The Lagoon: Encounters with the Whales of San Ignacio


Product Details

$28.99  $26.96
Diversion Books
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.1 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

James Michael Dorsey is a certified cetacean naturalist with expertise in whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, and seals. He has worked for twenty-five years as an on-board naturalist on whale boats from several Southern California Harbors. For twenty seasons he was resident naturalist in the Gray Whale nursery in San Ignacio Lagoon, in Baja, Mexico. Currently he works for a whale watching company in Moss Landing, California. He lives in Marina, California.


"In this solid outing, naturalist Dorsey (Baboons for Lunch) reflects on studying the Pacific gray whales of San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico, over the past 20 years. . . . Most affecting is his condemnation of keeping whales in captivity, telling the story of a baby gray whale confined to a SeaWorld enclosure where she 'barely had room to move.' . . . The surprising stories testify to the marine mammals' overlooked emotional complexity. The result is a revealing look at the awe-inspiring creatures."

―Publishers Weekly

"An expert introduction to these fascinating animals and their home region. Through the eyes of James Dorsey and the whales we learn to see the intricate interconnections that make a place unique."

―Tristan Gooley, New York Times bestselling author and "The Natural Navigator"

"Beautifully written and poetic, The Lagoon captures the magnificence of the friendly gray whale experience as well as the history of whaling and whale watching in the Pacific lagoons of central Baja, Mexico. Anyone who has been thrilled and mystified by these former "devilfish" turned friendlies will relate to this book, and anyone about to enjoy the experience will profit from this loving and comprehensive account."
―Graham Mackintosh, Baja's premiere living explorer and author of Into a Desert Place

"At once ecological, scientific, and personal, James Dorsey's book is a must read for anyone interested in whales, whether gray or otherwise. Even those folks who have no interest in cetaceans might become converts after reading this excellent book."
―Lawrence Millman, author of Fungipedia

"With his book, The Lagoon: Encounters with the Whales of San Ignacio, James Michael Dorsey has written a beautiful testament effectively capturing and transmitting the aura and essence of these ancient and elegant creatures. I was mesmerized reading of his many encounters."
―Wayne White, author of Cold: Three Winters at the South Pole

"This excellent book is much more than just the story of these magnificent marine mammals. Important issues are addressed, from the need for conservation, to the many man-made threats these marine mammals face in the wild daily, including climate change and plastic pollution, plus other whale-related issues including captivity and whaling.
The Lagoon is a remarkable book by one of the best travel writers and naturalists, who has vast first-hand knowledge of the area and these intriguing whales. A vital read for anyone passionate about gray whales that also serves as a delightful guide to this stunning area."
―Liz Sandeman, Co-founder, Marine Connection