Pacific Ocean/Magdalena Bay
Crimson clouds and silhouetted frigatebirds greeted us this morning as we arose before sunrise and raced the dawn into another full day. The Pacific Ocean was the Pacific Lake, flat calm and mesmerizing, magical. The frigatebirds, mostly juveniles, attempted to land on the radio antennae atop the bridge, and we had a good laugh watching them. But they weren’t just funny. They were poetic and majestic in how they flared their tails, dipped their wings and surfed the gentle breeze.
Mid-morning found us slipping through La Entrada, the entrance into Magadalena Bay. Gray whales surfaced around us, and we slowed to watch them, enjoy them, and learn about them.
Northbound, the channel narrowed with tide flats and mangrove forests to starboard and port; for the entire afternoon we cruised through excellent shorebird habitat, sighting egrets, herons, ibis, whimbrels, godwits, pelicans, cormorants, sandpipers, and other species. A light wind rippled the water, but at times the surface was mirror-calm, an inverse image of the dappled and scalloped sky, the clouds above us and below.
Later afternoon we disembarked for a hike on a sandy beach of Isla Magdalena, the sand double-toned white and black by quartz and magnetite, not unlike veins in a weathered hand. Beautiful seashells everywhere. Coyote tracks threaded through the mangrove roots; sometimes we saw the coyotes themselves, furtive, wary, watchful, opportunistic. It was good to stretch our legs and spread out, and to catch ourselves in a pensive mood. While some of us stuck to the beach, others among us climbed the sinuous backs of the sand dunes and explored the island’s interior.
The day was ending, and once again frigatebirds hovered overhead as the sun played with the clouds and turned the sky golden/crimson, making us wonder… What awaits us tomorrow?
More magic? We think so.