This glorious bay is famous for the gray whales that make their way here from feeding grounds thousands of miles to the north. But the whales are not the only spectacle that make this place so unique and special. There are also sprawling mangroves teeming with seabirds and shorebirds as well as sand dunes full of diversity in spite of dry, harsh conditions. Today, we sailed from the southern-most inlet of Magdalena Bay to the Bay’s northern extent, exploring the other biological wonders the area has to offer along the way. Throughout the morning we transited the narrow passageway of the Hull Canal and got close views of ospreys, pelicans, and coyotes, among others. Our destination was an anchorage just off the small fishing town of Lopez Mateos that offered us yet another opportunity to board our Zodiacs in search of gray whales and land on the beaches to explore the sand dunes. Guests took the entire afternoon to search this northern side of Magdalena Bay for wildlife and were not disappointed. With encounters of more gray whales and wide range of different shore birds and sea birds, we are beginning to understand the full story of Bahia Magdalena and its diversity.
National Geographic Sea Lion
Under a beautiful multicolored sunrise, National Geographic Sea Lion metaphorically woke up today and started activities. With coffee and fruit at hand, our dedicated guests enjoyed the oncoming sunrise, the quiet of the bay and the great vantages of Santa Margarita Island. Light breezes passed as frigates, cormorants and gulls flew about in a frenzy. Later, after breakfast, several local fishermen from Puerto Chale community took us aboard their pangas, to the southern entrance of the lagoon. Almejas Bay was mirror-still with warmth in the air. On board the pangas, we did the last of our whale watching for the voyage. They were fantastic as our guests observed a lot of spy-hoping activity, and I mean a lot . Many lone whales performed, almost as in a water dance, with heads out from the water surface! We finished our extraordinary experience with lots of sea birds perched on a sandbar close to two magnificent golden eagles as we returned to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon, we explored Santa Margarita Island. It is a geological jewel because it is composed of exotic terrains, a mélange of different rocks resulting from subduction processes along the Pacific margin of northwestern Mexico many millions of years ago. The Sonoran Desert vegetation covers the island, with some endemic species. On Alacran (Scorpion) Beach, we found millions of shells of diverse clam, snail, mussel, oyster, and scallop species, mangroves. It was a lot of fun to identify the different groups and species and learn about their life histories. Lizards, butterflies, bees, land birds and spiders surfaced beside a multitude of desert flowers. The day finished with dinner served on the uppermost deck as we enjoyed the evening breeze coming off Almejas Bay.