The climatic conditions at sea are unavoidable, and today we experienced strong winds from the north. The winds channeled through the entire Gulf of California. National Geographic Venture successfully anchored at beautiful Caleta San Juanico on the peninsula of Baja California, just a few miles north of Loreto and a few miles south of Bahia Concepcion. Well protected by the impressive volcanic cliffs of the La Giganta mountain range, the quieter conditions of the caleta allowed us to kayak and cruise on Zodiacs. The highlights of the morning were the complex and interesting geology, views of the traditional ‘tree of flags’ (a sweet mangrove tree with flags from visiting boats), osprey nests, blue-footed boobies and the magnificent landscape.

In the afternoon, the ship navigated southbound. Between Carmen Island and the peninsula, the naturalists discovered several blows that yielded four different fin whales, the second largest marine mammal in the world. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching the behavior of these animals, from very fast swimming to deep diving and from powerful blows to fluking. At the end of the day, the strong wind was our ally as we encountered fabulous creatures in the Gulf of California.