At Sea and Magdalena Bay

Feb 14, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Brilliant Venus along with Jupiter and Saturn lingered in the pre-dawn darkness as National Geographic Sea Bird motored steadily north in the peaceful Pacific towards Magdalena Bay. Frigatebirds, gulls, and pelicans caught the updrafts from the ship and escorted us past a number of humpback whales. Bottlenose dolphins tagged along for a short while, catching the bow wave that offered them a free ride. We entered the calm bay and continued north through a narrow channel flanked by mangroves and sand dunes. Then we received a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift—our first looks at gray whales! Two presentations on whales enhanced our knowledge of these fascinating creatures. Later in the afternoon we explored exquisite sand dunes etched by the wind as the setting sun cast long shadows across the landscape.

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About the Author

Gretchen Pederson

Gretchen Pederson


Gretchen became intrigued by plants, animals, and the out-of-doors at an early age while growing up in the San Francisco Bay area. Tolerant and encouraging parents permitted almost any pet imaginable, which provided excellent opportunities for her to observe animal behavior. Later, at the University of California, Davis, she focused her studies on zoology before completing a Master of Science degree in wildlife biology at Humboldt State University. As a graduate student, through a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant, she researched the feeding ecology of mallards and northern pintails, a project that combined her interests in ornithology, botany, and invertebrate zoology - all lifelong passions that she still pursues today.

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