We awoke to a glorious orange sunrise and a delicious breakfast that included crispy apricot scones. After stretch class, we boarded Mexican fishing boats, called pangas, to search for California gray whales. It was windy and spray from the waves coated us, but pangas are excellent at cutting through choppy waters. We found adult whales scattered about in clusters of three, common for mating season. Whale spouts and barnacle-spotted backs were seen all around us. Today is Valentine’s Day, “Dia de Amor y Amistad” in Spanish. It was somewhat fitting to watch gray whales as their spouts are heart-shaped due to two blowholes angled slightly away from each other, causing the shape.

After a morning of successful whale watching, we sailed north out of the bay and then south towards the cape. We enjoyed the ruggedly beautiful coast. We spotted a different whale species with a much smoother back. It leaped in the air, and the long pectoral fins identified it as a humpback whale. The whale breached multiple times, leaving behind an immense splash and excited viewers.