Grey whales are mysticetes, or baleen whales. These large animals can grow to 50 ft in length and can weigh up to 80,000 lb. Females are larger than males. Grey whales make one of the longest annual migrations of any mammal - they travel 5000-6000 miles in each direction between their feeding grounds in the north and their breeding grounds in the south. Their average lifespan is thought to be between 50-60 years.
We encountered this friendly female and her two suitors on our first outing. Miguel, our guide, told us females become curious when they're in estrus and will often approach boats. The female calls the shots in a breeding pod, so if she wants to check out a boat, her male entourage has no choice but to follow.