San Jose del Cabo & the Sea of Cortez

Feb 07, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Today was another beautiful day in Baja California! As the sun broke through a cloudy horizon, we awoke at the southernmost tip of the peninsula. Here, craggy rocks leap from the waves and form a spiny ridge leading toward the resort town of Cabo San Lucas. Fishing boats filled with tourists from town zipped past as we photographed the rocks, including a very photogenic rock arch. A few frigatebirds circled overhead, and we spotted a peregrine falcon poised nonchalantly on a cliff's edge. For a couple hours we cruised east along the cape to San Jose del Cabo, a smaller artsy community. Some guests visited a glassblowing factory and watched a demonstration by the local master, who made a breaching whale piece. People walked around town, dropped in at the local mission church, conducted some important shopping transactions, and devoured paletas (a local popsicle that comes in fantastic flavors). Others went to the estuary on the edge of town where they searched for birds, especially a few endemic species.

During the afternoon we cruised around the southeast cape and turned north. This is an area known for humpback whales, and we were fortunate to come across several different active groups. Humpbacks are one of the most acrobatic of whales and today they lived up to their reputation. There were too many breaches to count, as well as slapping of pectoral fins and lobbing of tails. Thousands and thousands of photos were taken by the group. Near the end of the afternoon a couple humpbacks came very close to the ship, and one even rolled onto its back right under the bow! A beautiful sunset completed the day, and now we sail north for our last couple of days in the Sea of Cortez.

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About the Author

Emily Mount

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Emily grew up in Boulder, Colorado and Pullman, Washington. Her love of nature began as a child during family vacations spent hiking, camping and exploring the mountains and deserts of the west. In contrast to her outdoors interests, Emily pursued an intensive young career as a classical violinist, culminating in degrees in history and music performance at the University of Washington.

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