As we awoke for our first day of adventure together, the sunrise over Loreto Marine Park drew many to the outer decks of National Geographic Venture. Officers on the bridge and naturalists on the bow searched the horizon for whales. A blue whale was spotted, and the ship maneuvered toward one of the largest creatures to ever live on the planet. For many people onboard, this was the first time they had ever seen a blue whale. This was an exciting way to begin our expedition around Baja California Sur.

After a briefing on snorkeling and time to gather the appropriate gear, groups headed out in our landing crafts to snorkel. The water was invigorating, and we observed a nice variety of fish. In the afternoon, two rounds of activities allowed everyone to stretch their legs, kayak, standup paddleboard, learn more about photography, do a little tide-pooling or relax on a beach chair in a stunning location.

A couple hiking groups made it to a beautiful oasis near the end of an arroyo that meets the sea. Several local and very friendly dogs were a wonderful surprise, and almost everyone enjoyed their antics on the beach. It was an action-packed, adventure filled first day!