Today we explored two very special islands in the midriff region of the Gulf of California. On Isla San Esteban, we walked up arroyos hoping to find the island’s two endemic reptiles: the San Esteban spiny-tailed iguana and the pinto chuckwalla. In the afternoon, we spent a magical hour cruising among an enormous group of long-beaked common dolphins. The ship matched their speed, and we watched from the bow as the dolphins swam energetically all around us. It was an exhilarating and utterly beautiful experience. In the late afternoon, we had Zodiac cruises around Isla Rasa, where thousands of Hermann’s gulls and elegant terns have recently arrived to nest.
National Geographic Venture
Our trip began windy but ended with incredibly calm waters today in Bahia Almejas, allowing us to experience a variety of flavors of Baja weather. With panga engines off or idling, we could hear exhalations of gray whales surrounding us. The whales were so numerous that we could hardly keep up with what direction to look. Later, as a high and harsh afternoon sun lowered to golden hues, we paddled the coast and walked the desert and shore of Isla Santa Margarita.