As every year, the gray whale arrives these days at the sanctuaries of the state of Baja California Sur after traveling 18,000 kilometers from the cold Bering Sea to the peaceful waters of northwestern Mexico.
The Eschrichtius robustus makes this journey, considered the longest migration made by mammals worldwide, to spend the winter in Mexico, where it has the ideal conditions for their offspring to hatch.
In the northwestern state of Baja California Sur there are five accredited whale sanctuaries to which tourists are already coming to see the whale swim.
The director of tourism of the municipality of Comondú, Enrique Soto, told Efe today that there are three fundamental factors that lead the cetacean to choose the peninsula of Baja California as a temporary home.
"One of them is to protect the offspring from the attack of sharks in the open sea, the second is that we have the favorable conditions in temperature and salinity of the water to complete its reproductive cycle, and the third one is the low ones and shallow channels where the calves can learn to swim and strengthen without risk, "he explained.
During the five-month stay of the whale, nearly 70,000 visitors from all over the world come with the illusion of knowing this giant of 12 meters in length and 27,000 kilograms of weight and his beloved calves.
This tourist attraction also translates into an important economic income for the inhabitants of nearby towns, said Soto.
In this line, one of the providers of tourist services in Puerto San Carlos, Daniel Infante, confirmed to Efe that "the sighting season benefits socially and economically the families that are dedicated to the activity".
In addition, he added, "people from all over the world are known", an extra prize to the already valuable reward that the whale gives them: the possibility of giving quality of life to their families thanks to this income.
Infante said that the visitors come mostly from the United States and Europe and that they enter fearlessly into the water by boarding boats of up to ten people.
These water vehicles that take tourists are known as "pangas" and serve to give the traveler a unique and direct contact with the environment, but without their presence disturbing the daily tranquility of the whale.
For Infante, the contact with the cetacean is "a unique moment for the majesty of its size and its singular grace".
At the moment, the season is in its first stage and there are still many specimens left to the calm waters of Baja California Sur.
It is during the month of February when there is a special phenomenon known as "friendly whale syndrome", which occurs when the calves take confidence and dare to swim only a few centimeters from the boats, delighting tourists .
One of the visitors, identified as Mark, emphasized to Efe that he felt "impressed by his size".
"They are very graceful, very graceful and very peaceful, very big, it is very nice just to be there, it's nice to just sail there and not disturb them with my presence," he recalled.
Every year more than 3,000 whales arrive to the state and between 1,500 and 2,000 organisms are born, which later leave the sea that saw them born without forgetting their origin, since this cetacean is known worldwide as the Mexican whale.
The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) indicated in November 2018 that 90% of the whales of this species breed and are born in sanctuaries within Mexican waters.
The population of these marine mammals has recovered satisfactorily thanks to the protection and conservation programs carried out by the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), thus becoming a symbol of the success of conservation worldwide.