Mar 16, 2019 - National Geographic Venture
A soft pink cloud arched across the sky, announcing the new dawn while the waves below broke gently into white-topped swells. In short, an exceptional start of our day as we head northwest on our voyage toward Isla Los Islotes.
Wet suits were donned, snorkel gear bagged, and high excitement accompanied our group as we neared. Here we jumped into the morning coolness. The water was calm on the lee side of the island, and schools of sergeant majors and scissor-tailed damselfish swam beneath us. Parrot fish were biting at coral heads and king angel fish flashing their neon-grade brilliance among the rocks. Then, without warning, a whirl of energy and fur zoomed past. The California sea lions came out to play! This species is exceptionally agile underwater and seem to be everywhere at once when around. Turn to mention something to a snorkeling companion and you may well be met instead with the large glassy eyes of this ever-curious species.
Back above water and on Zodiacs, pelican chicks were seen along the upper rocks of the island. Pelicans on Isla Los Islotes are a common enough phenomenon. Spotting chicks here, however, came as a surprise to guests and naturalists alike.
The seas tapered just in time for our sailing toward San Jose Island and the enchanted beach of Playa Encantada. It is the final day of our Baja voyage, and the sand beneath our feet is just as warm and inviting as it had been from our first days.
Guided hikes over the course of this expedition allowed us to explore Baja’s inner terrains while also affording us the chance to stretch our legs and enjoy the warm Baja breeze. Figuring by this time that we had seen all the surprises these environs could afford, the elusive Xantus Hummingbird appeared and hovered among the group for the better part of an hour!
Our final day in Baja was drawing to a close but not before a fine campfire outing and a serenade by the lovely voice of naturalist extraordinaire Bette Lu Krause.
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