Feb 08, 2019 - National Geographic Venture
Today we woke to a fully docked ship, from which our group watched the quiet fishing town of San Carlos light up over sunrise. The dock itself is a great place to watch birds, and we had a great time taking in displays of swooping, perching, and birdcalls among the fish boats as these birds looked for an early breakfast along the water’s edge. The most abundant, of course, were the gulls—among which western and California gulls dominated over a smaller number of Hermann’s gulls and at least one solitary yellow-footed gull. Several other species including snowy egrets, black-caped night herons, great blue herons, belted kingfishers, ospreys, eared grebes, as well as Brandt’s and double-crested cormorants. We also had watched the comings and goings of commercial fishermen checking their baitfish traps and getting ready for another day of hard work.
National Geographic Venture made her way out of Magdalena Bay towards the gap between Santa Margarita and Magdalena Islands, locally known as “La Entrada,” where we had the chance to observe a formidable collection of grey whales. Several regaled us with breaches, and many more showed their flukes before a diving deep beneath the surface.
We sailed south alongside Santa Margarita Island, and it was not long before we came upon a large group of the long-beaked common dolphins. Something like a couple of hundred dolphins followed our ship! Many guests took the opportunity to capture the grace and agility of these specimens on camera, and no doubt it will make a great centerpiece for the experience.
We came across more whales and later we found an unlikely combination of two grey whales swimming beside two humpbacks. We capped our day right, by watching the sunset over fresh margaritas on deck. What a superb day here in Baja California.
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