Dec 22, 2019 - National Geographic Venture
A beautiful sunrise greeted National Geographic Venture as she headed towards Cabo Pulmo, where we met local pangeros and guides who greeted us and took us into the park for a morning of snorkeling. The ride out to the snorkeling spot was rough, but worth it. Beneath the water, an entire world awaited us. Massive schools of fish, endemic species eating algae off the corals, and curious sea lions swam playfully around us. When we arrived at the sea lion haul out, we did not see any in the water, but as soon as we put our masks into the water, we saw that there were more Californian sea lions underneath the surface. They swam and nipped at each other around us, and even swam close by to get a better look at us. The divers went out and saw that at a dive spot nearby there were quite a few bull sharks swimming gracefully through the reefs.
In the afternoon, hikes explored Cabo Pulmo to see the area from a different perspective than in the morning. Beach combers searched the shoreline, finding colorful shells, washed up corals, and skeletal evidence of birds and fish. Another hike went out to the lagoon and watched coots dabbling for food. Merlins swooped down in search of a meal and turkey vultures rode the thermals above the lagoon – a truly productive place. The adventurous hike made their way across the beach, explored the lagoon, and then found a trail to lead us up the hillside. From the trail, the breeze was refreshing and the view was spectacular. We hiked until we were at eye level with the turkey vultures, and then took a few moments to take in the beauty of the area.
A delicious barbeque was set up on the beach, and we spent our last cocktail hour with our feet in the sand. As the sun set behind the mountains, we enjoyed s’mores around the bonfire. On the last skiff ride back from the beach, we drove slowly towards the vessel to savor the moment. Bioluminescence sparkled green in our wake, mimicking the light of the sky above us that was shining with constellations.
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