Baja 2016/2017

March 18

Before we even barely had left our camp site, we heard the sound of barking sea lions.  On the next island there is a sea lion rookery. We have seen numerous rookeries, but had never heard as much barking as this. Needless to say as we approached the island one could make out a large number of sea lions on the rocks. There were females, pups and several large males that seemed to dominate certain areas.

Along the whole side of the island were clusters of sea lions.

 A large male seemed to be watching over his harem.   

A large male seemed to be watching over his harem.

 

It was a great day to be a sea lion watcher as the sea was calm and we could sit quietly and watch.

 Sea lions were not the only occupants of the island. probably because of the fish that the sea lions were feeding on, the island was covered with bird feces   

Sea lions were not the only occupants of the island. probably because of the fish that the sea lions were feeding on, the island was covered with bird feces

 

 It almost gave the island an appearance of being dusted in snow.

It almost gave the island an appearance of being dusted in snow.

As we were getting ready to depart a lot of the younger sea lions jumped into the water and surfaced quite close to our boats. They were quite curious about us. As we left the area, they followed us till the end of the island, poking their heads up and jumping up and diving back into the water.

One of the sadder things we have seen on this trip is the several dead whale carcasses.

As we left this island, there were lots of adult males at the tip. They must not have been the winners of the breeding rights. They barked at us, but stayed on shore.

As we headed to the last island in the chain of The Enchanted Islands we were treated to two fin back whales that surfaced quite close to our boats. They are so focused on eating I doubt if they even knew we were in the vicinity. Always glad when we have some space between us.

This was the day of wildlife sightings, Flocks of eared grebes were rafting in the thousands. Usually when you get near to the rafts, they quickly dive under. This time of year they were beginning to gather to migrate to the North. Instead of diving they started to use their wings and began flying. Several had some success others looked like still needed lots of practice.

 We were surrounded by large groups of the Eared Grebe.

We were surrounded by large groups of the Eared Grebe.

The last island in the chain has a collapsed crater on one side of it. Camping here is highly recommended, but with wind in the forecast we did not want to get stranded on the island. So after a short break we continued the rest of the way around and headed to shore.

So many beautiful places.

 Several brown boobies were in the courting stage.

Several brown boobies were in the courting stage.

 This side of the island was well protected, however once we rounded the southern tip we were exposed and had to paddle hard to get back to the shore.

This side of the island was well protected, however once we rounded the southern tip we were exposed and had to paddle hard to get back to the shore.

 Always glad to be back to the shore.  Mileage paddled 26.2 nautical miles   

Always glad to be back to the shore.

Mileage paddled 26.2 nautical miles