Day 9, June 8th (Isla del Carmen)
Isla Carmen has been called the most scenic of the bay of Loreto’s islands and we could see why. The island shines in the National Park of the Bay of Loreto. The marine park was created in 1996. There are five islands in the park—Isla del Carmen, Isla Catalina, Isla Coronado, Isla Danzante and Isla Montserrat.
Before the park was created there were no restrictions on commercial fishing companies and shrimp trawlers – both are now illegal in the park, but sport fishing is still allowed.
One of the places I hadn’t been to before, Balandra Bay, is so beautiful. It’s very healthy in marine life. Not many boats stop here, so there’s not as much sun block in the water. The starfish don’t get so stressed from the chemicals in those lotions.
People don’t realize that most commercial sun block cream is toxic to sea life. It’s important to protect your skin with sun block, but make sure it’s the reef-safe eco-friendly kind.
On the land, it’s desert, but it’s full of life. It’s alive! How do plants and animals survive with no water? But they do!
Day 10, June 9th (Danzante Island)
What’s so great about our Zodiac boats is that they can get into places that big boats can’t go, like coves and caves. Some caves have roofs studded with fossils. It makes you wonder “what happened here?” The boats with their twin four-stroke 115-horsepower engines are quiet and don’t leave an oil sheen on the water.
Jose is a very good driver and has an eagle eye for wildlife. He’s quick to spot anything moving in the water. He always points out whales, a manta, or a fish jumping out of the water.
So many people think Baja is just dusty rough desert roads – they’re surprised to see hundreds of whales of all sizes and species patrol these plankton-rich waters in what some people call “Mexico’s Secret Ocean” – the Sea of Cortez.
Danzante Island’s Honeymoon Cove is one of the highlights of our trip. Danzante Island was the meeting place for the three indigenous cultures of Baja California Sur—the Cochimi, Pericú, and Guaycura tribes. They would travel long distances to come together here where they danced for days and days.
They would be praying to their gods to supply water for their communities. They used peyote, a cactus containing the hallucinogen mescaline to get into a trance. In their hallucination they would ask for the most precious thing—water.
Day 11, June 10th (Agua Verde)
Here is a community of 300 people, with two churches and now two little stores. When you spend a little time with the locals, the fishermen, you learn a lot from these people. There are things that they can teach you. They see things that you don’t see.
Once we met two brothers there. One came to Cabo San Lucas, but he couldn’t get used to the urban energy of Cabo! Now he lives in a little ranch with four adults and three children – that’s the whole town. He taught me how to hike, how first you got to be sure you’re not going to fall.
The next day’s hike would reveal the mystery of one of Baja California’s unique and rugged survivors.
To be continued…