Los Islotes & Espiritu Santo
Among a fiery dawn we approached Los Islotes. In English it means The Islets. Separated from the island called Partida by half a mile of ocean, these rocks serve an important paper for wildlife. It is the roost of a great number of birds (pelicans, magnificent frigate birds, brown and blue-footed boobies, turkey vultures, cormorants, and others), as well as for around 300 California sea lions. The noise of these sea creatures barking all day long is quite strong. These rocks are surrounded by very rich waters, as fishing is not allowed here. We started our visit with Zodiac tours, slowly going along the sides of the rocks, enjoying all these animals, plus the Sally Lightfoot crabs, slowly moving along the rocks. The young sea lions are very playful, jumping clear out of the water and porpoising full speed around the Zodiacs.
Immediately afterwards we began our snorkeling adventure to see the countless fish (and an incredible number of anchovies or “sardinetas,” watching the cormorants swim among them, catching a few at a time), urchins, sponges, and other invertebrates. Life here is extremely abundant!
Back on the ship, we sailed south towards our afternoon destination, the southern tip of the island, here called Espiritu Santo (Holy Ghost). This beach is long, and is called Playa Dispensa. Hikes were planned and enjoyed, to see the vegetation (cacti and flowering agaves or century plants), and looking under stones and dead plants for scorpions! Yes, we found one).
As sunset neared, we approached that part of the beach where the crew had prepared a beach barbecue, and had ourselves a delicious dinner. A bonfire was made, and William told us the story of the origin of the Aztec Gods (yup, Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli, and Coyolxauqui, the Evil Daughter). All the time we watched the sunset burning up the sky. This extremely red, orange, and pink sunset lasted at least half an hour!