From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California
Jan 31, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Bird
Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida
The National Geographic Sea Bird and her guests are now traveling in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) on the east side of the Baja California Peninsula. Within sight of the peninsula, The Espiritu Santo/Partida Island Complex provides many scenic protected bays along its western flank. We took advantage of one of these, Ensenada Grande, on the northwestern part of Isla Partida, to spend the day.
In the morning, long, medium, and leisurely hikers explored on foot, negotiating large boulders and prickly vegetation. The island is flourishing! With recent rains, there are standing pools of water and lush greenery everywhere. Brilliant blooms were visited by butterflies and other insect pollinators to help them with the next generation. It was hard to believe that this is really a desert. The bold song of the tiny canyon wren was heard from the canyon walls; binocular-aided eyes spotted this wee bird flitting about on the rocks. To the delight of many, two of the island’s endemic mammals were found here today—the antelope ground squirrel and the black jackrabbit.
After lunch there was time for a siesta before we commenced our water sports. These included snorkeling and/or kayaking in the bay, and a few guests took a Zodiac tour around the bay to admire the dramatic “daliesque” rock formations.
Following our afternoon activities, the deck and hotel staffs set up tables and chairs and everything needed to have our cocktail hour on shore. Along with a bonfire and s’mores, margaritas were served and stories and songs were heard as a beautiful sunset lit up the sky to complete this lovely and enjoyable day.