Passengers on OSU’s 2006 Gray Whale Expedition to Baja came from places as far-flung as Ypsilanti, North Dakota; Oakland, Iowa; and Tucson, Arizona. Most, however, live in Oregon. Here are a few impressions from San Ignacio Lagoon.
Julie Brinck, a retired registered nurse from Florence, Oregon, said: “Entering the lagoon gave me sort of a ‘lost world’ sensation. I felt like a traveler who had gotten through the travails of an impossible journey to finally enter this eternally tranquil place. The sight of whale spouts on a still sea was magical — giant creatures doing exactly what nature intended them to do. I came away with a sense of peace.”
Jean Amundson, a retired administrative officer from Newport, Oregon, said: “The sheer numbers of whales in the lagoon amazed me. So did the many, many frolicking baby sea lions investigating the ship and the skiffs at Cedros Island.”
Amundson’s husband, a retired physicist, observed: “For humans, ‘home’ can be a moveable place. But for other species, there’s no suitcase, no moving van. It’s up to us to preserve the lagoons of Baja, those immovable homes of the great gray whales. Our planet’s life zone is unbelievably complex and interconnected. What we do to protect the environment for one species has a direct effect on all species, our fellow travelers on spaceship Earth.”