Cala Mujeres to Isla San Lorenzo, April 6th 2004.

We packed up early in the morning for our first crossing. This was the longest crossing but the water here is very deep so the tides were expected to be mildest here. It was close to a full moon and there was the possibility of strong tides. I had planed our day to cross during a slack before a flood tide. If the tides were worse than expected, we would get washed north towards more islands instead of south into a great wide empty section of the Gulfo de California. As it turned out, the crossing was easy and we had no problems. In fact, the water started out as calm and flat as a mirror.

As we crossed we heard fin whales blowing and eventually saw them at a distance. We saw most of the whales south of us and one north of us. I hoped that the two groups would cross our path but we never got within more than several kilometers of a whale. John and I had done this crossing before and we were in familiar territory. We told everyone that there were no good campsites on the east side of Isla San Lorenzo so we had to camp on the gravel beaches on the west side. We made an easy landing and set up camp.

Near our campsite was a steep arroyo and I wanted to explore it. This arroyo turned out to be much steeper than some of the nice ones that I have hiked up on the Baja Peninsula. A group of us started up with Roger far in the lead. He walked right past without noticing a black chuckwalla (a type of iguana) sunning itself on a rock. The rest of us stopped to take pictures and while I was getting closer to the first one, a second chuckwalla ran out of the bushes at my feet, almost between my legs and up onto the side of the arroyo in front of me. Another one crawled out of a crack and joined the other two. Roger, impatiently not waiting for us to catch up with him, missed seeing these rare animals, a species that only lives on these islands. The arroyo only became steeper and steeper and everyone else turned back but Roger and I. I continued climbing and eventually caught up with Roger when he was ready to turn back. From this great height we had spectacular views back down and across to San Francisquito.

When we made it back to camp we found everyone grumbling about the bo-bo flies. I had been pestered by these insects on the north end of Isla Angel de la Guarda. They do not bite, but swarm around you in large numbers. They land on you, run around in circles and fly off. If you try to brush them off they disappear for a second and land again immediately after your hand passes by. If you brush them off while walking away, they ride in the eddies behind you and land on you as soon as you stop walking. The longer you hang around on the beach the more of them collect around you. I didn't find them especially annoying this evening, but Dave Littlejohn was very annoyed and unhappy enough to talk about camping someplace else. Fortunately the flies disappeared after sunset.

All text and images Copyright © 2004 by Mike Higgins / contact