We had an incredible day in Bahia Almejas, the southern bay within Bahia Magdelena. We spent time with more gray whales than we could count. Our permitted pangueros, local fishermen from Puerto Chale, have exceptional knowledge about navigating this sometimes challenging area. With Isla Santa Margarita in the background, we watched and photographed gray whales spyhop, breach, mate, and swim right up to the side of our pangas. We had a rare day where 100% of our guests got the honor of touching a whale with up to seven whales around our boats at one time. The look on the children's faces after having such a special experience was the highlight of the day for our staff. Due to lucky timing and a high morning tide, we were able to travel back to National Geographic Sea Bird via an inside mangrove passage, allowing us to see multiple bird species including herons, cormorants, and brown pelicans. This high tide allowed us to get close and personal with the magnificent frigatebird colony of Isla Santa Margarita. We even got to see some males with their red gular pouches inflated as they tried to attract the females. We ended our night with a Mexican fiesta on board while passengers and staff shared photos, videos, and favorite moments of the day with each other.
National Geographic Sea Bird
Boca de Soledad
Today our guests ventured to the northern end of Magdalena Bay known as Boca De Soledad, where we were treated to multiple mother and calf pairs. One particular calf kept lifting its head out of the water with every exhale, giving us great looks at the whale's eye and cute little face. These babies were practicing swimming in the bay’s opening with its challenging, swift moving water. They need to build the vital muscle mass required for the long migration against the California current back to their feeding grounds for the summer. At this point in the season, these calves have grown quite a bit, drinking the rich milk (over 50% fat) that mom produces and gaining close to 100 pounds a day. After an eventful morning, we transited the Hull Canal, where we observed pelicans, herons, and a coyote! We even spotted bow-riding bottlenose dolphins with a little calf. We ended our afternoon at Sand Dollar Beach. Some guests hiked to the Pacific, some lounged on the beach, and some searched for unique shells and animals. As we end our trip tonight, we will watch our collaborative guest slideshow and reflect on the incredible weather, the friendly whales, and the new friends made during this amazing trip.