We awoke in the tropics this morning, after crossing the Tropic of Cancer at 23°26′10.6″ north of the equator. Coming out on deck we stepped into another perfect, bluebird day, with temps in the upper sixties at 06:30, and cloudless skies. The forecast, however, is telling us that we need to fully appreciate this amazing weather window, as it will be slamming shut in the early afternoon today, giving way to high winds and high seas.

In the meantime, National Geographic Venture dropped anchor just outside the harbor at San Jose del Cabo to pick up food and fuel. Then we turned our bow to the southeast, toward Gorda Banks, where our sharp-eyed naturalists had been seeing humpback whales breaching in the distance.

Within an hour, we were in the presence of several humpbacks that we saw diving, breaching, and slapping their pectoral fins on the water in some ancient ritual that we are not privileged to understand. A discussion ensued as to whether the whales were friskier when the sea-state was rougher. No matter though, as the whales were here now, as were we, and it was a good show!

As the day wore on, the wind and seas began to build, and some guests retreated to the comfort of the ship’s interior, while others braved the weather. A plan was made to head for Playa Los Frailes (Monks Beach) known to provide a calm haven when the wind is out of the north. So, with full sun and a sheltered place to while away the hours, we spent the afternoon bird watching, beachcombing, and taking photography walks.