Los Islotes and Espiritu Santo National Park

Apr 20, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


The architypical experience of Espiritu Santo National Park, and perhaps all of the Sea of Cortez, is to get in the water and snorkel with the charming and graceful California sea lions. It was for just this purpose that National Geographic Venture arrived at Los Islotes this morning.

Lindblad and National Geographic have a vested and historical interest in the conservation of Los Islotes and indeed all of Espiritu Santo National Park. The area was purchased by the Nature Conservancy with funding from our joint partnership and donated back to Mexico as a national park. Our final afternoon came to a dramatic finish when we found a mother and calf whale making short dives and at least one blue whale! The largest animal on earth and an epic finale to one of our most eventful days yet!

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About the Author

James Hyde

Undersea Specialist

James is a home-grown, free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsmen. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he grew up in and surrounded by the Salish Sea. James has saltwater in his veins, but would be quick to point out we all do, echoing Carl Safina " We are, in a sense, soft vessels of seawater." Born with the travel bug, James was fortunate enough to spend time on four continents before graduating college. During his studies at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, James went to Australia and visited the Great Barrier Reef. He was never the same. A lifetime of playing in the productive, but opaque green water of the Northwest had offered him little firsthand experience of the creatures below its depths, but with a clear view of the colorful dramas playing out across the bottom of the tropical Pacific, he was hooked. Scuba diving and underwater ecology were solidified as his passion and after college, it took him to a dive shop in Seattle fixing gear, tidepooling with local middle school students, and generally making a spectacle of himself in the surf.

About the Videographer

Ashley Karitis

Video Chronicler

Ashley was raised in Central Oregon where she spent her childhood ski racing, riding horses, playing classical piano, and working summer jobs on a dude ranch. She then attended the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles earning degrees in cinema-television, history, and international relations. Although immersed in the studies of narrative filmmaking, she gravitated toward the process, deeper on-camera conversations, and scientific and human themes explored in documentary production.

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