Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cruising the Sea of Cortez

Chugging across the glassy blue Sea of Cortez, several questions come to mind when you realize "a couple of dolphins" on the distant horizon are actually a bochinche, an organized, roiling feeding frenzy with untold hundreds of the playful mammals with the evil grin.

First, who came up with the Spanish word for a "dolphin feeding orgy"? And, more importantly: Are we gonna need a bigger boat?

Nearly seventy years after novelist John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts published their book about a wild and compelling expedition on the Western Flyer into this 700-mile slice up Mexico's left flank, the best way to experience the gulf and its Galapagos-like islands still is the way they did it: in a small ship.

It's clear from the book "Log from the Sea of Cortez" that this remote region only really reveals its secrets to travelers willing to make close contact, which explains how I came to be on a 70-passenger Lindblad Expeditions ship, the National Geographic Sea Bird, exploring stunning and forbidding land and sea - including some that hasn't changed since Ricketts and Steinbeck sailed through.

Continue reading here.

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