From the National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California
Feb 3, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Bird
Isla San Francisco, Half Moon Bay
Bookended by a glowing peach sunrise and a feathery golden sunset, we filled our day with the riches of Baja California. We scampered across the blazing white salt flats of Isla San Francisco to the tide pools on the opposite side of the island. Brittle stars, urchins, and sea cucumbers piqued our curiosity as Alberto explained the lifestyles of these intertidal residents. Ambitious hikers were silhouetted atop the ragged red cliffs. Snorkelers jumped into turquoise waters and discovered an entirely new palette of striped, polka-dotted, and barred fish.
Navigating north in the San Jose Channel we came across a feeding pod of Common dolphins. These exuberant cetaceans occasionally leapt from the water, showing us a white tummy contrasting with their sleek gray backs.
As we navigated to the west side of Isla San Jose, our world turned blue, as in whale. Spotted in the distance was the tall, tall blow and subsequently the flukes of a diving blue whale. A dinky little dorsal fin fell somewhere in between. Every sixteen minutes or so the whale would re-surface, exhale and inhale several times, and then dive at such a steep angle, it would lift its flukes straight up in the air like a “look Mom, no hands” headstand. How lucky are we to find this creature in the expansive waters of the Gulf.
To finish the day with a giant, colorful exclamation mark, the skies turned gold, then to flamingo pink. We announced a sunset alert so all could appreciate and photographic the spectacular closure of our amazing day in Baja California.
Blue Whale by Marisol Meier, age 10
Its back emerges
It spouts spray into the air
An awesome blue whale.