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I have in the past ended Diary reports with the observation that Life is Good. Today I’ll start with Life is Good as well! We woke up around 5 a.m. as the sun was rising over the islands and birds started to wake up as well.

We had been left with the run of the kitchen to make coffee and tea and 8 tortillas had been made the night before to serve as breakfast. We saved it up for elevenses. Our skipper, Capitan Jose, was almost on time and soon we were indulging in early morning gymnastics as we made
it on board from the beach without getting our feet wet. It took no time to get to and past the first island (no, we didn’t stop), but then it seemed that our goal, Isla Angel de la Guardia, just got larger, rather than closer. Due to winds and currents, Jose was taking us to the southern point of the island before heading north along the east coast. Unlike Ian, the others had not brought a fleece and began to realise that early mornings on the water, even in the sun, can be a chilling experience. We were therefore glad that the boat slowed down as Jose had spotted a group of pelicans and similar, fishing. It got better as we got closer, as it seemed to be a team effort, with some 20 dolphins using their brains to round-up the fish, aided by a similar number of seals, with the birds diving in once the fish had been herded into a small area so that it was impossible for the birds to miss. I was half way through my first 4GB card of the day and we had not even seen a cactus!

It was getting hot on the boat, so I was glad of the wind chill when we moved on to our first cactus spotting session. It was easy to spot the 8ft + cardon (Pachycereus pringlei) from the boat, but as we got closer, we could also see Agave (which one?). As soon as we had gone through the disembarkation acrobatics, where took turns in attempts to turn the boat over, I spotted a Mammillaria, M. angelensis. With our focus on
the endemic Fero, I had forgotten about this beautiful Mam., even though it was not in flower. Here too, earlier rains had made the islands far more lush than usual, and we were at ties standing in fields of low, white-flowered lupines.

More acrobatics to get on the boat without getting your boots wet and on, still heading north along a geologically interesting island coast until we slowed down and thought we could see some barrel cacti. Were they the ones we had come to look for? Ian was ahead of us and soon reported ‘Yes!’. Our contacts had suggested that on a good day we might find one of these plants. Here there was as many as you’d find in most cactus
populations that we’ve seen anywhere. Hundreds! Unfortunately not in flower, but in fruit! Yes, Alain 🙂

Lots more pictures and back to the boat where the strength of the sun was doing its bit to remind us of Baja in days to come, as especially Cliff was turning a traffic light red! We made one last brief stop, this time to take a look at some rare (?) palms that Jose was keen to point out. It seems that he really knew his stuff as far as where plants grew that plant-tourists would want to see. I have his email, even though he speaks
little more English than I speak Spanish.

Back at the hotel, we did our usual trick by taking over a table with our lap tops. I’m sure that the problems were caused by too many people trying to access a service set up for just a few.

As it’s still early on Thursday morning when I complete this report, I hope to get this out, because tonight at Guerrero Negro and the following night at San Ignacio, we’re unlikely to have email contact with the outside world.

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