Morning paddle out past the point and back. I had headed out with nothing really in mind except some exercise. Chewing on life issues and decisions that need to be made, I was preoccupied and distracted. I should have known the sea would change everything.
On the horizon, small black protrusions. Marlin? No, too close to shore. Nor were they the fins of sleeping seals. Instead, a pair of small bat rays had caught my eye, ‘flapping’ their ‘wings’ in an undulating pattern as slowly they made their way through the glassy early seas. In the distance, one of their buddies did a couple of back flips. When one crossed under my board, I tried to grab a photo – but the image doesn’t do justice the the ray’s elegant form.
Bat Ray : Sea of Cortez
But the rays presence triggered a clearer focus of the richness around me. Overhead, the gentle glide of the Elegant frigatebird. Nearby, a cormorant surfaced, a small fish gleaming from his beak. A school or rainbow runners, their hypnotically blue fins trailing, raced under my board, likely chased by a bigger fish. Several jellies drifted just below the water’s edge, the flower patterns in their gelatinous bodies so lovely from above.
And then, surprise of surprises – a marine show! A medium size fish began to leap and skip across the water – chased by a large green and yellow dorado, who leaped in equally high arcs following his prey.
The waters around Loreto are usually pefect for SUPing – Stand Up Paddling. This morning was no exception. I took off on my fish – a 9’6″ Waterman – and headed up the coast toward Coronado Island. Winds were light and building, with lots of opportunities to refine my balance as wind driven waves crashed over the nose of the board.
Each stroke, a moment of zen. A moving water meditation.
Baby yellowtail chased by baby dorado.
Leaping spinning manta rays.
Translucent blue flying fish chased by baby yellowtail.
Magnificent frigate birds gliding overhead.
A floating crab. What was he doing so far from shore and/or on the surface?
Clam divers dragging innertubes – with seagull hitchhikers on board.
Bluefoot and brown boobies diving and gliding in search of fish.
Vultures on-shore, finishing off discarded fish carcasses.
Children on the beach, playing in the the shallows.
Horseback riders out for an early ride.
Dogs running and chasing sticks.
Boats speeding to and from Coronado and fishing spots.
A great two hour paddle floating on turquoise/cerulean waters, surrounded by offshore islands and the ridgeline of the Sierra Gigantica. A perfect morning ……..