Feb 19, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Lion
After a smooth overnight run from Puerto de Gato, the National Geographic Sea Lion anchored in the early morning hours in the lee of Los Islotes, two well-weathered guano covered rocks.
Los Islotes is part of the Isla Espiritu Santo National Marine Park established in 2003 by the Mexican government and the Nature Conservancy and located 0.5 nautical miles to the northwest of Isla Partita. These rugged islets are known in the region for its California sea lion rookery, it is a popular stop for Lindblad guests.
Once securely anchored the guests were excited to board the small boats after breakfast for an expedition landing craft tour along the two small volcanic ash islets. From the small boats, guests viewed the California sea lions hauled out on the rocks scratching and lounging near the water’s edge. Looking toward the upper reaches of the rocks blue-footed boobys were making nests and displaying their courtship behavior. A few brown pelicans flying overhead scan the surrounding waters for an early morning breakfast of fish.
After the morning small boat tours guests were back in the small boats dawning their wet suits and snorkeling gear, enjoyed swimming with, and interact among these beautiful and playful marine mammals. In addition, many snorkelers saw fish such as Cortez damsel fish, several species of starfish and a few sally light foot crabs hanging off the side of rocks.
Once all guests were back aboard by mid-day, the National Geographic Sea Lion crew raised the anchor and set sail for Bahia Bonanza on the eastern shore of Isla Espiritu Santo while the guests enjoyed a presentation on photography by Max Seigal and then a tasty lunch in the dining room.
Bahia Bonanza offers a beautiful sandy beach stretching nearly 2 miles north to south. The National Geographic Sea Lion dropped her anchor south of Punta La Bonanza and soon the small boats were again over the side and guests we ashore going for a long beach walk or taking a paddle in the kayaks or enjoying a leisurely snorkel along the reef just off the north end of the white sand beach. Once shore side activities wrapped for the day the guests and crew embarked the National Geographic Sea Lion for Recaps and dinner. After dinner we watched the movie Cannery Row, a film of the adventures of John Steinbeck and his pal Ed Ricketts…. a wonderful way to end another splendid day here in the Sea of Cortez and the Baja Peninsula region.
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