Day 3 |
Oct 02, 2008

At Sea, En Route To Baja California

By JJ Apéstegui

Position: 27° 03.0' N 114° 52.0' W

Weather: Clear skies, with a soft breeze and warm temperatures.

It was a slow, relaxing morning. After breakfast, I attended a very interesting talk by Rodrigo, one of our local experts, about legends and myths of the Southern Californian natives – from the original inhabitants to the arrival of the Jesuit priests on the first ‘Misiones’ and the founding of the ancient Southern Californian families.

The day was punctuated by sightings of fauna, including pods of Common Dolphin that can occur in the hundreds around these waters, and the report of a sighting of a small pod of Orcas, seemingly following the Dolphin. I also saw some interesting seabirds, like the Kermadec petrel and the Audubon's shearwater. Seabirds are relatively rare in warm waters due to the lack of nutrients, so the few species that frequent them are always a treat. A lonely Mourning Dove, hitching a ride on the forecastle, sat in the shade, awaiting our approach to the coast so it could fly away.

In the afternoon, our Expedition Leader Ignacio, gave a Zodiac briefing to familiarize everyone with our Zodiac operations and the safety procedures we follow, and following this briefing, our onboard Divemaster, Robin, gave a snorkeling briefing in preparation for the aquatic activities in the days to come.

Later, Chris Srigley gave a lecture on the physiological adaptations to diving in marine mammals, and how and why they are able to pursue their specialized lifestyles, making some of them a most extreme example of diving in mammals like the northern elephant seals, who can go to depths of almost a mile for over an hour.

After another briefing on the activities of the next day, and dinner, the evening was capped by the presentation of guitar master George Sakellariou in The Theater.