Our day was full of adventure between whale watching, hiking, beachcombing and kayaking! Gray whales were bountiful in their breeding lagoon, Bahia Almejas. The gray whales were completely cooperative and put on a show: spy-hopping, lazily swimming to the surface and diving under the ship to a chorus of oohs and aahs from our guests. We also had our first introduction to the desert biome habitat of Isla Margarita. The drenching rain that plagued the Pacific Northwest made its way to this region, resulting in some beautiful flowers in bloom! We finished off the day with a beautiful sunset and a nearly full moon.
National Geographic Venture
An incredible morning was had by all on National Geographic Venture as we went grey whale watching in Bahia Almejas. Shrouded in early morning mist and in search of the great whales, we rounded a sandbar covered in brown pelicans, brants, cormorants, and the occasional great blue heron. We were delighted to get close views of the whales breathing and swimming amongst the pangas. We were even treated to a few spyhops and flukes. Cruising from the protected grey whale lagoon towards our afternoon beach, we handed out snorkel gear in anticipation of our first snorkel opportunity in a couple days. As the sun began its descent and the air started to cool down, we geared up and headed to Sand Dollar Beach in Magdalena Bay for some late afternoon hikes. On the walk from the protected lagoon to the Pacific Ocean side of the island, we explored the unique sand dune ecology. We encountered fiddler crabs, coyote skeletons, various bird species, and more. The fading light accompanied us on our return to the ship with a sunset of pink, orange, and yellow. It was only the first day of our journey, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip brings!