A heavy blanket of fog laid over National Geographic Sea Bird as the last day of the voyage began. After a brief stretch class, guests enjoyed a healthy breakfast to prepare for a morning of whale watching. Pangas full of guests sped along the sand dunes that line Canal de Soledad as eyes were set on the horizon, hoping to see the distinct heart-shaped spout of the gray whale. It didn’t take long for the panga drivers to find a mother and calf floating at the surface of the water, apparently enjoying a restful sleep. After a period of quiet observation from a distance, the whales began to stir into motion. Guests were greeted by a friendly giant as the young gray whale prodded the fiberglass boats with curiosity. We wrapped up a productive morning of whale watching when guests came back aboard for lunch. We made a short transit through Hull Canal with navigation by our longtime pilot, Sergio Camacho. The ship anchored near the southern tip of Isla Magdalena so guests could make the short trek to Sand Dollar Beach as the last adventure of the day.
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.