This was another wonderful day on the Remarkable Journey trip. We awoke in the “blue triangle” area of the Gulf of California. We spent the morning looking for the largest of all charismatic megafauna, the blue whale. And we found them! We got to spend time with two blue whales who exhaled tall columnar blows. One of them even fluked, which can be quite rare. In the late morning, Lindblad naturalist Travis Patten gave an interesting presentation on climate change.

In the afternoon we anchored in Puerto Balandra on Isla Carmen, in Loreto Bay National Park. This pretty little crescent-shaped bay was the site of our activities. We snorkeled along the rocky coast and saw large flounders, an octopus, lots of wrasses, sea stars, and pufferfish. Our undersea team went scuba diving and recorded video footage to show everyone more of the underwater world. Later we enjoyed casual, moderate, and long hikes through the wide dry arroyo that leads from Puerto Balandra to the other side of Carmen. We saw Xantus’s and Costa’s hummingbirds, yellow warblers, black-throated sparrows, blue-gray gnatcatchers, spiny lizards, black mangroves, California ruellia flowers, and flowering Adam’s trees. We also heard stories about the Indigenous history of the island and surrounding areas. It was a beautiful and fascinating day!