Early light painted the granite steeples of Land’s End in beautiful colors as Captain Andrew Cook nosed the National Geographic Venture ever closer to these iconic rocks. What a beautiful and abrupt end to the Baja Peninsula, where the land plunges into the sea here at the meeting place of the mighty Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. Cameras clicked and whirred as we all enjoyed the sight and even the sounds of Finnis Tierra.

Traveling further to the east and eventually the north we were in the breeding and calving grounds of the Great New Englander, as the scientific name of the humpback whale translates. Humpback whales have been traveling south with us as we migrated from the cooler California waters into the tropics here at the southern end of the peninsula. In the distance we see tail-lobbing, pectoral fin slapping, and even breaching as we make our way along this coastline.

In the afternoon we find ourselves in a protected anchorage called Los Frailes (the Friars). Some of us hike to an estuary to look for birdlife, while others walk the beach in search of treasures. The beach walkers encountered several turtle nests that had been recently abandoned, leaving behind the dried-up eggs that the turtle hatchlings erupted from the nest in. A cold and tasty beverage was there upon our return, along with a lovely campfire, all provided by our amazing hotel department!