Our morning started with a very unusual event: it rained! Not a drenching rain, but just enough to make the desert flora very happy and all of us a bit wet. But no matter, light rain did not dampen anyone’s spirits. We hiked, kayaked and snorkeled. Beautiful Puerto Gato is not a port, nor was it named for the cats that inhabit the region. Instead, the name came from the nurse sharks that sport whiskers and were once found in these bays.
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!