Wow, what an incredible day in Baja California aboard National Geographic Sea Lion! We began by loading into pangas (small boats typical of this region of Mexico) to go search for gray whales in Bahia Almejas. Before finding any whales, we came across some great birds, including a pair of Bald Eagles. This is about as far south as this species has ever been observed. We also saw multitudes of cormorants, brown pelicans, and magnificent frigatebirds. Then we headed for the mouth of the bay to interact with migratory gray whales. It wasn’t long before we saw the characteristic blows of whales all around us. Then, the whales were within arm’s reach around our boat.
For nearly two hours, we were surrounded by frolicking whales, which were rolling, spy-hopping, and breaching in what seemed like every direction. We were amazed at the spectacle!
Pulling ourselves away, we returned to National Geographic Sea Lion for an incredible lunch. Immediately after which, we went ashore on the beautiful Santa Margarita Island. The beach was covered in beautiful seashells and the sun-bleached bones of whales, birds, fish, and turtles. We split into groups and enjoyed several great activities. Some just enjoyed the beach, some went on bike rides, while many of us went on a nature walk. The desert on the island is incredibly fascinating and lush, diverse with cacti and other plant species.
The weather was cool and cloudy in the morning, turned to sunny and warm in the early afternoon, and then shifted to slightly rainy in the late afternoon, with the lovely bonus of a rainbow over the desert.