In the early morning, on the Sea of Cortez, a rare sighting of a gray whale on the eastern coast of Baja, as it swam silently next to our boat for almost an hour. After feeding during the summer and fall, the entire Eastern Pacific gray whale population (between 20,000 and 22,000 individuals) heads south. The migration usually reaches a peak during the first week of January at a rate of 30 animals per hour along the Oregon coast. Traveling at a rate of up to five miles per hour, it takes about three weeks to get to the three major breeding and calving lagoons on the west coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico.