Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Santiago | Baja California Sur

    We awoke to one last gift from yesterday’s storm. A healthy swell was coming out of the southeast, making our early morning landings on the beach at Los Frailes a bit more of an extreme sport than was intended. The shuttle drivers opted for stern landings, which are generally reserved for such conditions, and all of our intrepid guests were eventually landed safely in time for the day’s activities. We had groups who opted for snorkeling, diving, and one large group that was bound for the Sol de Mayo rancho ecologico.

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  • East Cape | Baja California Sur

    This morning National Geographic Sea Lion departed from La Paz town, capital of the state of Baja California Sur, to get the now-famous Cabo Pulmo, a once quaint fishing community turned marine preserve some 25 years ago. Cabo Pulmo is now a worldwide example of protection of marine resources and of sustainable tourism, all made by the local inhabitants. Our group of guests in this trip is a rare but important admixture of conservationists composed of local citizens, ranch owners, fishermen, NGO’s representatives and local authorities. They came aboard to discuss several ways to contribute to the conservation of other places in what now is called the Eastern Cape (Cabo del Este), the eastern littoral of the Municipality of Los Cabos, threatened by the uncontrolled development of big-scale tourist facilities, and replicate the Cabo Pulmo experience.

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  • La Paz

    With an approaching storm, the city of La Paz offered the perfect protective anchorage and exploration point for today. The city, with just over a quarter million inhabitants, is one of the Baja’s largest and most vibrant cities with a rich history in fishing. Throughout the day, The Bay of La Paz and the malecon offered an exciting backdrop for guests as they met to discuss the conservaiton successes of places like Cabo Pulmo and what needs to be done to replicate this framework throughout the Sea of Cortez. After these productive meetings and presentatons, everyone got the chance to top off the day with one of La Paz’s gems – ice cream from the waterfront’s La Fuente.

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  • Los Islotes and Espiritu Santo National Park

    The architypical experience of Espiritu Santo National Park, and perhaps all of the Sea of Cortez, is to get in the water and snorkel with the charming and graceful California sea lions. It was for just this purpose that National Geographic Venture arrived at Los Islotes this morning.

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  • Puerto Gato, Baja California Sur

    The moon’s fullness peaked just after 5 this morning, casting its rays upon the early risers of National Geographic Venture. Guests of all ages gathered in the pre-dawn light to witness “la luna” slip behind the western Baja terrain. What a beautiful way to start our day!

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  • Loreto Bay National Park

    Sunrise found us transiting across the northern boundary of the Loreto Bay National Park. Established in 1995 by the government of Mexico, the park protects five of the most precious islands occupying the Sea of Cortez: Monserrate, Danzante, Santa Catalina, Coronados, and Carmen. The waters around them are also part of these parks, and we spent the morning sailing through a good portion of the area. Once inside, we had the pleasure to witness not just the sunrise over the ocean but one that showed the elusive and ever-mythic green flash!

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  • Bahia Concepcion

    The climate in the Gulf of California is unpredictable during the winter-spring transition, since it sits at the confluence of three different wind systems between the west, north, and south. Today, the wind began from the north and made National Geographic Venture locate to one of the most idyllic bays in this sea: Bahia Concepcion – south of the copper mining town of Santa Rosalia and north of the historic California capital of Loreto. The historical flavor of the early exploration and colonization of this peninsula, respectively, by Spanish Conquistadores and Jesuit missionaries blew through the winds and across the landscape.

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  • Isla San Marcos

    A leisurely morning aboard National Geographic Venture allowed guests to enjoy this pleasant day out on the decks as well as presentations about the distinct geography and wildlife that makes Baja California such a beloved destination for those visiting.

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  • Isla Danzante

    Today was our first full day exploring Baja California. In the morning we sailed the calm waters just south of Isla del Carmen and ultimately made our way to the tiny island of Danzante. Here we were introduced to the intersection where desert meets the sea. We snorkeled from an intimate white sandy beach and hiked among the vibrant and diverse flora that calls this island home.

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  • Cruising and Isla San Francisco

    For the final day of this incredible voyage we consigned ourselves to doing only our favorite expedition pastimes. In the morning, we enjoyed the spectacular Baja California wildlife with numerous blue whale sightings. The afternoon was had doing as much or as little as desired at the postcard-perfect Half Moon Beach. We all came together and enjoyed our final group slideshow in the evening, reflecting afterward on everything we have seen and done over the course of our memorable and moving voyage.

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