Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bahia de Loreto National Marine Park

We all enjoyed our land and sea eco-tour today at Coronado Island, one of the islands in this National Park. Our boat leaving the ramp at Loreto.
There were five of us. Cyrstal, a part-time US Park Ranger is here for a volunteer stint that begins next week, joined us for the tour. Our tour guide set a fishing pole to troll.
And shortly he caught this sea bass. He says it will make 3 fish tacos.
Our tour takes us across the bay to Coronado Island. You can see the wetsuits...we will need them in the chilly waters.
This is our first stop....the guide says the snorkeling is good here.
We snorkel among these huge rocks. The sun is shining and the visibility is good.
This is Mitch.
Tina.....not sure what she was doing.
The guide was right....lot's of interesting life underwater. I think this is a Stonefish.

Parrtotfish hiding in the crevice.
Back in the boat we continue our tour around the big island.
On the other side of the rocks above is a quiet cove.
Look who lives here on the side of the cliffs.
Hundreds of Blue-footed Boobies!
So, you wanted to see our blue feet?

Continuing on along the shoreline...
We find more wildlife living on those rocks ahead.
A large colony of Sea Lions.
They are all sleeping....even the ones in the water.
We woke them up.
I've never seen Sea Lions sleeping like this in the water. They look like they are doing synchronized swilling.
An odd looking rock formation. Blue-footed Boobies on top, Pelicans below.
Next our guide took us to this deserted beach...another good place to snorkel he says.
Mitch's graceful exit from the boat.
I'm the only one who chose to snorkel a second time. Everybody else was cold.
Nothing too exciting here.
This fish blends right in with the sand.
A different kind of starfish.
When I finished snorkeling I found Tina and Crystal exploring the rocks.
And Mitch doing this.
Beth had disappeared over the hill on this trail.
Tina admiring the view.
A good spot for a photo op, so had her take one of me.
Then our lunch was ready...tortillas with tomato, avocado, and cheese, and a meat-filled thing on the right that I forgot the name of. It was all very good.
Back in the boat, we headed to another beach.
This one was more crowded, but it had one big advantage...
El bano.
There are trails here. I followed one that went to the top of the mountain, but I only went part way to get this view.
There wasn't time to hike way up there. Some people tent camp on the island and do that.
We had two great dolphin encounters.
Dozens of dolphins played around our boat for several minutes.
You must check Beth's blog for the great shot she got of two dolphins leaping completely out of the water.
Swimming alongside the boat.
This was the second, smaller encounter on the way back to the marina.

After that, we were all tired. Note: the fishing rod holders make good footrests.

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