Magdalena Bay

Dec 15, 2018 - National Geographic Venture


As the sun came up over National Geographic Venture, the ship pulled into Magdalena Bay on the Pacific coast of Baja Mexico. The bay is nestled into the lower half of the peninsula and home to a variety of marine mammals and seabirds. As the guests boarded Zodiacs to go ashore, they were greeted by hundreds of flying cormorants and brown pelicans.

On the beach, sand dunes stretched across the island all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The dunes were covered in a variety of vegetation and created a twisting maze perfect for exploration. Some people hiked across the dunes from the bay to the open Pacific, some combed the beach on the bay side, and others spent the morning in the dunes. All through the sand were tracks of coyotes and jackrabbits along with ancient middens of shells from civilizations long lost.

As the morning came to a close, everyone regrouped on the beach and headed back to the ship. The buffet of lunch was accented by live music from Los Coyotes. Los Coyotes is a local two-man band that plays and sings in the local town of San Carlos. After lunch the ship cast off and headed out of the bay through a channel filled with dolphins and sea lions.

Not long after reaching the Pacific, National Geographic Venture was surrounded by humpback whales. There were blows in every direction and even a few breaching whales. As the ship sat dead in the water watching the show, two curious humpbacks approached the ship. They spent over an hour investigating every angle of the bulbous bow, circling the ship several times and flirting with each other in the process. They rolled and spun so everyone could see them, they popped their rostrum above the waves in a classic investigative spy hop time after time. Eventually, they decided the ship was no threat and casually disappeared into the depths.

After a full day of hikes, beach combing, live music, and close encounters of the whale kind, everyone was ecstatic and exhausted. The entire lounge was filled with people swapping stories of the day and sharing epic photos. The day ended with lots of excitement of what more could be in store for the expedition!
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About the Author

Adam Maire

Naturalist

Growing up on a working cattle ranch in rural Nebraska, Adam spent most of his youth outdoors. Early on, he was inspired to explore as much of the natural world around him as possible, leading him to join the U.S. Army, and earn an associate’s degree in animal science and a B.S. in history and criminal justice from the University of Nebraska.

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