Our first dawn was cloudless. Pink hues blurred night into day. We are in the Midriff region of Baja California Sur. This highly productive zone is home to breeding pelicans, blue-footed and brown boobies, Heermann’s gulls, and terns, both royal and elegant.

We gathered on the bow to meet each other, enjoying a comfortable breeze and the beauty of the day. We watched pelicans and boobies dart in the water in an effort to catch their morning meals. A humpback whale with a casual demeanor circled and fed. The weather was perfect.

After lunch, we boarded our Zodiacs to circumnavigate Isla San Pedro Matir. We just began to move away from the fantail of the ship when bottlenose dolphins swam alongside our boats in the most playful way. We squealed in delight. As we progressed toward the island, California sea lions growled, screamed, and yelled as they do most of the time. Large males displayed their wounds from fights for territory during mating season. Now is their time to rest, and they make the rocks look so comfortable. Around the next promontory, thousands of eared grebes rafted together in an endless sea of birds. Their red eyes beamed in the afternoon light. Brown pelicans with breeding plumages in various stages sat on the rocky shores. Over our heads, red-billed tropicbirds screamed as they circled back around toward their tiny nests. So much happens around the island. Photographers swirled in their seats, trying to make sense of the chaotic, wild, delightful roar of life that is Isla San Pedro Martir.