Los Islotes and Isla San Francisco

Dec 31, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


The last day of 2019 was a busy one aboard National Geographic Venture! As the sun rose, we found ourselves off of Los Islotes at the northern end of Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida. Our snorkelers floated on the surface while schools of fish swam below and juvenile sea lions darted around the group, showing off their speed and flexibility. Some sea lions playfully tugged on fins while others pretended to be part of the snorkel groups. The Zodiac tours circumnavigated Los Islotes, with curious sea lions approaching the boats, blue-footed boobies revealing their brightly colored feet as they landed on the rocks, and magnificent frigate birds soaring overhead in search of a meal to steal. From the fish in the water to the birds above, Los Islotes was an extremely active area, abundant with wildlife!

After a brief cruise north to Isla San Francisco, we headed out again! Kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders explored the clear waters of Half Moon Bay while various hikes set out. Ridge hikers followed the narrow path up to a vantage point, standing higher than the soaring birds and getting an outstanding view of the surrounding area. Walks went out to explore the salt flats of the island, and to take a closer look at the cactus and desert flowers in the area. Leftovers of pitaya fruits were found amid the cactus, already enjoyed by some of the smaller creatures of Isla San Francisco.

The afternoon ended with a well-deserved yoga session on the beach, then all aboard for cocktail hour on the sundeck. Just as we were headed down to dinner one of the rare rains of Baja California started to fall, a reminder that the desert plants are in a time to flourish.

With family and new friends, we rang in the new year aboard National Geographic with a piñata on the sundeck and celebrations in the lounge. We look forward to the first day of the new year being filled with many more adventures.

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About the Author

Sarah Friedlander

Naturalist

Growing up with a large backyard, Sarah spent her childhood exploring the woods and bringing home frogs. When asked not to bring frogs into the house, she learned the difference between frogs and toads and was soon asked not to bring toads into the house either. Raised just outside of Washington, DC, she considers herself lucky to have grown up with exposure to a combination of the outdoors and the city, as it helped her pick with certainty which one she wanted to spend all her time in - the outdoors.

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