From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California
Dec 25, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Bird
Isla Santa Catalina & Isla San Jose
Feliz Navidad from the Gulf of California!
Today all of our guests had a day to remember as Mother Nature gave us the greatest gift of all: a beautiful day on which to observe a part of her natural realm and the creatures who inhabit it.
We started at Isla Santa Catalina with snorkeling, hiking, and Zodiac cruises. Endemic giant barrel cacti were scattered across the landscape amongst the even larger cardon. Bird sightings included yellow foot gulls, brown pelicans, cormorants, and a brown-footed booby. The ‘long hikers’ made it to the ridgeline high above our landing site to take in views both eastward over the gulf and westward toward the peninsula.
In the afternoon, National Geographic Sea Bird anchored at Mangle Solo at Isla San Jose, so we could explore the fantastic arroyo and canyon at Encantada. This place has long been known as “Kelly’s Beach” to many of us at Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. The sandy bottom of the arroyo was verdant with its many plants that have sprung up after way above average fall rains. The hand of the great landscape architect herself was very evident. Dozens of turkey vultures circled overhead while our guests hiked with interpretation from expedition team naturalists. The narrowing canyon led to a maze like single file procession of explorers pushing onwards to just see what was around the next bend.
A beach barbeque capped of the day; complete with beautiful sunset; a nearly full, moon rise accompanied by brightly shining Jupiter; ‘some-mores’ by the campfire; and entertaining Mexican folk stories and songs performed by staff and crew members.