San Jose del Cabo & Gorda Banks

Feb 21, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

We had an early start this morning as we arrived off the infamous scenic tip of Baja California, Cabo San Lucas. Granitic rock formations that have eroded over thousands of years were stunning in the first morning golden light. We went close to Lover’s Arch as the numerous sport fishing boats out of Cabo San Lucas sailed by. A lovely sunrise with coffee out on the bow was a great way to start our day.

Later in the morning we went ashore at San Jose del Cabo, an old mission town, for a couple of different tours. One bus went to an estuary for a bird and wildlife walk while the other went into town to see a glassblowing demonstration and to see the old mission. There was also the chance to wander about town for souvenirs and to sample the delicious local ice cream bars!

In the afternoon we sailed out towards Gorda Banks, a humpback whale calving and breeding ground. We saw several very surface-active humpbacks tail lobbing; when they slap their large tails against the surface. In the late afternoon our Mexican naturalist Adrian hosted a tequila tasting on the back deck. Lee Moll gave a presentation about cacti and at the end of day, Emily, our undersea specialist, told us all about California sea lions. It was a great day to see the many sides of this special part of the world.

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About the Author

Stephanie Martin


Stephanie is a marine mammal scientist who began her career studying finback and humpback whales from a small isolated lighthouse island off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine.  This project—an effort to identify individual whales by matching dorsal fin shapes, natural color patterns and any acquired scars—sought to catalog all the mammals that populate the waters from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the New York Bight.

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