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This October 31, 2013 NY times article tells the sorty of Francisco Mayoral, a fisherman from San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California. Mayoral has had a long association with gray whales. Since the early 1990s he has been enlisting support to maintain the breeding grounds along the Baja Coast, saving it from the encroachment of commercial interests.
Italian novelist and screenwriter Cacucci takes a break from writing fiction to record his experience traveling through the 2,000 kilometer peninsula of Baja California. In this travelogue he describes the region' geographically diverse landscape, its flora, fauna, and fellow travelers both historical and contemporary. But what impresses Cacucci the most are his experiences with the whales, their intelligence, approachability, and playfulness.
This scientific study expands and revises an earlier 1983 edition. The editors bring together essays, which study the impact of population, tourism, and climate, commercial fisheries, and conservation efforts on the geography and biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez region. Individual essays treat plant life, specific insects, mammals, birds, and reptiles, the human “scene,” and the history of exploration in the Sea of Cortez also known as the Gulf of California.
Baja California & the Sea of Cortez: Among the Great Whales
This travel guide from 1956 provides an interesting perspective on the ways the region has changed over the past half century. It includes some photos, maps, and detailed descriptions for camputers, hunters, and fishers. Photo is Cape of San Lucas. Taken from the book facsimile in Hathi Trust.
In this 18th century diary, Guillén documents his travels through Baja California. It is part of the 50 volume “Baja California Travel Series” available from used and rare book shops such as AABA Books http://www.abaa.org. See a description of the series here: http://www.abaa.org/book/657557564.
Photo: The marker erected in honor of the Upper-Lower California partition. Released into the public domain by its author, EjidoMike
Steinbeck and Those Who Follow in His Footsteps
Vermilion Sea by John Janovy
Publication Date: 1992
John Janovy, answering Baja, California's siren call, follows John Steinbeck’s footsteps into the peninsula, while also hoping to experience Whales first hand.Janovy provides the reader with an interesting mix of the romantic and the scientific.
The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck
Publication Date: 1995 (Originally published by Viking, 1951)
This is Steinbeck’s report of his 1940 expedition to the Baja California peninsula to document and collect marine specimens with marine biologist Ed Ricketts. He published this nonfiction work following the publication of the original report. All in all Steinbeck and Ricketts documented 500 species, including several new species of anemones later named for Ricketts and Steinbeck. Available from second hand book sellers such as ABEbooks http://www.abebooks.com. The 1995 edition is in print and available from most booksellers.
This reference book serves as an interpretive field guide to 45 species of whales, dolphins, seals, and otters that live, feed, and pass along the Pacific Coast on migration from Baja California to British Columbia. Expect to find detailed species accounts as well as more general information on identification, natural history, distribution, and conservation.
Aaron Hirsh takes 12 students to the Sea of Cortez for an interdisciplinary study of the region, incorporating ecological and evolutionary science, geography, zoology, botany, history, and sociology into their research. The study group develops an appreciation for the beauty and richness of the region as well as an awareness of its fragility in the wake of commercial fishing and tourism, and other environmental pressures.