From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California
Jan 1, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Bird
Isla Santa Catalina and Isla San Jose
With the incredible mountain range of La Giganta as a backdrop, we had sailed part of the night towards the Island of Santa Catalina. This island appears from the bottom of the Gulf of California, more eastwards than most of the islands in this enormous waterway. All granite, the island is known for its incredible cacti populations. Huge cardones, the giant barrel cactus, and most of the common Baja California cacti as well were enjoyed and photographed. There is an endemic rattlesnake, the infamous rattle-less rattlesnake, the emerald-tailed lizard, and an endemic mammal species: Slevin’s deer mouse. On this lovely island we had hikes into a wide arroyo, as well as snorkeling off the rocky shore.
By midday we were out of the area, en route to the also big island of San Jose. This island is nearer to the Baja California mainland, and is very rough. But cattle are to be found on it. As we had arrived in the afternoon, we had a shorter time to walk along the dry arroyo bed of Kelley’s Beach, where we saw an enormous amount of interesting plants, many in bloom, due to the recent rains. Almost immediately upon returning we headed out to another part of the beach, where a sumptuous dinner awaited us, and later, a story by the campfire with William and Mexican songs by Alberto and William.
The stars really showed their might on this very dark night, and Linda and Gretchen illuminated us on the so many stars, planets, and constellations to be seen.
As we returned to the ship, we enjoyed the light of the millions of nocturnal nightlights in the water, mostly made by Noctiluca.