Of Leviathans and Monsters

(Written in San Ignacio Lagoon on February 18th, 2024.)

We headed further out into the lagoon. The Pacific gently breaking across the shallows, showing them the entrance to their place of maternal refuge and ecstatic Cetacean joy…another generation promised in long, loving foreplay and momentary satisfaction. A safe haven for newborn calves to grow strong before the arduous and dangerous journey North. This is San Ignacio Lagoon, a magical place like no other and a birthing and mating place for Eastern Grey Whales since time immemorial.

The day was perfect. Countless single whales were putting on an unforgettable show complete with almost constant spy-hopping wherever we turned, showy mating rituals, curious side rolls, pectoral fin and tail displays, and finally the sighting of a new calf and its vigilant mother. To spend time with these beautiful, sentient creatures is an experience that will literally change your life forever and make you re-examine man’s mistaken sense of self-importance and the devastating consequences of anthropocentrism giving rise to humans’ lack of respect for the non-human capacity for intelligence and compassion and their ability to live in harmony with nature.

Here in Baja California the locals have embraced the Grey Whales. They honor these Cetaceans’ intrinsic and ecological value and do everything in their power to protect them on their migratory journey.  Unfortunately, once the whales leave the sanctuary and head north with their calves in late March and early April their journey becomes perilous, especially now, as the pairs enter the rich near shore waters off the Central Coast of California. These gentle leviathans will encounter a danger never before experienced and one that is even more perilous than the pods of Orcas and the hungry foraging White Sharks lying in wait… a true monster and its mechanical minions; the High Resolution Geophysical (HRG ) near shore survey boats and the accompanying sea bottom eating dredges. The behemoth energy company, Equinor, one of the three offshore wind lease holders on the Central Coast, plans on deploying high decibel ocean bottom survey vessels and dredges this March just at the same time that the Grey Whale pairs will be migrating through our region. This determination to begin survey work by Equinor during peak whale migration season is monstrous, deliberate and with full knowledge of the consequences to Grey Whales and other Cetacean species. These pre-construction activities specific to offshore wind will cause damage and displacement and an increased infant mortality due to predation, and potential death from prolonged exposure to high decibel sound emissions. (over 228 decibels in shallow, near shore waters). 

Why, with all of our environmental protections in California and the protection of the Coastal Act can we not protect these gentle giants? Why can we not emulate the residents of Baja California’s respect and recognition of the whale’s importance to the healthy functioning of an ocean environment? Are we to decimate the gentle leviathan that has lived for millennia in harmony with their environment in favor of an industrialized, dead ocean and an empty promise of a “green, renewable and sustainable” energy source for a gluttonous humanity? The answer to all of these questions is rather simple, a lack of government in favor of monetary gain for a few foreign contractors and the furthering of lofty political aspirations of those foisting this ill-conceived technology on us.

We must ask ourselves, are we willing to kill the oceans to satisfy the blatant lie by our government and the wind industries of this technology’s positive impact on climate change as BOEM has stated. Are we so caught up in collective guilt that we are willing to grasp at any straw, any “energy solution” that will assuage our raw consciences? Finally, are we willing to let a greedy, monstrous industry dictate what will happen on our beloved Central Coast and in the rich and diverse marine ecosystem that many of us call home?


Mandy Davis 

President, REACT Alliance – Los Osos,

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