At Sea on the Pacific Ocean

Dec 14, 2018 - National Geographic Venture

Today, we spent the entire day onboard National Geographic Venture in transit to our next destination for land operations. Our expedition leader, Annie Fiske, did not even wake us up with her melodious tones until the late hour of 8:30! For those guests that did choose to rise with the sun, we were greeted with an escort of a couple hundred long-beaked common dolphins, porpoising and bow-riding in the morning light. After about twenty minutes, we left them behind; an Olive’s Ridley sea turtle was also seen sun-bathing on the surface of the ocean. Both encounters were excellent omens for the rest of the day.

Humpback whales were sighted off of the bow as expedition field staff gave presentations on the wildlife and geology of the Baja California Sur region. The weather and the scenery were fantastic as National Geographic Venture cruised south; however, the highlight of the day was in the late afternoon when we stumbled across another sea turtle floating on the ocean’s surface. This green sea turtle did not seem to be enjoying itself nearly as much as the one in the morning – it was tangled in the lines of a homemade long-line that was attached to a buoy in about 600 feet of water. National Geographic Venture’s crew quickly launched a rescue boat to see if they could save the turtle; our bosun was able to cut the line that had been wrapped tightly around one of its flippers, trapping it on the surface. After she released it, the turtle stayed on the surface for a moment, seeming to make a thank-you wave before diving below the waves. A happy ending for all!

After a wonderful day on the ocean, we enjoyed sangria and appetizers on the sundeck with the sun setting over the sea. Fiesta dinner was followed by Pub Trivia night in the forward lounge, hosted by National Geographic Explorer Katie Croff Bell complete with prizes to the winning team.

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About the Author

JIll Niederberger


Jill is an aquatic biologist, naturalist, divemaster, and captain with a love for everything living in and depending on water. Whether sailing catamarans, leading snorkeling tours, or assisting with cetacean field research projects, she enjoys connecting others to the wilderness around them. Her most recent adventures have led her into a focus on marine mammals – those creatures with fur and blubber that defy the odds by living in or depending on an environment in which they cannot breathe.

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