Island Paddling in Southern Baja

Espiritu Santo's East Coast

We turn to head south again, down the more exposed eastern coastline of the island. The surface comes alive with the long swells from the north. With the wind on our backs and a chop in the sea, we are startled by a long line of brown pelicans, flying one behind another. They are flying their characteristic flight, tummy feathers gliding over water for an impossibly long time. Ahead, they suddenly plunge, wings closed, headfirst into the sea. They aren't elegant, but they are effective: Bills lunge skyward from the sea as speared fish are flipped into the air and swallowed with relish.

The Sea of Cortez is home to a growing number of whales, which come to socialize, mate, and calve each year. From the steep slopes on the east coast of the island, one may gain a glimpse of gray whales offshore. January to March is the best time to see the balinas. In warm years, the gray whales may not come as far south as Los Cabos. Other years they go as far as Mazatlan. Blue, fin, minke, and sperm whales have also been known to make an appearance in the area. Few sights can raise the heart rate as much as a "blow" out at sea. Better still if it's seen from a kayak.

Back at the beach, large red crabs with curious stripes scamper across the rocks. As we set up camp, we discover scorpions in the driftwood we use to make our fire, but nobody seems to mind. They scuttle away across the sand into the dark. Out in the bay, the lights of a ferry pass slowly, bound for the Mexican mainland.

Article copyright © Rick Hudson. All rights reserved.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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