In the last post I quoted Susan Casey on the stinkiness of whale spout. From personal testimony I can tell you whale spout has no or only faint smell. Casey says it was a young whale and she never saw a mother. I suspect the calf had been separated from its mother (orphaned?) and was sick or starving. You know how your breath gets foul when you're sick ... hopefully you don't know how your breath smells when you're starving but I've read those undergoing extended fasts manifest a stinky exhale.
I wonder if the whale was hanging out beside Casey's boat because it had positive experience with boats, perhaps back in the nursery of San Ignacio Lagoon where whale mothers present their babies to the tourist-filled pangas for oohing, ahing and pats & strokes. One could, theoretically, take an orphaned seal pup to a marine mammal rescue center where it would be fostered. With a whale calf, however, is there any practical way? How would you mount a rescue for an animal so large?