Category Archives: sea of cortez

Day 58: My Life w Car

Mexico gets it!!

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One of the last gray whale “nurseries” in the world–in San Ignacio, Baja California, Mexico–has received a huge boost in protected lands, as reported by NRDC. 109,000 acres of federal land surrounding this habitat will be set aside for conservation…by the Mexican government. This spoils the plans of several companies to use this area–such as Mitsubishi, Essa and others, which is a great victory!

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Now if Mexico can just limit the amount of tourist travel, marinas, high end resorts etc, maybe this gem can remain a sanctuary for not just whales, but for an entire natural system. I’m not so sure that Mexico is aiming for this; even Costa Rica, a country committed to its natural bounty, is running right on the razor’s edge of selling its crown jewels. But there are models, it can be done at least to a degree–we can limit access and still keep people happy and able to visit. It’s a constant struggle for Hawaii or the Grand Canyon, for example, but with smart limits, it can be done.

Daily stats:
Days without carbon based transportation: 0
car: 3.5 miles
bike: 0
flexcar/bus: 0

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Day 34: My Life w Car

Back from my Big Cruise Adventure–my Mom’s 80th birthday cruise to the Sea of Cortez on the Holland American line.

Review: I truly believe that cruise lines are floating food courts and should be named thus. I have never really experienced that level of passive consumerism and it didn’t sit well with me. That said, the whole thing was really for my mom and I managed to shut my mouth and play nice for the most part.

The good news: when my partner and I were off the ship, we managed to see and experience some pretty nice sites. We were introduced–albeit quickly–to a few great spots in the Sea of Cortez of Baja California. We’ll be back there soon to continue our snorkeling and kayak love affair.

I had to stop reading The Weather Makers while on this trip as it was just too depressing to be part of what seemed the epicenter of our consumption crazed culture (probably wasn’t, just seemed like it).

The very, very good news is that there seems to be a huge environmental movement in Mexico. The guy in the snap above is part of a program to save and reintroduce the native macaw population of Mexico–he talked to tourists about not buying parrots from vendors–even in the US, etc.

In Loreto, we went to a gorgeous preserve area off the coast and snorkeled around. Supposedly, there is no big development allowed in Loreto but you can see they’re going to lose that fight. I saw advertisements for retirement communities and the number of real estate offices was truly surprising. Beautiful town–hope they can hang onto it.

The Sea of Cortez was truly spectacular and I hope it doesn’t become too terribly “consumed” by tourists such as myself. Worse are the number of communities, condos, etc that are sprouting up everywhere.

Being on that ship for 10 days really brought home overpopulation. How come overpopulation isn’t a big topic? We have 6 billion people on this planet–we outstripped our resources in 1987 and have been robbing the piggy bank ever since and still, we keep reproducing. I recall that Bill Gates mentioned, upon receiving the monster grant of billions from Buffet, that he would continue to use it to wipe out disease. Asked why he didn’t tackle overpopulation, he answered that overpopulation takes care of itself when communities are healthy and infant death diminishes. Maybe that’s true, maybe so. But I’m skeptical.

Anyway, very glad to be home.

Stats:

Ship: I don’t know how many nautical miles or how many tons of food.
Bike: 8.5 miles/1 task
Car: 0
Flexcar: 0
Bus: 0

Day 20 & 21: My Life w Car

The weather in Seattle has turned windy, cold and wet–not so inviting for a quick bike ride to run errands or just tool around.

My partner and I are preparing to accompany my mother and her husband on a cruise, starting wednesday. Called the Sea of Cortez cruise, I’m at once looking forward to a break from the Seattle winter blues and dreading the epicenter of consumer americana–eating 18 hours a day, being shuttled from one staged activity to the next, creating mountains of throw away garbage everywhere we go….

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well, so, lighten up. We’ve decided to put all those distasteful issues aside and enjoy the trip, make the most of it, because it’s my mom’s 80th birthday and it’s what she most wants to do. So we will turn a blind eye towards the less appetizing aspects of the trip and focus on the beautiful waters off Baja California and the Mexican west coast.

Mexico has increasingly set aside large underwater sanctuaries and national parks, and I intend to enjoy at least a few of them! Kudos to Mexico, even if the real purpose is to drive tourist dollars, they have figured out, like Costa Rica, that their best chance at getting those bucks is to save their environment…at least part of it.

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I suppose now I will have to add “Ship” to the many forms of transportation involved in my life. What’s weird is that I am probably traveling more this year than any other year, even as I’m trying to make a conscious decision to use my car less–much less–and maybe even get rid of it.

Time will tell.

Daily stats:
car: 14 miles, 4 tasks
bike: 0
flexcar: 0
bus: 0