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Looking After Whales

March 01, 1998

I enjoyed reading your article about kayaking in Baja ("Kayaking Baja's Wild Edges," Feb. 15). I'm sorry you missed the whales, which is why I'm writing.

I read your article just after receiving a radio report from our boat, which was in southern Magdelena Bay with 20 whale watchers aboard. The report was that the gray whales are plentiful and the watching is great!

To take a whale-watching trip to Baja, one must time it with the migration of the gray whales. January is traditionally too early for encountering an abundance of whales in Magdalena Bay. And on the other end, we operate excursions during February, but not into March, which we find is too late.

Also, I was a little disturbed about inferences in your article that the presence of whale watchers may disturb the whales or disturb the wild experience of being with whales. There are strict rules regarding the number of large boats present, the number of small boats around the whales, the exact manner in which to approach (and not approach) the whales, and other obvious "no-no's" such as no harassment of any wildlife.

CELIA CONDIT TAYLOR

Searcher Natural History Tours

San Diego

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