Cruise Report: Baja Mexico
Los Islotes & Isla Partida
From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California
We were awakened a bit early this morning with a spectacular sunrise over the Gulf of California. A light cloud cover was illuminated by the beautiful, orange sun reflecting off the sea. We started our expedition early today, circumnavigating the tiny islets of Los Islotes by Zodiac.
The morning brought us a variety of sea life, both avian and mammalian. California sea lions were the stars of the show and we were able to experience them using almost all of our senses. The playful juveniles darted around the Zodiacs, blowing bubbles and jumping up and out of the water. We were also treated to displays by a myriad of birds which use Los Islotes as resting and breeding grounds. Beautiful blue-footed boobies, brown boobies, California yellow-footed gulls, Brandt’s cormorants, turkey vultures, magnificent frigatebirds, great blue herons, and even a wandering tattler were among the species noted.
For many, the highlight of the day was a chance to snorkel with the California sea lions and extensive varieties of reef fish around the base of the islands. The curious pinnipeds came out to learn a bit more about us and many even grabbed our flippers in their teeth to examine them closer. We were also treated to wonderful views of fish such as sergeant majors, yellowtail surgeonfish, king angelfish, and even the majestic great damselfish.
Our last afternoon aboard was at one of the beautiful, white sand beaches of Ensenada Grande on Isla Partida. Many of us took this last opportunity to relax and enjoy the peaceful afternoon. Others hiked through the canyon or kayaked along the beautiful rock walls of the bay. It was an idyllic location and a wonderful way to conclude our exploration of this magnificent land and seascape. As the sun dropped below the hills of Baja Peninsula, we were reminded that the quiet and peace of this place is one of the Gulf of California’s greatest treasures.