Today we started our day in the vicinity of Cabo San Lucas after having sailed South throughout the night; long before sunrise we started seeing the lights of the famous town and as the sun came out we were rounding Land's End, as the granitic formation at the southern part of the peninsula of Baja California is known. Cabo San Lucas is world renowned as a fishing hot spot and as Captain Andrew Cook expertly maneuvered National Geographic Venture in front of the iconic rock arch, numerous sport fishing boats raced past us on their daily pursuit of striped marlin, sailfish, dorado and wahoo. We admired the rock formations with the beautiful early morning light many portraits and selfies were taken from the ship's bow with the arch in the background.
We had the pleasure to watch several groups of bottlenose dolphins riding the pressure wave in front of the ship’s bow and everyone cheered their high jumps with joy! The waters around the Cape Region, which includes Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo and the Gorda Banks, are well known to be one of the main breeding grounds for humpback whales in the North Pacific and we spent the entire morning searching for them. We saw the first of many humpbacks shortly after leaving Land's End and kept watching whales throughout the morning; some by themselves and others in pairs or groups of males chasing a female and competing among them to be the one that gains the lady's favors.
After lunch we arrived at Cabo Pulmo and went snorkeling in the small but extraordinary National Park, considered the crown's jewel of the Mexican network of natural protected areas. Paul North and I went SCUBA diving in order to take underwater video and document the extraordinary recovery of marine life that made Cabo Pulmo world famous with a rebound of 463% of fish biomass, the largest documented anywhere in the planet. Everyone enjoyed watching healthy corals and all kinds of tropical fish, including convict tangs, Mexican goatfish, yellow snappers and coral hawkfish; Paul and I also filmed a number of bull sharks, whose mere presence here speaks volumes about the health of the Park. Cabo Pulmo constitutes a very encouraging example of how Nature can recover when we give her a chance and together with the numerous humpback whales that we saw today, made for a wonderful first day in the Sea of Cortez.