The second day of our adventure found National Geographic Venture at Los Islotes, a small rock outcropping in Espiritu Santo National Park. This small island is home to a colony of California sea lions. We spent the morning in the water, snorkeling with the juvenile sea lion pups. In the afternoon the ship repositioned so everyone could go ashore, but on the way we were distracted by a huge pod of common dolphins. The dolphins played in our wake and rode the bow as we cut through the water. When we finally did pull ourselves away from the marine acrobats, we had a chance to play on Kelly’s Beach. We broke into groups and tried out kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, and even beach yoga!
National Geographic Venture
The day began with heavy winds and plentiful whitecaps in the Sea of Cortez. As we sailed through the Vermillion Sea, we saw a group of blue-footed boobies (a “brassiere”) fly by on their way to a meal. We actively searched for mammals but with the winds creating substantial waves and whitecaps we were unsuccessful. Weather dictates our plans in Baja California Sur, and we quickly adapted and went to Kelley’s Beach on Isla San Jose. Hiking in an arroyo, walking in the cardon forest, and a beachcombing stroll were each offered in two rounds so everyone could partake in two different activities if they desired. In the afternoon, the heavy winds created a favorable surprise, and we had an unexpected opportunity to snorkel at Ensenada Grande near Isla Partida, which is a part of the Espiritu Santo National Park. This was a drift snorkel next to some stunning lava cliffs which offered nice views of a diversity of fish and coral species. As we finished snorkeling, the sun was setting as we headed back to the National Geographic Venture .