Spending Time with Family

Easter has always been a big family event.  With my sister’s family in Mexico, the Easter holiday had to be re-located.  We did invite some large guests to dinner.


Gray whales migrate from arctic waters to the waters off of the coast of Baja every year.  The whales come to give birth in the warmer waters.  While I’ve been whale watching in Gloucester several times, it was never as close and personal as off the Baja coast.  The mothers and calves seem to enjoy the attention.

Theo (nephew) Kisses his First Whale

Theo (nephew) Kisses his First Whale

Nathan (nephew) Makes a Connection

Nathan (nephew) Makes a Connection

Gray whales have such personality.  It felt like they enjoyed spraying us as much as we were enjoying their company.  One way whales are divided into groups depends on whether they have a single blow-hole or a double blow-hole. 

Double Blow-hole

Double Blow-hole

I also learned that gray whales are the only species of whale that are bottom feeders.  They essentially turn sideways and scoop up a bunch of muck and things to eat and siphon out the muck through their baleen.  In fact, most gray whales, like people, are right handed – or right handed feeders.  The researchers indicated that they can determine on which side the whales feed because they scrape the barnacles off of that side of their heads.

I never thought I would be so close to such an amazing creature in its natural habitat. 


One thought on “Spending Time with Family

  1. Emily S.

    Dr. Conti,

    My mom told me you do all kinds of cool and exciting things. I like reading about the places you go like the monkeys in Columbia. I love whales. They are so big but also gentle. Your Easter was a lot more exciting than mine. We had my Noni and Papa for dinner. You had whales!

    Emily S. – Francis Wyman School


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