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You don’t forget moments like this

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Tough day in the office? Close your eyes, and go to your happy place. It probably looks something like the Sea of Cortez. The stunning and fascinating expanse of water also known as the Gulf of California lies between Baja California and mainland Mexico – and you could win the chance to go there. For real.

Covering 160,000 square kilometres, this Unesco World Heritage Site is dotted with 37 islands, mostly uninhabited, created by massive volcanic explosions. Its residents include the monstrous California grey whale, on its annual holiday from Alaskan waters to rear their calves in warmer waters.

You have the chance to get up close and personal with such mammoths of the deep blue sea, courtesy of a competition from Davidoff Cool Water – the ultimate masculine, fresh fragrance – which has teamed up with National Geographic to launch the Love The Ocean campaign, aimed at protecting the ocean. You too can help because, for every bottle of Davidoff Cool Water bought, 10,000 square metres of water will help to be protected, and a ‘Like’ on the Davidoff Cool Water Facebook page will help to protect a further 5,000 square meters.

Up for grabs is a trip for two on a remarkable eight-day voyage aboard National Geographic’s ship; Sea Bird. Staffed with marine biologists to help you explore and understand the nature-rich area. The aforementioned whales and their calves are one of the many highlights of the trip, and you can view them not only from Sea Bird but also from motorised crafts. But there are all sorts of other water wonders to see, such as bottlenose dolphins flitting in and out of these families of whales. You can even snorkel with acrobatic sea lions or try kayaking around some of the islands.

There will also be a chance to visit islands such as Isla San José or Isla Santa Catalin, where you can mosey among huge cacti and observe the variety of flora and fauna. Even the skies above you will be full of wonder. Among the great diversity of birdlife are verdins, ladder-packed woodpeckers and hummingbirds. All in lands and waters that very few people on the planet will ever get the opportunity to experience. And as with every perfect trip, food plays a starring role, with barbecues around campfires happening under an awe-inspiring canopy of bright stars in the night skies.

And what do you need to do to be in with a chance to win the once-in-a-lifetime experience? Just play a game – the impressive 360-degree Ocean Explorer experience. The brainchild of National Geographic innovation fellow Corey Jaskolski, it uses a custom 3D-printed fixture of 12 synchronised cameras for a brilliantly innovative game. Log on now to check it out.

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