Today was our first full day exploring the waters surrounding Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos. This morning, we explored south of our anchorage and encountered several mom and calf pairs of gray whales in these protected waters. Other special wildlife encounters included a coyote on the beach, dolphins surfing the wake behind our pangas, and a bald eagle perched on the dunes of Isla Magdalena. After a break for a delicious lunch, we headed back out to explore north of our anchorage. We pulled into the calm waterways of a mangrove forest and sighted a wide diversity of bird species and even an oyster farm run by a local fishing cooperative. Single whales swam around us here and there as we returned to National Geographic Sea Bird. A special cocktail hour awaited us on the shore, complete with a campfire and s’mores. We shared stories of the day and watched the sky erupt in flames of color during sunset – the perfect ending to the day’s adventures!
National Geographic Sea Lion
It will be a struggle to produce a combination of words fit to describe the spectacle of whale activity we witnessed today, but here I endeavor to bring said combination forth. Simply put, the day was sublime. A breezy, overcast morning greeted us as we embarked on a whale watching expedition that sent pangas in many different directions pursuing disparate whales all engaged in a variety of activity. Many rolled at the surface exposing their pectoral fins, some sent their rostrums skyward in elegant spy-hops, and others still cozied up to our pangas for minutes that felt like eons. During our brief lunch reprieve, the breeze calmed and the clouds lifted, setting a sunny scene for our afternoon excursions. Though a tough act to follow, our second round of whale watches were the greatest of my career. Roughly 50 gray whales coalesced in a mating season spectacular. The animals rolled atop one another, breached as many as six times in rapid succession, darted in every direction, and brushed past our boats close enough for many explorers to touch their rostrums. One individual brought its rostrum directly against the starboard side of our panga as if begging for a petting. It was an unbelievably moving affair.