I took this photograph of a Pacific Gray Whale recently in the San Ignacio Lagoon off the coast of Baja, Mexico.
Gray Whales often approach the Panga (boat) when they want to seek human interaction. They are happy to be stroked and petted as they come alongside the boat. They will even tease with a splash, a spout of air or a head butt!
They are curious creatures and often turn on their side to have a better view of what is going on when close to a panga. The eye of the Gray is shown clearly in the image with even some of the white of the eye. The excitement of a nearby panga, and an approaching one, adds to the story.
Now I have an admission. On this trip I got to kiss a Gray Whale. It was a young slightly attractive female, weighing ten tons or so, that approached our boat and opened its mouth so we could stroke its baleen. As my wife was watching I didn’t kiss the beauty on her lips. Oh and yes I did get a mouthful of barnacles!