Our Southern migration continued after we left Ensenada behind last night. A multi-colored sunrise was followed by a green flash above the mountains of the Baja California Peninsula.

The destination for this morning was Isla San Martin. This old volcanic island is not too far from the peninsula, and it is the seasonal home of several fishermen who have a concession to use some of the local resources. At this time of the year, several locals are gathering red algae, which is made into soap. During other months of the year, the harvest changes, depending on the fishing seasons.

San Martin is also home for a harbor seal colony. We could see the curious, but shy seals, inspecting us from the safety of the healthy kelp beds. There was also a good number of them, hauled out on a sandy beach.

While some of us explored the shoreline by Zodiac, others kayaked or hiked on the island to discover some of its unique plants and amazing landscapes. Meanwhile, our undersea team was diving near the kelp forests, preparing an amazing video of life under the surface.

The National Geographic Venture lifted the anchor, and we continued sailing southbound. From the bow, we identified a good number of seabirds, and spotted some humpback whales. Two of the humpbacks were traveling placidly close to the surface, migrating south just like us. The ship’s speed was lowered to 5 knots, and our Chief Mate, skillfully cruised along at the same speed as the whales on their Southern Migration toward Baja California Sur.

IMAGE: Kelp forests around Isla San Martin. Photo by Patrick Webster