Archive | Climate Change

Before the sun comes up, the 'oily' water hints at the sunrise to come with lavenders and periwinkles blending the sea with the sky.

Fighting the Tide

“You can sit on di beach, but you can’t stop di tide.” So said a thoughtful Caribbean man to Josh when he was delivering boats in the islands. This phrase came back to Josh as we pushed further north into the Sea of Cortez and discovered what happens when a sailboat meets the water from […]

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The Pernicious Effects of Warm Water

    “At night, it looked like another city,” Isabel tells me as she gestures out her office window toward the sea. “There were hundreds of lights. But now, what do you see?” she asks me. “Nada,” I reply. Isabel Soto Gonzalez runs the daily operations at the marina in Santa Rosalía. She tells me […]

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The roofs and colorful clapboard in the center of Santa Rosalía.

The Essence We Cannot See

On the surface, Santa Rosalía is a rundown mining town with no pretty shoreline and no quaint fish shacks. Why did Josh and I love it so much? Santa Rosalía is a brilliantly incongruous place. The red roofs and clapboard of French architecture give way to steep desert mesas which give way to burgundy tailings […]

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Some of the boys of Agua Verde.

The Future of Agua Verde

A close friend described Agua Verde as her favorite place on the Baja coast, and she infused it with a sense of magic and belonging for me before I even arrive. As we sail into the bay, dodging a hundred-plus foot pinnacle sticking out of the sea, we find the calmest water we have seen. […]

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A view up the canyon.

The Ghosts of Fisheries Past

We’re tired. The wind has been unpredictably swirling around at night, sometimes bringing a 2am thunderstorm to sit on top of us for an hour–which also means Uly sits on top of us for an hour. In these storms, Josh keeps and eye on the GPS to watch if the anchor drags, I just worry […]

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One of the houses on the shore.

How People Live On a Rock in the Sea

What do you do to prepare for a hurricane if your house is ten feet from the sea? This is the question on my mind as Josh and I row our dinghy to the shores of Isla Pardito, the smallest inhabited island I have ever seen. It is less than two hundred meters wide, and […]

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A typical Tuesday evening on the malecón.

Crime and Climate

News coverage of Mexico in the US usually revolves around two topics: drugs and violence. For people who have never visited Mexico, I imagine it sounds like a terrifying place, with corruption and human rights abuses ever encroaching on innocent people. I have been visiting Mexico since I first drove across the border with my […]

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In his natural habitat.

Feel Your Feet

Overlooking sets of waves, surfers seem to slip from an expectant watching into a quiet meditation. The rhythmic swell washes over their faces as if the tide cleans their minds. Perhaps they are transported to the belly of the sea, to the barrel of a wave, and the gaze gets to be still amid the […]

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A fisherman sets a homemade rebar anchor.

What You Can Learn From A Man With A Fridge In His Panga

With dolphin escorts off the bow, we departed midday from San Quintín for an overnight sail to Cedros Island. Once in open water we were able to turn off the engine and sail into the blissful quiet. Off the starboard beam, a whale breached. (I obviously did not take this magnificent photo below. I will […]

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Boats in the wake of Hurricane Odile, September 2014. The was the most powerful storm to hit the Baja peninsula in 50 years.

How to Ask for Help: the Fulbright Research Files

First, a little background about just what it is that I am doing as a Fulbright researcher in Baja California. I study the impacts of climate change on the coasts of Latin America from both a scientific and human perspective. Stories and personal experiences of living on the coast are not used by the scientific […]

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