At Sea & Puerto Gato

Apr 05, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Continuing our journey sailing south in the Sea of Cortez, the National Geographic Sea Bird awoke to a brilliant sunrise lighting up the mountains around us. Cruising through beautifully calm waters, we set out south of Isla del Carmen in search of marine mammals. Starting with an early sighting of charismatic bottlenose dolphins, there was no shortage all morning of incredible wildlife moments. 

Soon after breakfast, the bow was packed as everyone watched in awe as the huge exhalations of the largest animal on the planet broke the surface in the morning sunlight. Maneuvering slowly in the calm waters, we were treated to sightings of blue whales for well over an hour. Breaching spinetail mobula rays all around us kept the excitement levels up while we waited in anticipation of the diving whales, another amazing sign of how productive these waters are. Then, as if our morning had not been action packed enough already, a huge, fast-moving pod of long-beaked common dolphins swam excitedly all around us, showing off with impressive leaps and riding the waves of our bow.

After lunch, we anchored in the beautiful bay of Puerto Gato. Our afternoon was filled with a smorgasbord of wonderful water activities. Kayakers and paddleboarders enjoyed the gorgeous scenery where the rolling red rocks met the warm turquoise waters, while snorkelers explored the underwater life on a rocky reef that extended from the shallow shore. To conclude another extraordinary day in Baja, we enjoyed an amazing BBQ dinner on the beach as the sun slipped below the mountains behind us.

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About the Author

Maya Santangelo

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Maya was born and raised in Southern California, where her curiosity for the natural world was encouraged from an early age. Relocating to Sydney, Australia with her family at 11 years old, she learned to scuba dive, eventually becoming a PADI Instructor. Her fascination for the underwater world undoubtedly fueled her interest to study marine biology at James Cook University. Working as a professional guide in some of the world’s top dive destinations, including Palau and Mexico’s Guadalupe Island and Revillagigedo Archipelago, Maya realized a passion for sharing her love for the ocean with others, and the value of citizen science in the dive industry.

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