To simply say, “it was a beautiful morning,” would be an injustice of the highest order. The sky was azure, without a cloud to mar its perfection. The water was lightly patterned by a barely perceptible, westerly breeze. And with temperatures in the mid-sixties, headed for the mid-seventies, it was as though you were perfectly attired, no matter what you were wearing.

We awoke on the north edge of the bay. We watched the sunrise, enjoyed breakfast, and headed to the gray whale breeding grounds in our pangas by 08:30. Almost immediately, we were greeted by dozens of grays, spyhopping at a cadence that couldn’t be maintained, and yet it was. If we had waited for the whales to cease activity, we would still be there! On the way back, we spotted one of the world’s southernmost populations of bald eagles, sitting almost incognito among the gulls and pelicans on the sandy point known as Punta Cisne, or Swan Point.

We returned to the ship for lunch and a brief trip to Punta Belcher, where we hiked and enjoyed some first-rate beachcombing. Afterward, we returned to National Geographic Venture for our final recaps and dinner.

Today was the perfect end to a trip that constantly left us feeling privileged to peek into nature’s most exquisitely choreographed moments.