We steamed south in the Hull Canal today, returning to Magdalena Bay. Along the way, we spotted the following: a gray whale cow and calf, dolphins riding our bow wake, coyotes on shore and various birds in the mangroves and mudflats. In the afternoon, we made our final landing on one of the narrowest parts of the peninsula, a small isthmus. With a short walk across the sand dunes, we arrived at the Pacific Ocean. We spent time on Sand Dollar Beach, which takes its name from the immense amount of sand dollars along the shore.
National Geographic Venture
An incredible morning was had by all on National Geographic Venture as we went grey whale watching in Bahia Almejas. Shrouded in early morning mist and in search of the great whales, we rounded a sandbar covered in brown pelicans, brants, cormorants, and the occasional great blue heron. We were delighted to get close views of the whales breathing and swimming amongst the pangas. We were even treated to a few spyhops and flukes. Cruising from the protected grey whale lagoon towards our afternoon beach, we handed out snorkel gear in anticipation of our first snorkel opportunity in a couple days. As the sun began its descent and the air started to cool down, we geared up and headed to Sand Dollar Beach in Magdalena Bay for some late afternoon hikes. On the walk from the protected lagoon to the Pacific Ocean side of the island, we explored the unique sand dune ecology. We encountered fiddler crabs, coyote skeletons, various bird species, and more. The fading light accompanied us on our return to the ship with a sunset of pink, orange, and yellow. It was only the first day of our journey, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip brings!