Santa Clara University


Student Perspectives


The following are excerpts from the Student Journals of the Spring 2010 expedition.

“I am home at last, on this island.  My soul feels lighter. My heart is happier. My mind is more at ease.  And I am having a blast.”

 “Hands speckled with blisters, leg scraped by coral, hips bruised, shoulders tight, and body covered in small bites; but for the first time in many months I feel both in my element and like I am where I should be.”

“The jejenes have been feasting on me. However, I wear my tiny bumps with pride, because nothing can make me forget how incredible this landscape is, and if these tiny bumps bring me any closer to being a part of it, bring them on!”

 “All I can say is that I am pretty sure today is the best day of my life.” 

 “The Island taught me more in 10 days than I have learned over the four years I’ve spent in college.” 

 “I think sunburn really is part of the whole experience. The more submersed one becomes in the environment, and exposed, the more one begins to understand the intricacies and adaptations these plants and animals go through. You also begin to understand just how necessary these adaptations are.”

 “On this island I have learned how the barriers that hold people apart can fall. And I’ve learned that the will to just keep going is powerful beyond all measures.”

 “I learned how to write bad poetry and how to catch crabs. I learned how to sleep under the stars and how to spoon with nine of my friends. I learned to love in Baja: the people, the landscape and the sea. And for that I’ll owe the island always.”

 “I have never traveled where I knew the names of the species I was seeing, and I’ve never traveled with people so interested in new ways of seeing.  It has been refreshing.”


Faculty Perspectives

by Prof. John Farnsworth
The Santa Clara Magazine

300-writing the islandA journey to the Sea of Cortez—to paddle and dive, to hear the island speak, to look carefully, to write, to come home sunburned and transformed.

The historians may call this a failed expedition. For the first time, we didn’t complete a circumnavigation of Isla Espiritu Santo, an accomplishment that usually entails 50 miles of epic paddling in sea kayaks so loaded with food, water, and gear that it takes eight students to lift one. But in March 2010 it was not to be; El Norte, the bully of the Sea of Cortez, had nearly blown us off the beach, and we’d had to remain on the lee side of the island, roaming the canyons and diving the reefs because we couldn’t safely kayak the windward swells.

>>>Read the full article in The Santa Clara Magazine
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