The channel between San Jose Island and the peninsula of Baja California Sur is renowned for its cetaceans. Every possible moment in these waters offers the potential to see whales. Our plan was to cruise this morning in search of whatever we might find. As the first light of the new day blinked over the eastern horizon, a humpback whale breached in front of our vessel. National Geographic Venture approached with caution and care. An early wakeup call sent us scurrying into our clothes and out on deck. A few fortunate guests peeked out their windows, and they saw the massive body of the whale leap out of the water and come crashing back down with a splash.

Our breakfast was a delicious respite before cruising commenced. After much dedication, we spotted a few dolphins that swam by with their dark fins cutting through the wild surface of the sea.

San Jose Island provided the perfect protection from the wind. After lunch, we landed on the rocky beach of Punta Colorado. The beach was covered with granite rocks tossed and rounded by the arroyo’s floodwaters. It was tricky to get beyond the rounded rocks, but it was well worth the effort. Sandstone in red and pink and beige surrounded the tiny cove. Our walk back into the arroyo brought us to sculpted sandstone passages. The edges of the sandstone were frilled and undercut. Feeling like characters in a fantasy film, we walked under this overhanging finery.

We moved a short distance down the island to the next beach, which was made of soft sand and sculpted hillsides. Here the hotel department and our fabulous chef created a beach barbeque that could not be outdone. As we piled out of the Zodiacs, our friendly stewards met us with cold beers and margaritas before we even took off our life vests. A fire blazed in the middle of our circle of chairs. Marshmallows on sticks were available for the remembrance of firesides of the past and for the making of s‘mores!

We enjoyed a dark and mysterious Zodiac ride back to the ship. Upon arriving back to the ship’s fantail, the deck crew welcomed us home with music and dance.

A finer day would be hard to imagine.