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A few years back I flew from Puerto Vallarta to Magdalenay Bay in a small private plane with a group of friends to see the gray whales at “Mag Bay”, as it is sometimes referred to as.  It was not a long flight, a couple of hours, landing close to where we could rent a panga and driver and within a few minutes we were out in the bay with mother whales and their babies.

The calves behaved like puppies. They would come up along side the boat, roll over and look at you, then it would roll over on its back so you could rub its belly, just like a dog would do. As you rubbed harder the whale would start to pant, opening its mouth, and it also enjoyed having the inside of its mouth massaged as well. It’s not as easy to pat a whale as it is a dog, and both get a little tiring after awhile. But when you neglected to rub as hard as the calf would like, or stopped, it would roll back over on its stomach and swim over to another boat looking for someone else to rub its belly.

All during this time the mother whale circled our boat, keeping an eye on all the activity. Quite something! We enjoyed the whales for an hour or so, and a few hours later we were back in Vallarta.