Feb 25, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird
On our first day of exploration in the Gulf of California we saw several welcome sights: dense flocks of migrating eared grebes, jumping mobula rays among the waves, and impressive volcanic rock formations. The National Geographic Sea Bird anchored in the quiet waters of Dispensa Bay, at the southernmost tip of Espiritu Santo Island. As guests and staff walked on the beach, we found shells belonging to several species of snails, bittersweet clams, lion’s paws, cockles, scallops, and oysters, and the bones of fishes, dolphins, and sea turtles, naturally washed up by the waves. Inland, Sonoran Desert vegetation surrounded our fast-walking guests, and a black jackrabbit, endemic to the island, bolted away from us.
On the water, our snorkelers were delighted to see the varied fishes and invertebrates that populate one side of the bay. In the afternoon, we moved to the nearby Playa Dispensita for kayaking and expedition landing craft tours around a breeding colony of magnificent frigatebirds in a patch of mangroves. The bright red gular pouches of males are used as part of a courtship display and indicate their breeding condition. Great beginning of our journey in the Sea of Cortez!
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