Sunday, January 31, 2010

Isla Isabela

This island, southwest of Mazatlan, is a national park, and a nesting reserve for frigatebirds and boobies. We've heard how fabulous it is from fellow cruisers, Mark and Vicki, so we had high expectations and we were not disappointed. We anchored close to the beach, and had to work hard to find a sandy patch to place our anchor inbetween the rocky bottom. I didn't sleep well here knowing that our anchor wasn't as well set as we normally like (we dive to check the anchor, now that we are usually in shallow, warm waters).
By late afternoon, we rowed ashore to the fishing village and hiked to the top of the small peak on the western edge of the island. We walked through amazing colonies of Frigatebirds, who nest at head height, in densely populated colonies. Once at the top, we were among the Boobies - both the Brown and the Blue-footed species - who next on the ground and had claimed this high territory as their turf. As the sun set, we watched their mating antics, and chatted with Holly and Grant, cruisers who had been here for almost a week and had good suggestions for hiking and swimming spots.

The following day we hiked the island with Pisces and with Chris and Rani on Ladybug (from Victoria).

Again, we were shocked a the number of nesting birds and their apparent fearlessness. We were able to walk right up to them, and in some cases, they had created their nest right on or beside the trails.
We swam and ate lunch near a research camp, where grad students studied the birds and were more than happy to answer our questions regarding the birds and their behaviour.
In the afternoon, John took a case of Tecate (think: lucky lager) to the shrimp boat and received a humongous bag of huge prawns. After delivering dinner-sized portions to every other boat in the anchorage, he cooked up a fabulous dorado and prawn stir-fry which Pisces shared with us. They were delicious, but I'm pretty sure they are caught by bottom-trawling, so until we find out for sure, we won't likely be eating too many more. We ended the evening saying our farewells to Jacob and Julia. We're now off in different directions, and not sure when we may meet again. New Zealand? Hawaii? Washington? PV? Thanks, you's been tons of fun!!


Mark said...

Glad you had a good visit to Isabela! The description of the stir-fry made my mouth water. Hope we'll run into you soon. We're headed toward Manzanillo tomorrow, and then will start working our way back north late next week.

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