Gray whale mothers and babies pass very close to shore at many places along the migration trail. This pair is passing at Pt. Piedras Blancas, California. You don't even need binoculars to see them! Like children everywhere, baby whales stay safe and close to Mother. They are young and still clumsy. A calf often rides on Mom's back to rest, or playfully rolls along her back as she surfaces for air. The pair often stops in quiet coves to rest. They take time out for the calf to nurse. Sometimes dolphins playfully swim with them! The shallow coastal water provides shelter from killer whales, who have baby gray whales at the top of their menu. Gray whale moms will fight fiercely to protect their calves.
Courtesy of Wayne Perryman