Bahia de La Paz & Whale Sharks

Mar 04, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

During full moon days, unpredictable events happen, especially in magic areas of the world, such as Baja California. We were supposed to have 25-knot winds, with choppy seas and partially overcast sky. Nevertheless, the Universe was in our favor, or maybe it was due to the gentle mediation of the last days’ bright moon, but we had a fantastic day indeed, with mild winds and therefore the opportunity to explore La Paz Bay in search of one of its most remarkable creatures, the whale shark.

This was not part of our original program, but such is life, and the joy of being on expedition. That is the way we should take it, making it even more enjoyable. Living the present time, without many expectations, because there is always a marvelous surprise to delight and enrich our existence waiting for us around the corner, and more if we are at the reign of the great whales and the largest sharks that inhabit our oceans.

Therefore, off we went, in different rounds and boats, in search of peaceful monsters of the sea. Whale sharks are the largest known species of fish, growing to 12 meters and weighing as much as 79, 000 pounds. The fish can live 70 years. This species originated about 60 million years ago, evolving large mouths to feed mainly, though not exclusively, on plankton, microscopic plants and animals, and occasionally on small fish. The whale sharks in La Paz are often seven to ten meters in length. They are mostly males and juveniles that from early winter until late spring feed in the rich waters of the Sea of Cortez.

We found from two to eight individuals, and every single guest got the opportunity to marvel at their massiveness. Let us see what else is to come as we sail on board the National Geographic Sea Bird!

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About the Author

Paula Tagle

Expedition Leader

Paula grew up in Guayaquil where she obtained an undergraduate degree in geology from the Polytechnic University of Guayaquil. She enjoyed many field trips all around Ecuador and during her vacations traveled in Central and South America in the hope of learning more about her people and culture. The last year of her studies she worked at a mine looking for a more ecologically responsible way of recovering gold. Interested more in volcanoes than in raw materials, she came to Galápagos, a mecca for geologists, in 1992. She was bewitched by the other wonders of the islands and became a naturalist guide for the Galápagos National Park.

About the Photographer

Ryder Redfield

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Growing up at the base of the Cascade Mountains in the tiny Oregon town of Sisters meant that Ryder was surrounded by wilderness. A childhood of hiking, fishing, hunting for arrowheads, camping, and upland bird hunting resulted in the outdoors feeling far more comfortable than hectic city streets. His passion for the outdoors has perpetually grown and, upon graduating from the University of Oregon, he embraced his wanderlust with even greater vigor. His adventures eventually led him to working with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic as a photo instructor.

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