Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field


  • Man o’ War Cove & Cruising the Pacific Ocean

    For our last morning of exploration in the lagoon system of Magdalena Bay, we went to shore on the southern end of Isla Magdalena in Man o’ War Cove. This area is named for its history of use in the American Navy – for drills and target practice mainly – but is now an excellent protected bay for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and looking for shorebirds as the tide goes out. Those that were looking to stretch their legs a bit more took off across the sand dunes that seem to stretch endlessly towards the Pacific Ocean, to be rewarded with beautiful shells and views of a multitude of whales off the coast. Within the dune ecosystem, guests learned about the unique adaptations of the plants that are able to survive on the ever-changing environments of sand being blown across the Magdalena Plains. Some terrestrial animals also live within the dunes, burrowing beneath the surface to stay cool during the heat of the day. Guests saw evidence of coyotes, mice, snakes, chuckwallas, and globose dune beetles (just to name a few).

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  • Bahía Almejas, Baja California Sur

    We remain anchored at the vicinity of Isla Santa Margarita, close to California peninsula the Bahía Almejas (Clam Bay) where we had our second opportunity to go whalewatching, looking for the group of gray whales that reproduces in this lagoon.

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  • Lopez Mateos

    We dedicated today’s explorations to Magdalena Bay, in pursuit of encounters with gray whales.  Our local panga captains know the waters intimately, and brought us past bird life, sand dunes, mangroves, and some big, exciting, waves, in addition to showing us gray whales.

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  • Bahia Almejas

    This morning, soft colors filled the sky as we awoke in Bahia Almejas (Bay of Clams) and started our first full day of adventures aboard National Geographic Sea Lion. Bahia Almejas is at the southern end of Bahia Magdalena (Magdalena Bay) and is known for incredible whale sightings.

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  • Bahia Almejas and Isla Margarita

    Any day that begins with blessings by whale snot and ends with projecting the filter-feeding feet of barnacles onto several big screens is a good day.

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  • Southern Bahía Almejas, Baja California Sur

    Although there were countless stars in the night sky at the end of our beach barbecue and walk last night, some clouds rolled in overnight. They stayed around for most of the day today, leading to a partly cloudy and cooler day. We pulled anchor and moved south down the bay a bit, and headed to shore shortly after breakfast for walks on the island of Santa Margarita. Kayaking was also an option, as was “stationary hiking” on the beach. The afternoon was spent with the gray whales again, enjoying their playful antics both above and below the water. This will be the last day we all spend together, so the evening was celebrated with a preview of the video chronicle guests will be able to take home with them, and a guest slideshow featuring everyone’s wonderful photography during the voyage. What a fun and memorable trip it has been!

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  • Bahía Almejas and Isla Santa Margarita

    Love was in the air this Valentine’s Day, in more ways than one, as we explored the waters and shore of Bahía Almejas.  Gray whales migrate to this bay to mate and give birth, and we were gifted with memorable views of these gray whales on the final day of our “Among the Great Whales” itinerary.  In late afternoon we paddled the bay and went ashore on Isla Santa Margarita to explore the desert.  Our evening concluded with captain’s dinner and photos, videos, and stories shared among laughter and love.

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  • Lopez Mateos

    Wow! But I get ahead of myself…

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  • Boca de la Soledad | Hull Canal | Sand Dollar Beach

    We woke up with the sun this morning and headed out into the bay on the search for gray whales! And what a morning it was! We soon found ourselves surrounded by several mother and calf pairs. To everyone’s delight the babies were rolling, twirling, and playing around their moms, showing off their new swimming abilities. Our normal method of pointing out whales using the clock system was quickly replaced with the “squeal and point method” as we were all too excited to form words as the whales swam all around us. While we would have loved to stay with the calves all day, time flew by and we headed back to National Geographic Sea Lion to make our way south for our afternoon adventure.

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