Today was all about sunrise, sunset, snorkeling and hiking in the morning, and an incredible humpback whale encounter in the afternoon! As we rose from our slumber and greeted the morning, we were privileged to enjoy one of those spectacular Baja sunrises that the Sea of Cortez is noted for. After breakfast, we enjoyed a morning of expedition. We explored a new beach, which had great snorkeling, and took some nice desert hikes. Once back onboard, we were off with high hopes to find more whales. We spent the rest of the day enjoying their company, and we were not disappointed. In fact, the bridge crew found two very friendly humpbacks that approached our ship. As we sat motionless for almost an hour, these whales proceeded to go back and forth under the bow before surfacing straight below our extremely excited guests! After our friends finally went on their way, we continued to cruise south and were treated to a magical sunset over the Baja Peninsula. Just another incredible day in the Sea of Cortez!
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!