Scorpion Beach

Mar 03, 2020 - National Geographic Sea Lion


Whales and cacti. A strange combination of words, but not when one can experience both in the wild within a four-hour period. But that is what we did. The day dawned cloudy and windy but didn’t hinder our expectations or adventures. The morning consisted of kayaking or hiking on Scorpion Beach, Isla San Margarita, along with whale watching in nearby Bahía Almejas. Numerous whales were observed. Shouts of “Over there!” “Spyhoping at 11 o’clock!” “Breech, breech, breech!!” “Two blows at 5 o’clock!” “It’s coming to the boat!” “It is under the boat!” “Ohhhhhhhh!” competed with the wind and blows of the whales. Many times, it was whales all around the clock!

After lunch, the sky turned sunny and cloudless and we returned to the beach for a desert walk and a beach stroll. We saw ospreys, including one that had caught a fish and was harassed by immature (and foolish) Heermann’s gulls in the hope that the fish would be dropped. Good luck with that!! We then followed Adrian and listened to his descriptions of the desert biome, major plants, and the remains of organisms on the beach (shells, bones).  More whale watching as well.

After a day of exquisite photo ops, we congregated on the beach for the traditional barbeque. Nothing better than sitting in a beach chair, admiring the view of beach and calm ocean, and enjoying excellent food. When darkness descended, Paula pointed out the constellations and we searched for scorpions using black light.

A short inflatable ride to the anchored National Geographic Sea Lion under a dark sky dotted with innumerable pinpoints of stars completed the first day of our voyage to Baja. More adventures await us tomorrow!

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About the Author

James Coyer

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

It was Malle and Cousteau’s The Silent World, viewed in a dusty meeting hall on a wintry day in central Wisconsin that forged Jim’s dream and commitment to become a marine biologist.  Never mind that he was only 8 at the time and that it would be another 13 years before I finally felt the spray of an ocean on my face.

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