Posted by: carlsafina | Wednesday, May 30 07

Grace on Guardian Angel Island

Islands Beyond Islands

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Isla Angel de la Guarda (Guardian Angel Island)


Reportedly, no rain has fallen here for five years. Much of the ground is bare. The vegetation shows a wide range of coping strategies: cacti, chollas, elephant trees, palo verde or green-stick which seems to photosynthesize with its bark so it does not need leaves which waste moisture. Cacti do the same of course. Life finds a way. There are sea lions nearby, and for them there is always plenty of water. We went diving with them. They came in curious groups, keeping good company, shooting around us with surpassing grace. We passed the whole afternoon in their company.

Before dinner I spoke of my world travels with sea turtles, my book Voyage of the Turtle, and the nearby Seri People’s worship of the Leatherback Turtle.  

Dinner itself was delicious, as have been all the meals. For once, I am enjoying the seafood. Normally when I travel I avoid the seafood because so much fishing is bad for the ocean and most of the time there’s no way of knowing what’s being served and where it’s from. But last year Lindblad Expeditions began a conversation with Blue Ocean Institute because they desired to source and serve only sustainable seafood. So with a lot of committed hard work on their part and some assistance from us at Blue Ocean Institute, they now have an award-winning sustainable seafood program. Notably, Lindblad Expeditions does not serve shrimp. Some cruise lines feel compelled to serve shrimp because it’s so popular and people “demand” it. Here, we all received a little card entitled, “Why doesn’t Lindblad Expeditions serve shrimp?” It explains that though “we all love to eat shrimp,” shrimp fishing is often highly destructive to marine life and the sea floor, commonly with ten pounds of sea life caught and discarded for every pound of shrimp kept. Shrimp farming destroys mangroves and coastal wetlands. The card went down so well that no one has even mentioned it. It’s just part of what we’re doing to enjoy and not destroy.



  1. Hello, Carl:

    I am glad you are enjoying your trip – I wish I could have joined you all on this one… Well, maybe next time. What a great success in convincing Lindblad Expeditions no longer to serve shrimp! We just returned from the Virgin Islands and had some discussions on sustainable seafood there, but we found it is hard to find a place willing to listen (but we will continue to try wherever we can).
    We also had a very nice dive with a female hawksbill turtle – she was really cute! However, I may need some tips on how to find more turtles from you for our next trip! And one day I will also tell you all about the diver we had on board who wanted to test a shark-deterrent device – and probably succeeded in scaring away all the sealife around us instead…

    Good luck with your research!

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