Isla San Francisco, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Dec 24, 2019 - National Geographic Venture

Today was an incredible day from start to finish in Baja on National Geographic Venture. We shared a glorious sunrise, snorkeled with endemic fish and invertebrates, enjoyed extraordinary hikes, learned about intertidal marine life and much more!

Our morning began with a fantastic display of light at sunrise, pulling us from our cabins to witness one of the true miracles that can be experienced with a visit to Baja California Sur. Some stood in awe absorbing extravagant hues of reds, oranges and purples. Others took in the early morning with stretches and yoga outside on the sundeck in the warmth of the rising sun. We then gathered our snorkel equipment to embrace the Sea of Cortez from above and below. We had a soft, sandy entry from the beach with several guides to assist. The sandy bottom led us to a rocky wall with huge groups of spotted and barred schooling fish in clear water. And what luck! We encountered several species of puffer fish, a round ray and even an octopus. In the afternoon, we returned to the beach for hikes in many directions, some leading to an immense ridge, another to take in the flora and fauna of salt flats in a cactus-filled desert, and another crossing the salt flats to learn about echinoderms in the tide pools. Finally, we had only returned to the ship for a few moments, when we learned that we would celebrate our fabulous day up on the sundeck with delicious appetizers, holiday libations like sangria and eggnog, and get a chance to take a swing at a Mexican pinata raised up for all to enjoy! Though we have all only been on expedition for two days, the memories feel immense and detailed as if we’ve been exploring and traveling together for much longer.

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About the Author

Christine West

Undersea Specialist

Christine was fortunate to grow up in the Pacific Northwest on the shores of the Puget Sound. After graduating from the University of Washington, she decided to pursue her love of the ocean and exploration. Her passion for marine biology has inspired her through over 4,000 scuba dives around the globe in temperate and cold-water conditions, as well as snorkeling and freediving in extraordinary habitats such as in river beds with spawning salmon, in recently de-glaciated bays and lagoons filled with ice and glacial silt and in deep blue water with large marine animals including humpback whales, hammerhead sharks and pilot whales.

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