful….so much conveyed here. Thank you for posting this…

  • EagleHunter
    EagleHunterabout 4 years ago

    WOW, that has got to be the most impressive whale shot i have ever seen.

  • GailD
    GailDabout 4 years ago

    Probably forgiven. Great shot Michael.

  • Jeff  Burns
    Jeff Burnsabout 4 years ago

    amazing………WOW this rocks

  • Victoria Jostes
    Victoria Jostesabout 4 years ago

    gives me goosebumps.

  • yeimaya
    yeimayaabout 4 years ago

    Very touching… why do they trust us?

    I guess the first humpbacks have been “harvested” off Greenland….breaks my heart.

  • HelenPadarin
    HelenPadarinabout 4 years ago


  • serendip
    serendipabout 4 years ago

    What a privilege to be so close and feel that mutual trust. What a wonderful shot..

  • DebYoung
    DebYoungabout 4 years ago

    Awesome photo…amazing feeling to see these gentle giants up close!

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