The windy night gave way to a bright dawn. Pelicans circled our ship. They watched as we lifted cameras to capture a glimpse of their lives. Our position in Almejas, the southern end of Magdalena Bay, gave us the opportunity to board pangas for one more encounter with the gray whales.

Our last landing on the endless stretch of Sand Dollar Beach allowed for a deeply felt conclusion to our remarkable journey. Returning to the ship always feels like coming home. Happy, helpful hands and warm smiles greeted us.