THROUGH A BAJA WINDOW — PART 2

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the seriesBaja California

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers

Our little boat sped onward, cutting a wide wake through the mildly choppy waters of Bahia de los Angeles.  We had been adequately entertained by the flukes of finback whales and the speed-demon descent of blue-footed boobies.  Our skipper, Joel, was now steering his panga out of the areas of the bay closest to shore, out to the islands of the Sea of Cortez.  Some of us weren’t ready to leave so soon, but what choice did we have?

As Monique & I have often experienced in our RV travels, some diversions along our path to adventure, expected to be humdrum, actually turned out to be the fondest of memories.  This 4-hour cruise was one of those unexpected highpoints.

Rather than weaving a verbal account of our afternoon at sea, I’ll present a few pictures to tell the story, with a bit of commentary as explanation:

BIRDS:

It was a seabird-watchers’ fest.  “Birds of a feather flocked together,” some intermingling, and some going solo, but they were everywhere and the variety kept us looking to take it all in.  I know most of the species, but I prefer to give you just a sampling of our observations.

1.  THE BIRDS COLLAGE

SEASCAPES:

Our skipper knew the history of every island and pointed out interesting sights, like caves and wildlife inhabitants.  Skull Island, top left, (with its “Bird Snow,” the result of centuries of bird habitation) and Window Rock, below, stand out as memorable formations, but every point of land had its own fascination for our party.

2c. Seascapes

SEA LIFE:

With the Sea of Cortez depths so crystal clear around the islands, it was easy to see underwater from our boat, and even get decent photos of a few.  Every species that we handled was returned to the seabed – except the clams, which supplemented our evening barbeque and later became the feature attraction in clam chowder.

3. Sealife

ABOVE THE SEA:

And finally here we are, plus a predatory coyote scanning a rocky island for its dinner.  What we didn’t see were big-horned sheep, which inhabit that same island, but we were satisfied with all the sights, sounds and sunshine of a wonderful day on the Bahia de los Angeles.  That’s us at top left, me second from left and Monique on the right, with Patty, Mary Ellen, Judy and Steve in the crew, in a photo taken by Joel, bottom right.  As the clam-diggers gathered dinner, the other boat drifted into shallow water, adding to the fun of the day.

Creatures

Thanks for joining us on this voyage that was a lot more exciting than we expected.  And by now you’re probably tired of “Three-Hour Cruise” theme music churning through your head, so it’s time to return to U.S. soil.

From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.

© All photos by Barry Zander.   All rights reserved

 

 

NEWFOUNDLAND PART I AND LABRADOR

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the seriesThe Canadian Atlantic Provinces

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers

The red building at right is a "stage." What we call piers are "flakes" up here.  Fishing villages are quaint to tourists, but it's the way of life that has been going on for 400 years for the locals.

The red building at right is a “stage.” What we call piers are “flakes” up here. Fishing villages are quaint to tourists, but it’s the way of life that has been going on for 400 years for the locals.

I wrote this at least a week ago, but haven’t been able to post it because of weak or non-existing Internet. If the Maritimes weren’t relatively remote, I don’t think it would provide the charm and sense of adventure we are experiencing.  But because of that remoteness, we are subject to the whims of the territory, which means having to endure intermittent availability of communications, the erratic level of electrical services in RV campgrounds and inconveniences of not always being able to shop for essentials.  It’s all part of the experience of being somewhat off the grid.

Now, to pick up where I left off.

I’ll begin with a comment from Terry Reed: “Labrador was sort of on my bucket list too, but I can see now that I’ve read your description, that I should lower my expectations and maybe just do more exploring in Nova Scotia.”

We have visited enumerable lighthouses during this trip, but each one has its own fascination for us. When we can't get to one, we feel like we've missed something.

We have visited enumerable lighthouses during this trip, but each one has its own fascination for us. When we can’t get to one, we feel like we’ve missed something.

