After a busy night of rocking and rolling our way around the sleepy Cabos and into the open, blustery Pacific, we Venture-d steadily northward. We traveled along the Baja Peninsula to the mountainous Isla Margarita—along with Isla Magdalena, one of the two guardians of La Entrada into the gray whale super bowl of Bahia Magdalena.
As we had our coffees and finished our morning stretches, a friendly escort of Nazca and masked boobies guided us along the rugged coastline to a frenzy of activity. Humpback whales lunged in the distance as the heart-shaped blows of gray whales passed by our starboard, leading to a few breaches of their own. Beneath a circling swirl of frigatebirds in the sky, a hundred long-beaked common dolphins splished and splashed in the sea as they chased down some form of bait. Once we were alongside them, a dozen or so broke off from the group and began bow-riding with us for a mile or so before jetting off to some future fishy feast.
Flanked by countless gray whales, we made our way to Puerto San Carlos and then a little farther afield to land on the bay shore with towering sand dunes before us. We trekked past sand verbena, locoweed, and coyote tracks to arrive at Sand Dollar Beach, a wonderful stretch of uninhabited coastline that is a beachcomber’s dream. We enjoyed the many Mellita sand dollar tests resting on the sand, the Eulalia viridis green paddle worms coursing about the low tide flats, and the abundant Pinna hatchet scallops strewn about the windswept coastline.
All aboard and enjoying our custom mango margs in celebration of International Margarita Day, we sailed toward the island of the same name. We learned about the history of this storied body of water from the legendary Carlos Navarro, enjoyed amazing photographs of local shorebirds collected by naturalist Alex Harper, and discovered more about the flattened urchins we had observed from naturalist Oren Frey at recap. As I type, the Global Explorers are enjoying a movie and pizza night as we continue our journey to wake up among the “gray-t” whales of Bahia Almejas. But that’s for tomorrow. For now, we can say that today, “Mag Bay” may as well have stood for “magnificent.”