Whale Watching with Scorpions

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San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

Scorpions' Whale-Watching Trip

A convoy of fifteen four-wheel drive vehicles full of Scorpions set off for a five-day trip to see the whales at Guerrero Negro. There was lots of desert scenery that flew by at 30 to 60 miles per hour (I’m lucky to have gotten a few photos pretty much in focus).

Our first night was spent at Gonzaga Bay, a great place to go fishing. A working lobster boat lay in the bay just in front of our motel. We weren’t sure it was capable of working because it seemed too rusty to actually be out in the Sea of Cortes but just before sunset it cranked up its engine and headed out to Sea. Seagulls, finches and coyotes were viewed during our sixteen hour stay. We enjoyed a great buffet for dinner and some Mexican Train to share the evening before an early lights out.

Day two took us to Guerrero Negro through more deserts. There was a quick stop at Coco’s. Everyone stops there for soda and beer, a little conversation with Coco and, of course, a potty break. We all signed Coco’s guest book with our name and birth place. As we pulled into Coco’s we spotted (hard to miss) two semis hauling mining equipment. The drivers allowed us our break and waited patiently for us to leave realizing what a challenge it would be for us to pass them on the narrow road. Reaching Highway 1 and airing our tires back up allowed us to get our land legs back from our 43 mile bumpy short cut.

Guerrero Negro has numerous places to stay, most appeared to have restaurants. What Mexican town would be complete without a few little taco eateries and a few of us enjoyed a little picnic in the park where a whale skeleton was erected.

I know we were out to see whales on our third day. However, it was raining a little. (Guerrero Negro’s rain season is September; however, an inch decided to come while we were there.) The Bay had relatively small waves but small waves in a little ponga become huge. I took my camera but was unable to click fast enough to see the few whales that did come close to the boat and the salt water splashing over the side of the boat wasn’t conducive to camera well-being. We watched them blowing and breaching and spy hopping but somewhat off in the distance. Observing the natural environment salt mine and the Osprey nest holding a little one was an added treat. The next day broke sunny and clear and a few folks went out onto the Bay again and actually got to touch a whale as it swam by. There were side trips taken to see Cave Drawings and a Monastery. Some of us chilled for a day.

Our trip home started off in the rain again. I was able to get some photos of interesting vegetation that is different than in San Felipe.

A couple of interesting facts acquired on our trip:

It is illegal to knock down an Osprey nest. So if one is built on top of an electric pole and it interferes with the flow of electricity the electric company has to place a second pole near the first pole and relay the lines. There is a ferry that travels across the Bay and an Osprey nest travels with it undisturbed, otherwise the ferry would have to be docked. There is a $165,000 crane that is inoperable because it has been taken over by mama Osprey.

Guerrero Negro’s salt producing area is the largest in the world. Their salt is gathered above ground as opposed to underground mining. They don’t produce the most salt per year because other countries have more salt mining sights country wide. The salt field workers are very well paid because Guerrero Negro is in the “middle of nowhere”. The salt company has provided the worker’s with housing, tennis courts, soccer fields, and numerous other benefits for as long as they are employed.

THIS WAS A GREAT TRIP, we’ll do it again. -- Marti and Elwyn Freeman

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photos by Marti Freeman