Strong, steady, 25 knot winds were the story of the day today. Nevertheless, we ventured out in pangas to look for gray whales and were not disappointed. Rather than head south like we planned, we stayed in the relatively protected waters of the northern bay, near the port town of Lopez Mateos, where a mother and her calf entertained us. Birds, coyotes, and dolphins were also on the wildlife agenda of the day.
National Geographic Sea Bird
After an adrenaline filled day with grey whales yesterday, we awoke in El Barril (the Barrel) to a beautiful sunrise over a lush forest of mangroves. At low tide, the feet-long salt tolerant roots are exposed for us to study from the side of our kayaks. These gorgeous oceanside trees continue to grow their own carbon storing substrate. They do so in such an efficient way that they can store up to ten times that of a terrestrial forest. Led by all-star naturalist Linda Burback, we winded through the maze of waterways that cut through the trees spotting birds and snaping photos. We pulled anchor and were on our way just before lunch when we were visited by five bottlenose dolphins near the bow of our ship. Our guests took turns getting photos as we pulled away and lunch was announced. We take on a ‘pilot’ for the upcoming journey through the Canal de Soledad. Affectionately called the ‘Hull Canal,’ our pilot makes sure our ship can make it through the canal’s shallow waters safely. Once we arrived at our anchorage there was time for some afternoon hikes on Isle Margarita. There is one mile of land that protects the calm waters of the canal from the Pacific Ocean, where the crashing surf is loud enough for us to hear. Some of our braver guests made the journey to the other side to see a decades old ship wreck and an amazing view. We stood side by side on the beach and soaked up the sounds and scenery for a minute of silence before making our return. The night’s end came with a surprise appearance from a Lindblad favorite, “Los Coyotes de Magdalena.” Their sweet serenade took us through cocktail hour and straight into dinner.