National Geographic Venture made it to the narrowest section of the Gulf of California today. The Midriff region is characterized by the presence of two large, two medium, and several small islands that form a barrier to the ocean water. Seawater is squirted in both directions – north and south – creating treacherous currents, swirls, gyres, and intense upwelling. This promotes high productivity. We visited two fantastic islands, San Esteban and Rasa. San Esteban is famous for its endemic reptiles, including the piebald chuckwalla and the spiny-tailed iguana. During our explorations, we sighted many individuals of both species as well as sea lions, lizards, diverse plants with flowers, and small invertebrates. In Rasa, our guests and staff observed thousands of terns and Heermann’s gulls in the breeding process, as well as ospreys, ravens, great blue herons, and playful sea lions.