Sand Dollar Beach, Baja California Sur
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 15 Jan 2020

Sand Dollar Beach, Baja California Sur, 1/15/2020, National Geographic Venture

  • Aboard the National Geographic Venture
  • Baja California

Baja California is truly proving itself to be one of the most magical places on the planet. Waking up this morning, National Geographic Venture was sailing north in the Pacific Ocean, offshore of the Baja peninsula. Having entered the open ocean for the first time in this trip, we were hoping to see some animals that are not always found in the Sea of Cortez. We were not disappointed! Bottlenose dolphins joined the ship as the sun rose, surfing along in the pressure wave created by the ship’s bulbous bow. During breakfast, rafts of about 100 California sea lions raced over to play in our wake, and two humpback whales even swam and twirled off of our stern, giving guests a show through the panoramic windows in the dining room. Throughout the morning there were sightings of many new seabirds [pink-footed and black-vented shearwaters, western and California gulls] and cetaceans [Pacific white-sided dolphins] as we made our way towards the entrance to Magdalena Bay.

After passing through La Entrada de Bahía Magdalena, we sighted our first California gray whales! In addition to providing protection from the elements for these whales during their mating and birthing season, the barrier islands that create these lagoons are covered in magnificent sand dunes. For the afternoon, we landed on a sandy beach, walked across sand dunes to inspect the incredibly resilient plants that colonize the area, and enjoyed the views of the Pacific Ocean from Sand Dollar Beach. Culminating what could only be considered the newest best day of the trip, the amazing galley team provided a spectacular beach barbecue dinner complete with s’mores and an acoustic Mexican serenade from Los Coyotes of Magdalena.

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Baja California and the Sea of Cortez: Among the Great Whales