Loreto National Park

Apr 07, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Lion


The dawn broke as National Geographic Sea Lion motored south into the Bahia de Loreto National Park in Baja California Sur, Mexico. The objective of the morning was wildlife viewing. Keen eyes crowded the decks and watched eagerly. The productive waters of the area did not disappoint. First the word of a distant whale was whispered, then exclaimed, and finally broadcast ship-wide as sperm whales were discovered over and over. The ship was bobbing in a veritable whale-soup. Just to seal the deal, out of the blue, the hotel team appeared and set up an impromptu Bloody Mary bar right on the bow! After a splendid morning watched the largest member of the toothed whale swim and dive, we continued our journey south to Half Moon Bay. Here the watersport toys were deployed and a splendid day of snorkeling, paddle boarding, and kayaking ensued. Once the day began to cool down, hikes up to a nearby ridgeline were offered, and a group of enterprising near-shore explorers went off to explore the intertidal in the spirit of John Steinbeck and Ed Rickettes. To top the day, dinner was served ashore in a barbeque style, informal dinner, and many a s’more was toasted.

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About the Author

James Hyde

Naturalist

James is a home-grown, free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsmen. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he grew up in and surrounded by the Salish Sea. James has saltwater in his veins, but would be quick to point out we all do, echoing Carl Safina " We are, in a sense, soft vessels of seawater." Born with the travel bug, James was fortunate enough to spend time on four continents before graduating college. During his studies at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, James went to Australia and visited the Great Barrier Reef. He was never the same. A lifetime of playing in the productive, but opaque green water of the Northwest had offered him little firsthand experience of the creatures below its depths, but with a clear view of the colorful dramas playing out across the bottom of the tropical Pacific, he was hooked. Scuba diving and underwater ecology were solidified as his passion and after college, it took him to a dive shop in Seattle fixing gear, tidepooling with local middle school students, and generally making a spectacle of himself in the surf.

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