Isla San Francisco & Los Islotes

Jan 26, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird


Another fantastic day here in Baja California! We woke up to still seas and a glorious sunrise, complete with a green flash. A fishing boat sailed alongside as we came into our anchor at Isla San Francisco. Every square inch of the boat was coated in birds, mainly frigate birds. One can only imagine what the decks looked like.

After breakfast we headed to shore, where a variety of walks took place. Exercise fanatics hit the ridge, where they hiked up a few hundred feet for commanding views of the surrounding area and bay. Less ambitious walkers enjoyed a stroll across the island to a lovely beach on the opposite side. Along the way we crossed an open salt flat, where the tide comes periodically on a very high tide. Fishermen have hollowed out pits to capture the salt water and allow it to dry for salt harvest. Birders wandered around the area and successfully found a couple new additions to the bird list for the week. Kayaks lined the beach and folks paddled out into the turquoise waters for a tranquil paddle in paradise.

After lunch we arrived at Los Islotes, a terrific snorkeling location renowned for sea lion interactions. We anchored a zodiac for a snorkel platform and guests hopped into the water to explore the surrounding area. Lots of exciting colorful fish were spotted, along with California sea lions who played in the water around the snorkelers. We ended the day with a zodiac cruise around the islets, spotting blue-footed and brown boobies, pelicans, wandering tattlers, and had a gang of young sea lions hang around the zodiacs to check us out. As the sun set above the mountains, mobula rays leapt from the sea like popcorn. We ended the evening with the guest slide show and captain's dinner, sad to be departing tomorrow.

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About the Author

Emily Mount

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Emily grew up in Niwot, 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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