This morning, we woke up in San Carlos aboard National Geographic Venture. While docking, we witnessed a breathtaking cotton-candy sunrise featuring colors only found on the remarkable shores of Baja California Sur. After fueling up with a delicious breakfast, we boarded coaches and headed out to the famous Magdalena Bay in search of gray whales. Known as one of the best places to witness pairs of mothers and calves, we boarded pangas and set out.

Conditions were perfect as we cut through glassy waters in search of whale spouts. Bottlenose dolphins were everywhere, with brown pelicans and magnificent frigatebird dotting the sky above us. It wasn’t long until we saw our first spout on the horizon. You could hear gasps and feel palpable excitement as a whale surfaced just in front of us. This was such a remarkable experience and one that few have the opportunity to see. On our two-hour experience, we witnessed at least four or five of these majestic creatures before returning to the dock. We then dined at a private local restaurant and listened to amazing live music from Los Coyotes. Laughter and the aroma of delicious tacos filled the air.

Some people boarded coaches and headed back to the ship for massages, relaxation or a nap under the Baja sun. Other explorers got back into the pangas and headed out for a second round of whale-watching. We didn’t have to go far as a very pregnant female was just minutes away. She was with a younger whale, about one or two years old. They played together, rolling around and displaying pectoral fins and flukes while enjoying our company. It was truly a life changing experience to be so close to these beautiful animals. The memories will last a lifetime.

We then boarded the coaches and headed back to National Geographic Venture. We were greeted with hot towels and delicious margaritas. We freshened up and headed to a cocktail hour in the forward lounge. We shared photos with one another and reminisced about an incredible day in Baja. The full moon rose over the horizon, a brilliant orange that only added to our perfect day. This has already been such a beautiful trip, and there is still so much still to experience here as we sail among the great whales.