From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja
Jan 9, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Bird
Puerto Los Gatos & Isla San Francisco, Gulf of California - Baja California Sur
First light had the National Geographic Sea Bird in the vicinity of Puerto Los Gatos on the eastern shore of the Baja Peninsula in the Gulf of California. By sunrise we all marveled at the fantastic array of colors present in the surrounding rock cliff faces and the nearby peaks of the Sierra Panchito. Camera shutters were whirring, which may have explained the sudden increase in wind speed that made our planned anchorage for the day unsuitable. So as is often the case in the gulf when Mother Nature kicks up her heels, we went to plan B in order to ‘go with the flow.’
As we were heading south to a more suitable spot for explorations ashore, a small pod of bottlenose dolphin were seen passing in the other direction. They appeared to be on their way somewhere very important to them. They didn’t even stop to bow ride with the ship–must have been going for breakfast!
We chose Isla San Francisco for our explorations because its Half Moon Bay offers shelter from the north winds and sea; has spectacular vistas to both sides of the island; offers wonderful hikes, tide pools investigations, rocky undersea wildlife and corals for snorkelers, and calm waters in which to kayak. It has it all! And oh yes, did we mention a great beach for swimming, just plain old relaxing and a sunset beach barbeque catered by the ship’s galley team?
As daytime turned to dusk, our team of National Geographic photographers helped our guests hone their photographic skills once again. About a dozen diehards hiked off to the southeast ridge to catch the setting sun. Coming back after dark took some reconnoitering skills. The group made it back just in time to have dinner and to be entertained with stories by staff naturalist Adrian and songs by undersea specialist Alberto by the campfire.
A million stars were out on this moonless night. The Milky Way’s band of light was very evident; matched only by the glow of satisfaction on every guests’ face as they returned to our ship of exploration; knowing that this had been a very good day.