National Geographic Venture has been in the protected waters of the Magdalena Bay complex. We decided to take advantage of today’s great weather conditions (windless and sunny) and went ashore for walks, kayaking, and Zodiac cruises among the mangroves in a locality known as Man O’ War on Magdalena Island. We found the beach covered by thousands of beautiful shells of all sorts of molluscans–scallops, rock oysters, mussels, moon snails, murex snails, pen shells, and many others. Dozens of plant species were on the hills and flats of the island, including cochemiea, prickly pear, galloping and creeping devil cactuses, lomboy, and, right by the water, black, red, and white mangroves. We observed a multitude of birds, too.

In the afternoon, we sailed out of the bay in search of more whales–and there were humpbacks! We observed the quiet behavior of a mother and a baby as they traveled southbound to reach the breeding grounds around Los Cabos or Bahia de Banderas on the mainland of Mexico. It was a great way to finish our exploration.