It was a warm, breezy morning in Bahia Almejas when guests woke to the sound of Expedition Leader John Pachuta’s voice greeting them for the day. Most took in sunrise from the sundeck where Wellness Specialist Lola McQueen hosted stretch class. Following a delicious breakfast where fresh pancakes took centerstage, we embarked pangas for a nearly three-hour whale watching excursion. The morning’s watch was fantastic - magnificent frigatebirds and brown pelicans soared above spy-hopping gray whales.

Roughly 40 gray whales rolled through the surf in Bahia Almejas. The animals performed repeated spy-hops, lifting their rostrums out of the water and in full view of our eyes and cameras. By the mid-afternoon the breeze had died down and a pleasant light rain came over the desert. The whales, already wet, were just as delighted with the precipitation as we were - splashing our guests with their flukes as they surfaced mere feet off the boat.

Back on board, everyone was clad in smiles for talks by National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor Chelsea Mayer and Undersea Specialist Kimberly Wood. Today proved an amazing start to the trip!