School of Whales in Action: Surf’s Up Dude!

Look out! Gray Whales Surfing!

This video of a gray school of whales gathering outside the entrance to the lagoon, waiting and taking turns to ride the surf in is crazy.  Don’t just watch the first seconds.  Keep rolling and the video gets better and better.  

The number of gray whales patiently  waiting for their turn is amazing.  

Most incredible of all is that after the school of whales have caught their wave and surfed into the lagoon, they swim back out and do it all over again!

So the question is “Why?”

Gray whales are highly intelligent sentient beings.We know that human surfers can get “the feel good” chemicals with a flood of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins when the catch a great wave.  

That’s part of what makes surfers want to keep going back for more.  

We  also know that whales like all mammals have dopamine and have serotonin like not  just mammals but also worms, insects, fungi and plants!   

Do gray whales get the same intense wave (sorry, bad pun) of pleasure when they go surfing?  Is a gray whale’s best chance of getting a chemical high!

Is this the kind of knowledge that they pass down from generation to generation.
Or, maybe it’s just fun for the whales!

Or maybe it’s a social experience.  Waiting their turn.  Alone but also together with all the other whales. Or maybe like humans, they are driven to improve their skill and try to do better on every wave that they catch?

I had heard stories over the years about these legendary surfing whales from Tim Means, the founder of Baja Expeditions.

I don’t think I ever quite believed it until I saw this video.  

Hat off and huge thanks to Captain Dave, the pilot of our Cessna 182 spotter aircraft for scooping this incredible footage.

Stay safe,
Captain Mike

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