Traveling nearly 3,000 miles along the coastal regions of the Baja and Mexican Mainland, I have enjoyed my search for new birds, both on and off the water.
Besides noticing the numerous typical sparrows, wrens, hummingbirds, pigeons, finches, jays, hawks, cormorants, pelicans, vultures, gulls, etc, I have also photographed, tracked and recorded hundreds of other birds over the last year. I have found the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Merlin App very helpful.
I have enjoyed identifying my birds along with learning feeding habits, behaviors, sounds, and breeding.
The photo identification below is a partial screenshot from my Merlin App for anyone who is interested.
Cardon Cactus, reaching 19 meters high and living more than 100 years, is prolific here on the Baja Peninsula. The fruit was eaten by the indigenous Indians of this area, but it only produces fruit at 50 years old, kind of rough for any farming.
We witnessed the best, epic day of snorkeling with the whale sharks! These docile, gentle giants hang out in the late afternoons when the light shows their dinner, which is microscopic plankton. Lucky for us all, they don’t mind snorkelers touching them. They summer here in 85 degree waters of the northern Sea of Cortez, Bahia De Los Angeles. Then head south to La Paz in the winter months.
The amazing assortment of sea life has been beyond our expectations. Below is a surface shot of the Whale Sharks. We videoed these underwater with a GoPro 4 my Dad Ashley Erwin gave us a few years ago. Swimming with the Whale Sharks are common and does not endanger the Shark at all. Scott actually rode along while holding the dorsal fin of one.
We also experienced the full moon fun ride down the rapids! There is a lagoon that is nearly a mile long and a foot deep at low tide.. high to low tide).
However, its not all fun and games. Most days are pleasantly hot at 92 degrees, but some days, and nights are blistering hot at 103 with 80% humidity.
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be inside your convection oven? 25 knot 100+ degree winds off the Baja. Ooh yeah…..Thank God the Tecate is cold. We don’t get westerlies like this very often.
In 1768, the Fransiscans took over responsibility from the Jesuits. 300 Cochimí native Indigenous people were enslaved and kept near the Mission. They cut and hauled all the stones that built the church and the spooky, narrow bell tower. We all climbed to top, creepy!
We all hopped into our dingy’s and raced up the river, which is brackish but home to hundreds of Blue cannonball jellyfish floating along. These were fun to hold, since they won’t sting. They only live about 8 months. Funny reproduction fact: the male shoots sperm out of his mouth and the female catches it in her mouth. She harbors the eggs in her little arms. STRANGE!
It just happened many of our cruiser friends were together for Father’s Day in Bahia Concepcion. Here are a few photos of a great night (and times) with friends. It’s hard to describe the network of friends we’ve become a part of in the last year but “family” is the closest term that comes to mind. Many of these folks we’ve been sailing next to for the last year and some we’ve just met in the last months. …..and some we are sailing to the South Pacific with next year. ~/)~