Gray Whales My Twenty Years Of Discovery
Keith E. Jones


The newest Gray Whale book
The gray whale book with the most images and most information about all aspects of gray whale natural history
The only source for good whale watching maps of all three Baja California Sur, Mexico whale watching nurseries

About the author
The tweet version of this biography is that Keith is an ex-hippie vagabond with a passion for living life fully. He tries to live every day as if it were his last. Really!

To view some unusual photos of Keith, taken during his travels to such strange places as Kandahar, Afghanistan, Sichuan China, Baffin Island in the Arctic click on this link.

Keith in costume or disguise

Note from the author
This book was written in the Philippine Islands where I presently live in a small native style hut on Malapascua Island. The writing of this book took place during a sixty day writing blitz. Except for recent updates and odd whale happenings the research was mostly accomplished during the preceding 20 years and was stored on my laptop or in my biological hard drive. Some of my newsletter articles formed the backbone for a couple of the chapters, but most of the writing happened during this past sixty days.

Life is routine and not too glamorous living in a small bamboo hut on an island that is 1 mile wide and 3 miles long. But living here gave me the opportunity to get up with the roosters at 5 or 6 in the morning and write until 9 or 10 am. Then I would take a break, walk the two miles to the Moonlight Resort where I used their wifi and drank a bottle of water while responding to my business emails.

I tried to write this book twice in the past years, but I did not have the right mindset either time. I had planned for these sixty days to be set aside to write a book about my experiences on the walk across Thailand. As I got organized to write that book, a newsletter article I was writing for the Gray Whale Advocate website just took off and became this book.

There have been too many people who crossed my path and helped me to better understand things about the whales, for me to mention them all. Veterinarians taught me a lot about mammal physiology. So many doctors and surgeons talked to me about how parts of our bodies and other animal bodies work. The many boat captains I call friends, have been an immense help to me. If I ask any of them to look for some behavior by the whales or to keep their eyes open for a particular whale, I can always count on them. I have been fortunate to have marine biologists from the USA, Canada, South America, South Africa, Italy and Britain on trips with me. They all added to my understanding and to my knowledge base.


Some people may think that at times my writing style is too personal and not formal enough. For me everything about the Gray whales is personal. It is a part of me. I did not want to make this book into some reportorial listing of Gray whale information and I hope I succeed in entertaining you while you read all about the gray whales.

Thank you for reading this book, but especially thank you for caring about the whales!
Keith Jones
Malapascua Island, The Philippines
May 1, 2012

What am I working on now? Two books are in the works. The first book is tentatively called
"Blue Whales My Ten Years Of Discovery"
As you might expect this book is similar in style to the Gray Whales book, but tells all about blue whales and my ten years whale watching experience with them. Lots of interesting photos, all the facts and figures anyone would want to read and some speculation and antecdotes about individual blue whales that have been identified by researchers.

"Ghosts in the Temple" and will chronicle my 1500 kilometer back packing walk across the widest part of North Thailand from Myanmar on the west to Laos on the East. I finished the first 1000 kilometers and in November, 2013 will complete the remainder of the walk. My goal is to publish this book at the end of the 2014 whale watching season.





In 1994 Keith began taking whale watchers south from the USA to accompany him on his frequent weekend trips to visit the Gray whales. Information about Keith going to Baja to see whales spread by word of mouth. People wanting to go whale watching would get his phone number from some friend and then contact him. Keith would arrange a meeting point and they would then travel south to camp on the shore of Laguna Ojo de Liebre or in bad weather to stay in a motel in Guerrero Negro. In 1998 Baja Jones Adventures started operation. The Gray Whale Advocate email newsletter started that same year.

Since then Keith has driven more than 250,000 miles on Baja Highway #1 and it’s side roads. As a guide and naturalist he has more than 5,000 hours logged sitting or standing in small pangas on the three whale watching lagoons. For many years he held a Mexican Green Card work visa allowing him to work as a whale watching guide. He is perhaps the only foreigner to ever be given this specific work permit by the Mexican Immigration authorities.

He has an unabashed passion to be close to the Gray whales, to observe them and to come to understand all that he can about them. He loves to talk about the whales.

His life for 20 years has revolved around the migration. Until 2008 Keith still worked in a second career as a construction manager. When New Year arrived each year he would once again find himself begging some boss for a 90 day leave of absence. All too frequently he was forced to quit another high paying job. This willingness to just up and leave a good job time after time gave him a bit of a reputation as being unable to stick with something. It was difficult to explain in a job interview why he had left the last 4 positions after only 8 or 9 months.


But to Keith those were just jobs and for him meaningless except to help support him between gray whale migrations. The Gray whales and his involvement with them are what give meaning to his life.


To contact Keith:

email: keith@greywhale.com

Skype ID: bajajones

Yahoo messenger ID: rowman1998@yahoo.com

Business phone in the USA: 562-889-4016

You are welcome to email Keith or to chat with him on Skype or Yahoo YM any time you find him online. If you want to use any of his photos on a website or other media, contact him via email.

 

Why should you spend $9.95 for the Ebook or $23.95 for the print version of this 120 page full color book? We all know a book with nearly 100 full color photos and drawings is going to be a little bit expensive. It costs the publisher a bunch to go full color, instead of just inserting a set of color photos all bunched together in one place in the book.

I'm the author so my answer to the pricing issue is biased, but I wrote this book to be the complete and most authoritave set of information available, all in one place about the Gray Whales and about their Winter homes in Baja California Sur. I chose full color even though black and white would make the print version half the price it is.

In appendix II I suggest reading two books that I consider excellent books for those of you interested in Gray Whales. One of those books was written by a well known gray whale research scientist whose focus is the whale's summer home in the North Pacific. Because that book was published in a popular Natural History series the details of things like barnacles and whale lice and oddities like white gray whales were not discussed and shown in photos and drawings in the detail I want to provide to my readers. The second book I recommend is very dense and is considered by many people to be the most comprehensive book about the politics of gray whales. My book does not discuss politics nor the monetary aspects of whales.

Neither of these other books talks much about whale watching nor about the lagoons of Baja. My book fills this gap. There are maps of all three lagoons. Discussion about how you can easily get up close to these friendly giants. You don't have to look at the photos and wish, I promise you can be there next February or March if you really want to be.

Book Chapters:

Introduction
Chapter one - - - - - - - - - - Gray Whale Basics
Chapter two - - - - - - - - - - The Gray Whale Migration
Chapter three- - - - - - - - - - Food
Chapter four - - - - - - - - - - Reproduction
Chapter five - - - - - - - - - - -Birth and the Baby
Chapter six - - - - - - - - - - - Why Do Gray Whales Jump?
Chapter seven- - - - - - - - - - Stranding, White Gray Whales, & how to tell the age of a whale
Chapter eight - - - - - - - - - - The Gray Whale Nurseries
Chapter nine - - - - - - - - - - -How Do Gray Whales Stay Warm
Chapter ten - - - - - - - - - - - Parasites & Predators
Chapter eleven- - - - - - - - - -Whale Watching & Whale Watchers
Glossary- - - - - - - - - - - - - -Select Words and phrases associated with Gray Whales
Appendix I - - - - - - - - - - - -Complete Listing Of All Known Cetaceans
Appendix II- - - - - - - - - - - -Author's reading list with comments
Appendix III- - - - - - - - - - - Suggested Packing List
Authors Bio
Note from Author

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