Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday in the Sea of Cortez

Yesterday we went for a boat ride on the Sea of Cortez. We packed a picnic lunch and went out in a rented panga boat towards Coronado Island. We hoped to see whales and dolphins on the ride, but we only saw two huge blue whales. We chased them down to get a closer look, but unlike the gray mama whales and babies on the Pacific these gentle giants are less playful and curious. It seemed that when we got close to them they dove deep and away. But what an incredible sight they were. They had to be over 80 feet long. I tried to get some video footage but in my excitement I jiggled the camera so much that I missed the shot.

We circled around Coronado passing by the spot where the stinky sea lions hang out. The older ones lay sunning themselves on the rocks while a couple of young cubs frolicked in the water. Robert thought it would be fun to throw the little bait fish that our boat driver had stashed in his live-well to the sleeping sea lions. Probably not a nice thing to do since it set them to barking out in alarm (or anger)as they waddled away. The sea gulls dashed in to grab the fish and between their honking and the seals' barking and the overbearing stench we decided it was time to scoot on out of there; we'd caused enough disturbance.

Next we came up on the rock formation that resembles a giant cat head looking down on a defiant mouse. Coronado Island is a volcanic island so there is lot of jagged and eerily-formed rock on its edges.
This is a good spot for scuba diving which we did last year with Bruce from Dolphin Dive. It's a bit too cold for that now.
We didn't see any manta rays this time, nor was there the squid run we witnessed last year when hoards of squid washed themselves up on the white sandy beach stinking up the other side of the island. Maybe it's not the season yet. The beach this time was crowded with boats full of sightseers like us. We didn't stay long. There was an abundance of pesky bees that were determined to share our lunch with us. And somehow sand found its way into our ham sandwiches. So on to home we went satisfied that our first day on the water in the Sea of Cortez was pleasant and mild and we'd seen monster-big whales (something you never forget.)

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