On a still morning under cloud cover, National Geographic Sea Lion began preparations for kayaking and Zodiac cruising in El Barril. This protected area of mangroves provided an ideal location for both activities. A low tide gave us the chance to observe many animals making their living hunting in the mud flats of red and white mangroves.

Once everyone was back on board, National Geographic Sea Lion readied for its northern transit through the Hull Canal heading for northern Bahia Magdalena and the Boca de Soledad.

Our afternoon was spent whale watching in the Boca de Soledad. A large group of gray whales were gathered in the Boca, or entrance to the Pacific Ocean. At least fifty animals were breaching, rolling, and moving in and out of the Boca, once again playing in the current! Our five pangas spent two hours in the confused seas that make up the Boca, watching many whales do what whales do in their winter mating and birthing grounds.

Once back aboard the ship we were invited to the lounge to hear music from “Los Coyotes de Magdalena” and two Mexican dancers from Lopez Mateos, sharing the culture of Mexico.