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Orchilla Lichen in Bahia Magdalena

19th century naturalists E.W. Nelson and E.A. Goldman investigated the cloth and dye manufacturing industry in Magdalena Bay that was driven by the harvest of the unique Orchilla Lichen. The industry crashed when manufacturers moved over to artificial dyes.

Day 8 (Continued)

May 22, 2016 (Day 8)

On the road to San Carlos, we came across yet another dead cow that had a dozen turkey vultures and a half dozen caracaras picking at the carcass. We found a spot to turn around so we could slowly creep up on them to film so as not to spook the birds. A little care was needed to get the camera in place, not scare the birds and get a good shot. We may have succeeded.

The best find along the stretch of road was a photogenic patch of creeping devil’s cactus. They look like caterpillars that very slowly creep along the ground. The back end dies while the front end keeps growing. The main stalk then sends out fine rootlets into the ground to sustain itself.

The creeping devil's cactus. 

Arriving in the small fishing village of Puerto San Carlos was a little bit of a shock. The weather was cold; the wind was still problematic. We drove around town to get a “lay of the land,” scope out the launch ramp, find a camp spot, and try to find Julio Solis, the director and manager of the Waterkeeper Alliance. One of Greg’s contacts, and the Bay Keeper, Solis keeps poaching for sea turtles in check and helps educate the watermen of the area about conservation.

For more information on the Waterkeeper Alliance, visit

We camped in a nice spot next to the mangroves and back waters of the slough in Puerto San Carlos. We had a great dinner of chicken tacos with fresh veggies. We all slept fitful.