At 20,000 feet the ambient light within the aircraft cabin refracted the aqua blue from the Baja’s Sea of Cortez. Islands appear like cookie crumbles soaking in a tall glass of milk bobbing and then disappear from view. Wilderness awaits. Giant mammals swim 5,000 miles from the frigid Alaskan waters to deliver new calfs in safe harbors easing the arrival and genesis of humpback life.
Four stray dogs peak a nose of curious anticipation inside our door’s threshold asking, “Do you have something to share.” The cruise ship anchored in the bay is an outline of a boardwalk roller coaster framed by light-bulbs. Locals residents, dogs, and people live at a sauntering pace that puzzles us, gringos. How do they live so lightly?
The “Cuidad” city historical grid of rectangular cobble laden thoroughfares find cover by leafy green canopies stretching to handshake across the “Mercado” market.
A spiritual collective raised beyond the 1694 Chapels rafters encased in Jesuit salvation campaigns. From priests to prisoners, the reverb of soulful melody invited our spirits. The man with outstretched surrender frozen on the old mission’s step. Was he not entering for pause, respect, and timing of the ritual’s cadence?
Or was he struck-in worship-content to remain an observer-participating but not immersed? The “Iglesia” church was brimming with locals hand in hand-clasped one finger over the next, agreeing in song. We crossed the chapel doorway to join the prayerful surrender chorus.
Magdalen Bay Gray Whales
Yesterday we drove to the Magdalen Bay to scout gray whales and their newborn calves. Success. Dozens of whales- enormous and intimate. Watching mom and calf in sync wondering if their heart rate is synchronized-beat-beat-beat. The Mexican scouts were gracious and respectful of the ancient ones giving them room and space. Last night we were in a tent on the beach across the bay from Isla Del Carmen National Marine Park.
Weather dampens adventure
Twenty miles from Loreto. Rain and the wind. Private guide next time. Group travel is too slow for our taste. Food-amazing. Guides gracious. Paddled around little blurbs of water-low adventure. Still, can hear the highway.
Adventure Began today
We left behind the car camping beach of two nights and paddled south. Crusty, sandy, sun, rain while living outside. Awake by the natural rhythm of the sun and dark of night. Can no longer hear the downshift reverb of semi-trucks descending the canyon interstate, now only waves. God, my soul, knows you. My listening sextant finds you like a bearing on the horizon.
Forgetting what day it is
Found hermit crab wrapped inside a polished shell. Fun to care about simple things. My brother rolled his kayak yesterday, rescued by David our Mexican guide. Today we hiked and found a sandstone arch above an abandoned ranch along the burro trail. Old Winnebago parked with a lean-to sun porch.
Three nights on peninsula
We pulled out yesterday at The Ranch. Goats, cinder block houses, a toilet that flushed with a pale of water. Fresh fish-trigger fish taco lunch. Charro our guide very intentionally arranged with the ranch owner family to use the local economy for our resources. Fruits, papaya, cabbage, eggs, limes.
Back on land
Oasis Hotel-great simple accommodations.
This post was taken from my field journal during our sea kayaking trip on the Sea of Cortez. We used Paddling South-Sea Trek guide service $1,400 for six nights, seven days. Fly into Loreto, MX on Alaska Air.
Next time we won’t go with a big group. The Sea of Cortez is very accessible for moderately experienced sea kayakers. Bring more fresh limes and tequila. Stay a few nights on Isla Del Carmen island.