Today we woke to a stunning sunrise in Bahia Almejas, the southern region of Bahia Magdalena. Isla Margarita lit up to our west as we greeted the day, ready to begin our whale watching adventures. After being picked up by our local pangueros, we set off toward the very southern entrance of the bay. Along the way, we stopped to look at a massive sandspit filled with hundreds of double-crested cormorants, brown pelicans, and various species of gulls. We also saw two bald eagles feeding on the beach!

As soon as we passed the sandspit, we started to see gray whale blows all around us. Our local operators estimated as many as 100 whales currently in the bay, and our outings today corroborated that estimation. We watched whales in every direction spy-hopping and swimming around us. Some even swam right underneath the panga, which helped us truly realize just how massive they are. One whale breached eight times in a row, making for an incredible show.

After returning to National Geographic Sea Bird for lunch, we went right back out again for more whales. Our afternoon showed us much of the fantastic same and also gave us a chance to stop by a nesting colony of magnificent frigatebirds and double-crested cormorants among the mangroves.

Back on board we enjoyed a photo presentation and evening recap as we sailed north toward Puerto Magdalena. It was a great first day of our trip!