Magdelena Bay

Dec 19, 2019 - National Geographic Venture

Magdelena Bay is a legendary place on the Pacific side of Baja California Sur. Famous for many reasons, it was the sight of our second day of exploration in BCS, Mexico. A place sparsely populated with people but rich in marine life, as well as long-shore drift, it made for excellent beach combing. The land was in a shocking state of green after the recent rains, and nearly every desert plant was in lush pigment and flower. The sea surface was glassy as we took to the water for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. After our morning operations we packed up and took to the seas by ship just outside the bay. We were making our way south, but not in a hurry just yet, as the rich waters nearby can often bring charismatic megafauna – and it certainly did. At least three humpback whales appeared and kept us company for hours, all the while performing tail-lobs, spy hopping and full breaching. The sun set in glorious Baja fashion again, as we were on our way to Cabo.

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About the Author

James Hyde


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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