Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field


  • Los Islotes & Bahia Bonanza

    Today was another busy and amazing day here in Baja California! As the sun rose with pink clouds scattered in the skies, we approached Los Islotes, a couple of small islets near Isla Partida. After a hearty breakfast, we jumped into our expedition landing craft to get close to the islands for a snorkel adventure. This area is known as a California sea lion haul-out, where snorkelers can have exciting up-close-and-personal sea lion interactions. Guests floated around, thrilled to see a variety of colorful king angelfish, Panamic sergeant majors, yellowtail surgeonfish, bicolor parrotfish, and crazy, iridescent Cortez damselfish. Curious sea lions approached to swim around the group and nibble on people's flippers. The morning ended with an expedition landing craft cruise around the islands to see blue-footed boobies sporting their blue feet in mating dances, frigatebirds and turkey vultures soaring on the thermals, and sea lions hauled-out on the rocks.

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  • The Gulf of California, Loreto Bay, & Isla Danzante

    It was a perfect Baja California day on the National Geographic Sea Bird, in the waters of the Gulf of California. The rainbow colors of sunrise intensely highlighted the sliver of a crescent moon looking down over the distant desert mountains on the horizon.

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  • Los Islotes & Punta Dispensa, Isla Espiritu Santo

    Today we had one of our favorite wildlife hotspots all to ourselves. Los Islotes is home to hundreds of California sea lions and a myriad of sea birds. The afternoon was spent paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking, and doing yoga in a protected bay next to Punta Dispensa.

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  • Ensenada Grande

    Today, the National Geographic Sea Bird visited the northwest side of the Espiritu Santo Island archipelago and anchored at Ensenada Grande, a delightful little cove. We chose two beaches for hikes, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding throughout the morning and afternoon. The northern wind blew moderately strong (as it normally does in winter), but it did not stop us in the exploration of the sea and land. During their long hike our guests and naturalists found two interesting non-poisonous snakes along the dry arroyo, one a widespread species and the other an endemic of this beautiful, pink-colored island. Some big birds, like turkey vultures, frigates and pelicans, were observed taking advantage of the rising thermals. On the beach, a tidal lagoon and mangroves which provide shelter for invertebrates, fishes, and photosynthetic algae, contrasted nicely with the dry vegetation around. In the late afternoon, we finished the day with a wonderful dinner ashore followed by stories around a bonfire about pearls, and the friendship between Steinbeck and Ricketts. And finally, some time to contemplate the sun set behind the impressive and multicolored Sierra de la Giganta.    

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  • Los Islotes & Isla Espiritu Santo, Baja California Sur

    A day with killer whales feeding off the bow and snorkeling with sea lions is about as good as it gets! Though this voyage is short, it will leave a lasting impression on our guests.

  • Ensenada Grande

    The National Geographic Sea Bird anchored last night at Ensenada Grande, one of the most beautiful of all Espiritu Santo Island archipelago’s coves. Today, guests and naturalists explored the fascinating arroyo and bay by hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding along the whole day. The weather conditions were perfect, with a calm sea, light breeze, and moderate sunlight. Many plants of the Sonoran Desert (the most biodiverse in North America), were meet, for the first time, by our guests: cardon, cholla, galloping and organ pipe cacti, plus jojoba, wax plant, fairy duster, agave in flower, and a community of mangroves that thrive at the small tidal lagoon of the island. We all also observed lizards, individuals of an endemic ground squirrel, and birds that constitute part of the land’s wildlife community. Yoga practice, stretches and meditation were also part of the activities. In the afternoon, all guests concluded this busy day with a beach barbecue, bonfire and happiness.    

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  • Los Islotes & Isla Espiritu Santo

    Today has been very powerful for many guests. After their first full day in Baja’s wilderness, we dove even deeper into both the great outdoors and into “the aquarium of the world,” as Jacques Cousteau once called the Sea of Cortez. 

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  • Ensenada Grande

    During our first day of exploration in the archipelago of Espiritu Santo, the National Geographic Sea Bird anchored at Ensenada Grande, the most beautiful of the island’s coves. A long hike took guests and naturalists to the heights of the eastern escarpment; with the magnificent Sea of Cortez as a background, we took few minutes of silence and meditation on the rim just to connect ourselves with nature. In the afternoon, exploration via kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and snorkeling allowed guests to discover some of the minute animals hidden on the rocky shores or in the water. A well-deserved dinner on shore, plus wine and beer and brownies, closed a full day of joy, wellness, and learning.     

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  • Los Islotes and Bahia Bonanza

    Another beautiful day in Baja California Sur!

  • Isla Partida, Ensenada Grande

    We stretched and strengthened our bodies this morning while surrounded by brilliant color in all directions. Morning adventures included hikes up the arroyo at Ensenda Grande, as we made sure to stop and gaze up at cacti, ponder the adaptations of waxy leaves, and listen for the Costa’s hummingbird and canyon wren. Afternoon activities were all about the water, including snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking in this large bay. As our beautiful day came to a close, we dined around a bonfire, listened to stories about the Baja California Peninsula from long ago, gazed up at stars, set intentions for the new year, and enjoyed the thrill of bioluminescence between our fingers.

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