Magdelena Bay

Feb 26, 2020 - National Geographic Venture

Under clear skies and calm seas, we made our way northwest along the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula. A feeding frenzy of gulls, boobies, frigate birds, shearwaters, pelicans and others, quickly got our attention. In the mix were hundreds of dolphins. First to join us were the bottlenose variety, and then soon followed by common dolphins. Bow-riding and porpoising ensued!

Continuing north, we made our way through “La Entrada” or the entrance to Magdalena Bay—a gray whale marine sanctuary. We spotted quite a few gray whales and amazingly, killer whales as well. There were eight animals working their way along the inner shoreline of the Bay. We watched and photographed them for some time, before they departed through La Entrada. It is important to point out that to the best of our knowledge, this is the first documented sighting of killer whales inside one of the three gray whale lagoons on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula.

After catching our breath, we were off for a hike from the protected waters of Magdelena Bay, across the sand dunes, to Sand Dollar Beach. The kids braved the surf for a swim, while the rest of us took walks, checked out the sand dollars, and enjoyed the setting sun behind the surf of the Pacific.

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About the Author

Sean Neilson


The summer after Sean graduated from college, he waited tables in Yellowstone to delay entering “the real world”. It was there, in the unending beauty of such a special place, where he realized the natural world was the real world—and it had captured him.

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