Today we woke up eager to explore the northern end of Bahia Magdalena after our transit through Canal de Soledad yesterday. After a delicious breakfast, we loaded up in pangas with our local boat captains from Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos and made our way towards Boca de Soledad, an opening on the northern end of the barrier island of Isla Magdalena that allows small boats and whales access to the inner bay. Along the way we stopped to watch magnificent frigate birds, double crested cormorants, mangrove warblers, and scrub jays perching atop the mangroves.

As soon as we arrived to La Boca we saw whale blows all around us, a great sign for the morning’s activities. Soon after, the cries of fellow whale watchers traveled across the water and we looked up to see a gray whale repeatedly breaching – something we rarely see in this area!

As our morning continued, several of our boats danced, screamed, and wept with joy after being the first people this season to have a close encounter with a gray whale as it approached us and decided to hang out for a wee touch.

Filled with joy, we went back to the ship to eat lunch and then jumped back in the pangas to go out again. This time, the skies had darkened, and the wind felt different. Lightning struck far off over the Pacific. We made it to La Boca once again and had another amazing first – the first sighting of a calf in these waters this season! That was all we had time for, though, as we quickly realized the storm was moving and we had to return to the ship.

We put away our camera gear and watched the lighting crack through the sky in the distance. The rain met us on the way back, but we giggled and smiled at the adventure of it all, excited for the desert to get some much-needed rain.

A beautiful sunset was icing on the cake, and we couldn’t have been more grateful for all the unique experiences today!