2017-02-12 Isla Santa Margarita

Long-Beaked Common Dolphin - Delphinus capensis

We left Isla Asuncion late in the afternoon and while we slept, the captain and crew drove all night towards our next destination: Isla Santa Margarita, ¾ the way down the Baja peninsula. The original plan for this journey was to spend a day and a half at Bahia Magdalena and Isla Magdalena, but a SNAFU with politics prevented this outcome. After discussing our options, we all agreed that we’d spend a half day at nearby Margarita Island, which shared the same ecosystems as Magdalena. We would invest the additional day at Isla Socorro, which was the main focus of our mission to the Revillagigedos.

After an early breakfast, I climbed up to the upper deck to join Amy and Jorge, already at their posts. We’d been seeing shearwaters all the way down the coast. Nearly all of these had been Black-Vented, with a Sooty or a Pink-Sided thrown in. Now at these latitudes, it was the Pink-Sided Shearwaters that dominated.

After a short vigil, we spotted a Common Dolphin, then another and another. It was a large pod, and they all stopped by visit us and play in the bow wave.

We arrived at the anchorage late in the morning and the skiffs carried us to shore where all the intrepid explorers scattered along the coast to discover what lived there. I carried a lot of heavy gear with me on these excursions and it limited how far I could hike. There were plenty of interesting subjects along the shores to hold my interest, so I did not range as far as the rest of the company.

The weather was cloudy on our visit and it turned to rain for a while, but that did not dampen the spirits of our party. Though it diminished the quality of some of the images I collected.

At the day’s end, we boarded the Shogun, had dinner, then we had a “round up”. These were some of my favorite moments of the journey. Each of the science teams, one after the other, would describe their findings. There was genuine interest and enthusiasm among everyone to learn of the discoveries each team had made during the course of the day.

Hang onto your hats campers! Our next stop is the Revillagigedo Archipelago island of San Benedicto.

Images below:

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