Sea lions, that is!
Bravo is on the move again! A few days ago we left La Paz and headed north. Great to have a steering wheel again!!! Went back up to Caleta Partida, which we'd enjoyed so much with David and Diana. Explored the area by kayaks, including the bay to the north. We spent two nights here, leaving yesterday in the early morning for Los Islotes, a pair of small islands with a very active sea lion rookery. The early start was the ticket, as we had the islands to ourselves, before other boats began to arrive.
After anchoring offshore, we loaded snorkel gear into the dinghy and headed, rather gingerly, in toward the island, which was covered with barking sea lions...babies, females, and large bulls. Several jumped in right away, and began to swim around us. We put on our gear (black wetsuits really do make you look a bit too much like a sea lion!!!) and jumped in. The water was spectacularly clear, the best we've had yet on the trip. And there was a tremendous assortment and quantity of fish all around. (We could see why the sea lions enjoy the place, with their meat locker so well stocked!!!)
But the star(s) of the show were certainly the sea lions themselves. Showing no fear of us, they seemed to enjoy swimming around us, at us, above and below us. It was fantastic! They seemed completely unaggressive and not at all unhappy with our presence, but rather wanted to simply have a swim with these new visitors (remember the black wetsuits???). It was an extraordinary experience for both of us humans. (We don't flatter ourselves that it was so extraordinary for the sea lions!!)
After 45 minutes in the water we began to get cold, and reluctantly piled into the dinghy for the trip back to Bravo, anchored close by. Just at that point, several other boats arrived, disgorging their dinghies and snorkelers into the water. We were really glad to have had the time to ourselves with these playful critters.
Weighing anchor, we headed over to Isla San Francisco, perhaps 15 more miles to the north. There's a beautiful protected bay here, and we had a great hike today to the surrounding ridge with 360 degree views before swimming in the turquoise blue, crystal clear waters. All in all, a great day. We'll stay here another night, before continuing north tomorrow.
Sorry about the lack of photos (or videos!). We are out of range of our internet service, and will be posting via ham radio until we get a inet connection again (might be a while, as we enter the more remote areas of the Baja). At that time we'll upload some photos (and underwater video of the sea lions).