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Photograph by Fran Rew
The thrill of a lifetime, hands down. This is Artwhiz47 herself getting up close & personal with an enormous & well-traveled California Gray Whale in the San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California. My husband Ray & I went on this journey with a small group from the Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY, in March of 1979, sailing on board the 100-foot Finalista (visible on the horizon) out of San Diego, CA. We were in the lagoon for three days, went out each day in Zodiacs, & each day we had close encounters with these remarkable animals. This particular individual was the largest whale we saw; she was a seasoned veteran with a smooth & rubbery calf, & while the mother herself did not approach the boats (but for this one time – she came right up to me), she actively encouraged her 12-foot calf to allow itself to be touched, & it had the proverbial whale of a time. It rubbed the boats & spun on its long axis most fetchingly. While the adult was covered in barnacles, whale lice & other parasites, the calf was clean as a whistle. This lady was close to forty feet long. The photographer, Fran Rew, was in another Zodiac a few feet away; she got this wonderful shot in deplorable conditions.