Snorkeling Isla Espiritu Santo

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There is something thrilling about the unknown. In actual fact, not knowing is the essence of romance. Maybe that is why we picked a spot to jump off into the sparkling green water that encompassed Isla Espiritu Santo. There was not another soul in sight, and we were in one of Baja California’s most stunning snorkeling locations.

Jumping off the boat, snorkling gear intact, my mother took my lead and followed me around the small rock outcropping that we had chosen to explore. Our eyes were met by numerous Finescale triggerfish, Green Morey eels, their snake-like bodies slithering through cracks and crevices, beds of Pearl oysters, and vibrantly colored Wrasses.

I spotted a group of Red starfish and pointed them out to my snorkling companion. I knew that she would be excited to see them, as she has decorated her home with desiccated starfish throughout her life. We held our breath and dove down to take a closer look. She looked at me, and I could see her eyes smiling through her mask.

Returning to the boat, we took a breather and talked about where to venture to next. We had heard about the many uninhabited coves that were strewn about the island, so we asked our captain to lead us to one.

Rounding a corner in our 26 foot Pursuit boat, the Maria Teresa, we were delighted to see a spectacular uninhabited white sand beach nestled between two dramatic cliffs. To our right, there was a magnificent recreation of a pirate ship anchored in the cove, inhabited by tourists with kayaks, and, I imagine, snorkeling and dive gear. I was momentarily transferred back to a time when fortune-seeking hunters plundered this island for the bounty of it’s oysters. The gigantic pearl that still adorns the Queen of England’s crown actually comes from this region.

Moving on, we decided to check out what the more tourist-laden sites on the island had to offer. It was time to visit the Sea Lion colony.

Diving off of the boat back into the Sea of Cortez, we were almost immediately approached by a juvenile Sea Lion. In a display of territoriality, the animal got a little too close to my mother, giving her a scare. For the most part, though, these mammals were used to the frequent stops made by boatloads of curious humans, and they have grown accustomed to our presence.

Returning to the boat, we discussed what we had seen with the captain. We made our way back to the harbor in La Paz refreshed and rejuvenated by mother nature.

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