On our final day aboard National Geographic Sea Bird, everyone woke up to another beautiful sunrise in Baja California. Some guests soaked in the rising rays while stretching on the sundeck with wellness specialist Ava, and other guests had one last relaxing morning before heading back to the busy bustle of their lives. Not wanting to waste any time in this beautiful region, our first adventure for the day was taking out local pangas for another opportunity to view gray whales. A mother and her calf were spotted in the lagoon, and we got to see their close connection. As we headed back to the ship, we came across some coastal bottlenose dolphins. After returning to the ship, we enjoyed a delicious meal cooked by head chef Eric Seabury and his wonderful galley. The fun was not over yet, and we headed out to Sand Dollar Beach. Guests had the opportunity to walk across rising and falling sand dunes or bike along the beach. To end the evening, the officers and crew were introduced and thanked for their time and expert skills. During final recap, we wished expedition leader Alberto Montaudon a happy birthday.
National Geographic Sea Bird
Bahia Almejas, Baja California
As the sun rose, the hills of Isla Santa Margarita lit up to wake us to our first day in Bahia Magdalena. We had lots of firsts today, as we got to meet our panga drivers and head out to explore the area. Today’s focus was Bahia Almejas, the social center of gray whale hangouts at this time of year. And the whales certainly didn’t disappoint. We had lots of encounters with ‘friendly whales’ coming right up to the pangas and allowing us to touch them. As if that wasn’t enough, there was all sorts of activity like whales breaching, spyhopping, and even some mating! Naturally, one of the highlights was getting whale snot blown all over us! We split into two groups for whale watching. The group that wasn’t on the pangas learned how to improve photographic composition using iPhones from Gemina Garland-Lewis, certified photo instructor for the trip. We went out for a couple hours in the morning and afternoon, passing a spit covered in double-crested cormorants and brown pelicans each time. On the way back to National Geographic Sea Bird , we had a treat and saw a lone bald eagle that had clearly been hunting amongst the cormorants. The day wasn’t quite done. After a delicious dinner that included the popular chocolate decadence, Kylee Walterman educated us with a presentation on gray whales. Everyone had the opportunity to touch whale lice if they so wished!