by Richard Scott
“Are we there yet?” says the little boy. Everyone on the upper deck of the boat laughs. We had a 360 degree view of the Sea of Cortez. The houses on the shore keep getting smaller and smaller, but Bird Island, our destination, never seems to get closer.
Not that we aren’t having a good time. About forty passengers aboard the Ecofun share the beauty of a morning at sea, festive music, snacks, and drinks for those so inclined. “I’ve been diving at the island” says the bar tender. “sometimes you see a lot, other times, nothing. Right now the water’s still pretty warm. I hope some of you are up to swimming with the Sea Lions.
Along with the eco-tourists and crew, the boat is hauling eight double kayaks, gear for snorkling, as well as a panga to take everyone up close to the island. The Ecofun is a good sized ship. So when the motors are throttled down, it is suddenly very quite.
“What’s that sound?” The boy and all the rest of us, look ahead to find the Island has some how snuck up on us! We hear dogs barking. Well, maybe dogs with a very sore throats. “Look!”
Sea Lions fill the air with barks and growls. On the nearby rocky beach, dozens bask in the late morning sun. Golden brown females bob theyr’e heads back and forth as they call to us. On another part of the beach, huge black males do the same, One slides into the water to let us know that this is his territory. Or maybe he just likes having his picture taken.
The well practiced Ecofun crew lowers the kayaks into the water, helping people find the right fit for their life vest. I step into the panga which is readied to take ten of us on a close up tour of the island.
As we motor the little boat past the beach, little heads appear in the water. Sea Lion pups are curious, and dozens of then glide along with us. I get the feeling that the curious creatures really look forwad to this interaction. “We don’t set foot on the island” says the pilot of the panga. “And we make sure to keep our distance.”
The boat bobs in the calm waters around the island. Living along side the Sea Lion colony are hundreds of birds. Pelicans, Boobies, sea gulls and more line the rocks and fill the air, occasionally diving in together when they find a school of small fish. The circle of life. With drinks!
“Anyone want to Swim?” Back on the Ecofun, we get a chance to switch to a kayak, or put on a snorkle and flippers. After suiting up, we slide off the back deck into the s
Unsurprisingly warm late November water. Right away, those little heads re-appear, swimming circles around us. Taking a breath, I kick and dive down. Turning every which way, I try to keep up with the little Sea Lion swimming around me effortessly. As I hold still he comes right towards my face. We are eyeball to eyeball until, at the last moment, he veers off to the side, moving like a bird through the water.
Back on the Ecofun, satisfied and a little tired, we settle in for the cruise back to town. Some celebrate on the main deck, dancing to the party music. Others retire to the chaise lounges of the upper deck to commune with nature, and talk about what a fun time it all was.
Little by little, the island gets smaller, while the shore, houses, and real world become more real. “Are we going there again?” asks the little boy.
Ecofun Rentals specializes in exploring the natural world around Rocky Point. Along with trips to Bird Island, they also offer sun set cruises, whale
watching excursions, day trips into the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, and more. For trip information, you can contact them at 602 635 3736, or