Puerto Don Juan, Bahia de los Angeles

Mar 07, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Lion


During the night the strong Norteños (north winds) that have been causing us a less-than-stable ride decided to absolutely stall. All aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion awoke well rested to flat-calm seas and a gorgeous sunrise. We dropped anchor in Puerto Don Juan, perhaps the most protected natural harbor in this part of the Peninsula. While some chose to kayak, others hiked, and still others explored the surrounding area by inflatable boat.

Our afternoon was spent in the presence of the majestic boojum tree. This succulent has the name in Spanish of Cirio, due to its resemblance to the tall wax candles used in early missions here in Baja California. These odd plants look like an upside-down white carrot and can take between 27 and 40 years to grow a single meter in height. Exceptionally large Cirios may reach almost 20 meters into the sky, attaining age more than four centuries! As we walked amongst these ancients, our cameras tried to capture the spirits of this wildest of plant species.

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About the Author

Michael Nolan

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.

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