We spent the morning at a remarkable island that has just recently become part of the Reserva de la Biosphere Vizcaíno. Before breakfast, some of the staff members made contact with a handful of fishermen who are working from the little community on the main island. They were happy to welcome us and act as guides to some of the sites and sights of the island. Soon, nearly all the guests were ashore by way of an easy landing on a shingle beach in front of the community and were on their way to the far side of the island to see some northern elephant seals hauled out on a couple of protected little beaches. Their story is very sad, but with a happy update. These giant pinnipeds (the males may reach five meters or 16 feet and a weight of more than two tons) were nearly extirpated in the late 19th century for their valuable oil. Like whales, they produce a thick layer of oil-rich, subcutaneous fat, or blubber, which was once a very valuable commodity. By 1892, just eight individuals were known to survive on Isla Guadalupe. Seven of these were promptly killed and it seemed the species was finished. Miraculously, 20 years later a group of about 100 animals was discovered on a hidden bay on this same island and the Mexican government gave them complete protection. From there, they soon spread back to Los Benitos and then on to several points on the Baja mainland, so that today their numbers have continued to increase and survival seems assured.