At Sea, and Isla Magdalena
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 18 Dec 2019

At Sea, and Isla Magdalena, 12/18/2019, National Geographic Venture

  • Aboard the National Geographic Venture
  • Baja California

A green flash appeared in the morning horizon as the first sun rays peeked over the ocean. We were sailing south towards La Entrada, the main opening to Magdalena Bay. The ocean conditions were very nice, and we had a pleasant ride through the night and all morning. During our time cruising, we could see several humpback whales, and a few oceanic birds here and there.

We made our way into Bahia Magdalena, where the water was calm. The surrounding mountains were covered in green, due to some strong rains from last month. We could tell from a distance, that the desert,which is usually brown, was happy and very much alive.

Our destination for the morning was a dirt road, which leads to one of the most magnificent long sandy beaches in the world. On the way, we could learn more about desert plant adaptations, and the species of plants that are unique to Magdalena Island, or at least endemic to the general area that surrounds the bay. One of the most representative plants is the creeping devil, a columnar cactus that has adapted to grow sideways along the ground, and its spines are so dense, that they offer full protection against solar radiation or any herbivores that may try to feed on it.

We talked about the history of whaling, after we found some old whale bones in the desert, and talked about the fact that Mexico was the first country to ever protect whales, and after that the whale population rebounded to the point where the numbers came back.

We repositioned the ship a few miles to have a second landing on Magdalena island. After exploring the desert, we now had the opportunity to walk on the interminable sand dunes. Everything was orchestrated in a way, that we could sit on the dunes or the beach, while enjoying a glass of wine as the sun dissappeared into the horizon.

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A Southern Migration: From the Channel Islands to Baja California


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