Encounters with the Whales of San Ignacio
by James Michael Dorsey
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Pub Date 23 May 2023 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2023
Once a killing ground for whalers hunting a leviathan they called the “devilfish,” the San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico, is now an environmental and spiritual sanctuary—the only place in the world where animals in their natural aquatic environment routinely seek out human contact. A nursery for the gray whale since before recorded history, the lagoon and its stories, told here by resident naturalist James Michael Dorsey, illuminate the magic of human connection to animals, and what those bonds teach us about ourselves and our purpose on this shared planet.
Weaving two decades of San Ignacio adventures in the company of his wife Irene with the fascinating history of the lagoon, Dorsey vividly captures the lively people of Baja, like the mystical godfather of whale-watching, Pachico Mayoral, as well as the whales he’s bonded with over the years, like Slackjaw, Patch, and Dervish—their individual personalities, their epic migration to and from the Pacific Northwest, and the science behind their behavior. Looming over his journeys are the many dangers to the area, from the Mitsubishi Corporation’s attempts to build salt works to plans for resort development on the Baja coast, to pollution and climate change, and even to the orcas who hunt the gray whales. The future of this refuge has never looked more threatened.
A tale of wondrous bonds between the intelligent, spirited gray whales and the men, women, and children from around the world who come to this place to touch, kiss, and play with them—The Lagoon is a testament to the importance of preserving these animals and their natural habitats.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 8 members
this was a beautifully done nature nonfiction book, it had what I was looking for and it kept me invested in what was going on. I enjoyed the way James Michael Dorsey wrote this and it kept me invested in what was going on. I enjoyed learning about the whales of San Ignacio. It kept me invested and I enjoyed what I read.
Amazing book, very well written, captivating and informative. I love the way the author writes - it really makes you feel like you are there traveling the West Coast of Mexico with him. The tales of the whales are incredible and heart warming. I really enjoyed reading this and as I'm traveling to the region soon it is very relatable. Fantastic, 5 stars!