Los Islotes & Bahia Bonanza

Jan 15, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Today was another busy and amazing day here in Baja California! As the sun rose with pink clouds scattered in the skies, we approached Los Islotes, a couple of small islets near Isla Partida. After a hearty breakfast, we jumped into our expedition landing craft to get close to the islands for a snorkel adventure. This area is known as a California sea lion haul-out, where snorkelers can have exciting up-close-and-personal sea lion interactions. Guests floated around, thrilled to see a variety of colorful king angelfish, Panamic sergeant majors, yellowtail surgeonfish, bicolor parrotfish, and crazy, iridescent Cortez damselfish. Curious sea lions approached to swim around the group and nibble on people's flippers. The morning ended with an expedition landing craft cruise around the islands to see blue-footed boobies sporting their blue feet in mating dances, frigatebirds and turkey vultures soaring on the thermals, and sea lions hauled-out on the rocks.

As we ate lunch, the ship moved south. Jeff Litton, one of our naturalists and photo instructors, gave a workshop on iPhone photography, and afterwards we hit the beach. Kayakers paddled around Bahia Bonanza, admiring the tranquil setting and rising rocky hills inland. Walkers strolled the beach, which was strewn with colorful shells, while hikers headed up an arroyo to learn about the desert ecosystem.

As the sun set, we dined on shore, enjoying a lovely beach BBQ and campfire. Some of us even roasted marshmallows for s’mores! The stars came out and as we returned to the ship we could see phosphorescence in the water around us.

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About the Author

Emily Mount

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Emily grew up in Boulder, Colorado and Pullman, Washington. Her love of nature began as a child during family vacations spent hiking, camping and exploring the mountains and deserts of the west. In contrast to her outdoors interests, Emily pursued an intensive young career as a classical violinist, culminating in degrees in history and music performance at the University of Washington.

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