Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • 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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  • At Sea and Bahía Concepción

    A leisurely morning included presentations and a group of pilot whales as we cruised south in the Sea of Cortez. During lunch, National Geographic Venture anchored in Conception Bay, a deep indentation beside the Baja California Peninsula. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to snorkel around several islets and cruise by Zodiac along the scenic shoreline. A variety of fish, birds, and a small group of bottlenose dolphins were spotted over the course of the afternoon. A rich diversity of plant life grows on the islets and on the adjacent peninsula, including several species of cacti.

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  • Isla San Esteban and Isla Rasa

    Today we explored two very special islands in the midriff region of the Gulf of California. On Isla San Esteban, we walked up arroyos hoping to find the island’s two endemic reptiles: the San Esteban spiny-tailed iguana and the pinto chuckwalla. In the afternoon, we spent a magical hour cruising among an enormous group of long-beaked common dolphins. The ship matched their speed, and we watched from the bow as the dolphins swam energetically all around us. It was an exhilarating and utterly beautiful experience. In the late afternoon, we had Zodiac cruises around Isla Rasa, where thousands of Hermann’s gulls and elegant terns have recently arrived to nest.

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  • Canal de Ballenas

    National Geographic Venture traveled north throughout the night. By morning, the sun’s first rays found her sailing in the Gulf of California’s midriff region, in a deep-water channel known as the Canal de Ballenas. Situated between the Baja peninsula and Ángel de la Guarda Island, this channel brings in some of the largest seawater flows in this area. Resulting from this is an upwelling of tidal current brings key nutrients to the surface, from which come plankton blooms.

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  • Isla San Marcos, Santa Rosalia

    Having visited the Sea of Cortez for all of the last 35 years’ travel, what most keeps me returning year after year are days like this! It began in a not-so-unusual way, with bottlenose dolphin bow riding National Geographic Venture. Before breaking for breakfast, there were short-finned pilot whales spotted in a large pod traveling with ease along the surface. A welcoming start for today’s voyage.

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  • Loreto Bay National Park

    After having sailed north over the course of the night, we woke this morning inside Loreto Bay National Park. On board National Geographic Venture before that morning’s sunrise, we saw a small group of bottlenose dolphins coursing in the open waters between Carmen and Montserrat Islands. The cloudless sky and the light breeze made for yet another superb day exploring the Sea of Cortez.

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  • Los Islotes and La Paz

    The morning began early with the sun’s rise over the Pacific. Guests and staff crowded the bow in search of what the new light would bring in the way of potential wildlife sightings. After breakfast, we suited up for snorkeling and began to the legendary Los Islotes – a known haul out for playful and curious California sea lions.

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  • Isla San Jose and Puerto Gato, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

    Today was an incredible day as today’s photo expedition on board National Geographic Venture put us central to some of the most photogenic space throughout the Sea of Cortez.

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  • The Cape of Baja Peninsula

    This morning was one of birds, culture, and our fair share of paletas (popsicles!). Add these moments to an afternoon of heightened whale activity, and what we are left with is a day along the southern tip of Baja that made some the very best memories we’ve had on this voyage.

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