My response: As for Labrador, Monique and I can understand why, from my write-up, that you may want to avoid Labrador.   We only saw a small section as part of our caravan.  We checked our map and see that the route beyond Red Bay, our most northern stop, is gravel for 338 kilometers (about 200 miles) to Cartwright, and from there it seems to be blacktop.  Maybe that’s the challenge of Labrador travel.  You might want to do more research before scratching it off your bucket list.

Terry’s comment brought up an interesting question — Why come to the Canadian Maritimes? For us and most of our Fantasy RV caravan troop taking this 48-day tour of the Atlantic Provinces, it was basically because it’s here, or really beyond everywhere else.  I asked our group for other reasons they joined this tour and got several responses.

Three said they were here to research their family heritage.  Tim is aboard because he went as far as Halifax, Nova Scotia, on an earlier trip and was interested in seeing more.  Perhaps my favorite was from Chet, who explained that he had spent his working life within four walls and he wanted to see more of the world, which he and wife Ann have

A young bull moose poses for us.

A young bull moose poses for us.

done, traveling recently to Tibet.  He likes the idea that they are in a land where there are wide-open spaces, where he can see new things and meet new people.

I like that. Why spend the time and money just to say, “I’ve been there.” Maritimes inhabitants, from what we’ve experienced, are calm.  They fish and have a highly developed sense of community.  It’s comforting to find a civilization that is willing to fight the elements and put up with a lack of shopping centers nearby to maintain their traditional lifestyle.

They know from television that there is an outside world that is different; but, at least in the coastal areas where we have been, they cling to a life that revolves around maritime occupations – oh, and, of course, tourism.  There is unmatched beauty in the blue-green waters that send powerful waves to lap upon the rocky shores.  The villages tucked along remote coves have changed little since their settlement 200 or more years ago.  Come to the Maritimes to observe, to learn, to breathe.  It’s worth the visit.

Over the past couple of weeks, the appreciation Monique and I have of the Island Province of Newfoundland has grown immeasurably.  I want to devote the next blog to some of the unforgettable highlights of our recent Atlantic Provinces travels.  Since it’s part of my somewhat offbeat writing style to enlighten blog readers with information not readily available elsewhere, I want to talk about water.  One tour guide told us you can’t be anywhere in Newfoundland further than 50-miles from saltwater.  We crossed the province a few days ago and realized that he is right.  With that in mind, I’ll inform you of where to find that saltwater.  Visitors see coves, inlets, bays, fiords, harbours, tickles, arms, bights, reaches and sounds, and they all seem to be the same thing.  And that’s not including

Moon Jellies are common this time of year.

Moon Jellies are common this time of year.

straights, and freshwater ponds and lakes that seem to make up half of the landmass here.

I’m eager to talk about some of the sights and activities we have unexpectedly enjoyed, like the fishing heritage museum and Spillar’s Cove.  We are certainly not bored these days,

From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.

© All photos by Barry Zander.   All rights reserved

COMMENTS FROM PREVIOUS BLOGS:

From George and Marilyn Swisher. We enjoyed so much your trip in Newfoundland and Labrador.  In 1999, we traveled with a caravan called Yankee RV tours out of Maine.  Many of things you experienced we also experienced on our caravan, such as moose stew and becoming Newfies. We drove personal cars in Labrador, and had a time element to be there since the ferry from Labrador to Newfoundland would not be available for us if we missed it for 3 days.  Thanks so much for your writings.

From Ann Crume: Barry, We will be traveling a few weeks behind you into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. What are you using for Internet and cell phone service?  … Thanks for all the information on your blog. I’m not very good at keeping mine up-to-date.

My response: If I haven’t mentioned this before, I will say that you need to talk with your phone service carrier about their international plan, and, believe me, it can be confusing.  I have a temporary phone plan through AT&T, but had originally set up Internet service also.  I cancelled that because I didn’t want to figure out the system and I could get Internet in most Maritime towns and, at least to some degree, in campgrounds.

From Ray: I like your work in keeping us (old RVers) up to date. Thanks.