With yesterday’s ad-Venture in the mountains of Ensenada in our wake, we awoke to a dewy marine layer running from a rising sun to reveal the double-coned peak of Isla San Martín. A small, mile-wide volcanic island located just off the coast of San Quintín and its vast agricultural infrastructure, San Martín and its small fish camp feel a world away from the mainland—and we got right to exploring!
The undersea team peeled off to explore the lush and harbor-seal-infested kelp forests just behind our landing beach, while adventurous hikers braved the cholla and sharp volcanic rocks to reach both volcanic summits some 470 feet above the surf.
Kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders, and Zodiac cruisers set off to investigate the kelp forests and rugged coastlines from the water, while the rest of the group enjoyed hikes along the seashore and tidal lagoon. Least sandpipers, our first osprey, and both black and American oystercatchers (seemingly on a date) were among the fine wildlife finds of the day. For this author, the remains of Pelagophycus elk kelp were easily the highlight. This magnificent brown alga is only found from the Channel Islands to Isla Cedros, or basically along the track of our expedition so far.
We pulled anchor and enjoyed another delicious lunch and dinner as well as presentations on birds and kelp forests by naturalists Kim and Lauren. As a nightcap, we watched a video of the morning’s dive and harbor seal antics. Tomorrow, we arrive at Islas San Benito for a final dish of offshore Baja—¡Vamanos!