The norther had blown hard for three days, and while the birdwatching had been good, we were really waiting for Friday morning when the wind would lay and all those hungry birds that had been hunkering down would come out to feast. Friday morning came and from the cockpit we looked out to the west, seeing the channel that separated us and our remote desert beach we were anchored behind, from the Baja peninsula and its magnificent mountains.
We’d had the entire island to ourselves all week, and we were rather enjoying the solitude. When we looked to the east however, we saw anchored in front of us a humongous tour boat. The voice on the loudspeaker boomed across the sea and told everyone within three miles to gather their lifejackets, sunscreen and telephoto lenses. The birdwatching tourists began to pile into skiffs and roar away into our secluded little lagoon.
Blind rage came first, of course, and not from telephoto lens envy. These people were going to waltz, nay motor, into our prime spot before we could get there. They didn’t wait out the norther like we did. They didn’t suffer through the winds and the waves and the cold like we did. They just bought their ticket and got it handed to them, first light and the first pass through the mangroves.
But then Katie handed me a cup of beautiful black coffee, and the world started to make sense again. These were our brethren, fellow dorks that would actually pay money to sit in a crowded little skiff to get a glimpse at a Reddish Egret, or a Black-bellied Plover. I softened up and felt truly overjoyed that there remains a small percentage of the human race that would rather look for birds in a buggy swamp than sit at Senor Frog’s complaining about the cold weather on their Mexican vacation.
We gave them a hearty wave, rowed to the far beach and pulled out our books and read for a few hours while they puttered around the lagoon. My only regret was that we couldn’t grab a few of them and take them in the rowboat to show them a few birds in silence.
Note: This post was written last month on our trip south en route to La Paz.