Morning Birthday Gifts

Loreto Sunrise

Quiet seas and shimmering dawn. Early morning osprey calls. The whiz of hummingbird wings next to my face. The splash of hungry pelican. A brisk walk to a thought provoking seminar by Mark Spalding the Ocean Foundation on environmental governance, part of the three-day Simposio de Ciencia de la Conservación en Loreto (Conservation Science Symposium). A vulture parked atop a palapa waiting for???

A seven mile SUP on glassy blue green seas filled with fleets of small yellowtail, puffer fish, sulking rays, fat faced puffer fish …. and … a sea turtle! First time paddling I’ve had that kind of up/close encounter. Cormorants and gulls. Lots of wonderful messages from friends all over the world.

Now, to hop a flight back to the states just in time for dinner with my mother, Kay Wright. It just happens to be her birthday, too! Happy Birthday, Mom ….

Shipwreck’s North

Shipwrecks or Freighters

Skunked, but stoked to be introduced to a new spot. Drake Harris & Pat Harrington let me tag on their surf journey and showed me a few spots for future trips south in Baja. While we didn’t get waves, I did get some shots. The fact that this aging freighter has never been taken apart is enough of a surprise. When you arrive, you for sure know that you didn’t just wander down a random dirt road. When it breaks, it’s a good right that flies past the remains of the ship.

One Half of the Freighter

In the past, car/tent camping was about the only option at Shipwrecks, but in recent years, Baja Surf Adventures has opened a small camp. Described as a great place for beginners, there are men’s/women’s restrooms, surf lessons are available, and meals are included. For more information,

The Bigger Half of the Freighter

Wide Bay : Long Ride Potential

Pat Humphrey & Drake Harris : Road Trip

¿Tacos de Que?

20110515-040848.jpgOkay, I admit it – I am totally grossed out!  Tacos de cabeza? Tacos of head? Oh for sure, I am gagging in the corner. I’ve seen two signs in two days – one for de rez and one for de birra .. We are talking cow and goat here. And while I’m sure the taco wrapping of maize or harina doesn’t really encompass a skull, all I can think of are bones and eye sockets … and I am more certain that my non-hoof-eating diet is the right one.

Blue Buttons

Blue Button JellyFish

Stunning Blue Button photo by National Geographic photographer, David Liittschwager, 2007

A new sighting – for me – while SUPing this afternoon in the Sea of Cortez. Curious deep blue ‘buttons’ floating/drifting on the surface. I don’t remember seeing them before, and with homage again to the power of Google, the mysterious creature has been identified.

Blue Buttons are tiny inch size spheres with hair like tentacles that lend a jelly fish like appearance. Not real jelly-fish, but a sea organisms called Porpita porpita, their tenecles are

A wikepdia definition yeilds the following information:

Porpita porpita[1], commonly known as the blue button, is a marine organism consisting of a colony of hydroids[2] found in tropical waters from California to the tropical Pacific[3], the Atlantic and Indian oceans[4] It is often mistaken for a jellyfish, but although jellyfish and the blue buttons are part of the same phylum (Cnidaria), the blue button is part of the class Hydrozoa.The blue button lives on the surface of the sea and consists of two main parts: the float and the hydroid colony. The hard golden-brown float is round, almost flat, and is about one inch wide. The hydroid colony, which can range from bright blue turquoise to yellow, resembles tentacles like those of the jellyfish.[5] Each strand has numerous branchlets, each of which ends in knobs of stinging cells called nematocysts. The blue button sting is not powerful but may cause irritation if it comes in contact with human skin.[2]

It plays a role in the food web, as its size makes it easy prey for several organisms. The blue button itself is a passive drifter, meaning that it feeds on both living and dead organisms that come in contact with it. It competes with other drifters for food and mainly feeds off of small fish, eggs, and zooplankton. The blue button has a single mouth located beneath the float which is used for both the intake of nutrients as well as the expulsion of wastes.

It is preyed on by Violet Sea-snails of the genus Janthina [6].

What a treat to paddle with the tiny blue floating discs all around me. Since they are defined as living in tropical waters, my sense is that their appearance means that the water is warming up – somewhat early – and the summer just may be a sizzler…