Our task for the day was to meet and interview the local lighthouse keeper, Victor de la Toba, to learn about his conservation efforts. To reach him, we had to take a 20-minute boat ride and then walk two miles through sands dunes to get to the Pacific Ocean beach.
Along the way, we noticed we were not alone as spouts of water erupted in the air. The unexpected sighting of gray whales was an overwhelming experience that brought tears to the eyes of some of the students. Although we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the whales, unfortunately, in Mexico it is illegal to whale watch without the proper permission. Due to safety concerns and general interest, we were forced to slow down to stop and peek at the massive attractions. Overall, a great way to start a day in Magdalena Bay.
From May through September, Victor patrols the beach along side the Pacific coast searching for animal carcass samples to study the cause of death of the animals. From what he has gathered, many of the turtles have died of drowning from being accidentally caught in fishing nets. Among the dead turtle carcasses, there were also dolphin, sea lions and fish washed upon the shore. Victor voluntarily patrols these beaches with his pickup truck along with family and students from the local university who are passionate about environmental conversation efforts.
Later in the afternoon, after finishing our interview, we stopped the production for a little bit of fun. Our guide, Pedro Lopez-Martinez of Red Sustainable Travel, showed us the beauty of dune jumping. After being covered in sand, the class cooled off in the bay with a nice and fresh dip.