Lindblad Expeditions - From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja - Alberto Montaudon Ferrer, undersea specialist; Sun

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From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja

Jan 7, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Whale shark at La Paz Bay
Breaching humpback whale

Rancho Las Cruces & Bahia de La Paz

Today we woke up before sunrise for the last day of our photo retreat in Rancho Las Cruces. This private club has an extensive coastline on the Baja California Peninsula, and it is located right in front of Isla Cerralvo. Most of us took advantage of the changing colors of the morning, and captured the silky motion blur of the waves of the coastline as the sun gradually appeared.

We embarked the National Geographic Sea Bird just before lunch, and got underway to a place not too far from La Paz. Today was a special day in so many aspects; the weather conditions were such that we decided to offer something very unusual. La Paz Bay is famous for its gatherings of whale sharks, and today we decided to give it a shot to go see the largest fish in the world.

For the more adventurous, snorkeling with these legendary creatures was an option. While for the more terrestrial-hearted observers and photographers, we offered the chance to take a close look at them from boats. It is always a gamble to be adventurous about doing things like this, but today we had a good feeling and it paid off; by definition, this is what a real expedition is about. Snorkelers had to swim as fast as possible to catch up with the whale sharks. Ranging from maybe fifteen to thirty five feet, the sharks we saw today were not even fully grown, but still magnificent.

As we experienced this wonderful adventure to spend time with the largest sharks in the world, humpback whales started to show up. On our way back to the ship, a young solitary humpback started to breach over and over again. We got closer and admired this spectacle of nature from a short distance.

As we made our way out through the Bay of La Paz, we encountered another couple of breaching whales. The light was perfect, and our National Geographic photographers gave us detailed instructions on how to obtain the best images with our cameras. The whales kept breaching and slapping the water’s surface with their pectoral fins under the perfect magic light.