Daybreak was warm and blissful aboard National Geographic Sea Lion. Many passengers took in their first Baja California sunrise from the sundeck, while enjoying stretch class with wellness specialist Lola McQueen. Others chatted about birds with our naturalists, as gulls and pelicans cruised on the dawn zephyrs. Following breakfast and the arrival of our local captains, we poured into pangas and began the first of two rounds of whale watches.

Both the morning and afternoon whale watches were rife with activity. Within the first few moments of our morning ride a majestic gray whale spyhopped mere feet from our bow. My camera, equipped with a telephoto lens, was too close to the action to capture it fully! By the second round, the animals had warmed to our presence, and they graced us with more friendly interactions. Guests darted back and forth between the port and starboard sides of our pangas, mimicking the actions of the animals in the verdant depths of the bay.

Back on board, we enjoyed cocktails and conversation in the soft light of the setting sun. As I write this dispatch from National Geographic Sea Lion, we are still basking in the glow of the day as we prepare for tomorrow’s adventure.