Posted by: Carol | January 22, 2008

Isla Isabel

PHOTO GALLERIES
2008 Mexico – San Diego to Barra

CBParker_D3_20080122_PacMex (519 of 696)Monday morning we pulled out of the harbor bright and early to make an overnight voyage to a small island named Isla Isabel, en route to Puerto Vallarta. Along the way we had several humpback sightings, also dolphin encounters, a turtle, and near Cabo we saw small manta rays or similar species leaping high up out of the water.

Isla Isabel is remarkable in that it supports a huge colony of nesting frigate birds, as well as boobies. The frigates met us as we sailed in – thousands were flying in the sky above the island and a dozen or so soared over Raven right at mast height, accompanying us to our anchorage. Yesterday we took our dinghy to shore and spent the afternoon exploring the little island. It was formed by volcano and has a crater lake at its center, and a rugged volcanic shoreline. We landed on the beach where the Mexicans have a fairly large fishing camp – the sand was lined with pangas on the beach, red shacks further up, and piles of fishing nets and gear everywhere. There is also a research station on the island where volunteer students come on their school vacations to help with the research and protection of the resident birds. Isla Isabel is Mexico’s smallest national park!

There are frigates everywhere – they nest in spindly scrubby trees only some 10-15 feet off the ground and are easy to approach. The boobies nest right on the ground and have adorable fluffy white babies. Boobies are tropical birds and we have only started seeing them flying by the boat in maybe the last 100 miles. This particular species has lime green feet! They seem relatively fearless and I aborted my hike to the summit and finished the afternoon sitting about three feet away from the nest of a family – mom, dad, and junior (not sure which was mom and which was dad – need to look them up in a book), taking photos from every conceivable angle while they stared back at me.

Back to Raven for a welcome dinner, and to bed last night by 7 p.m.! At home I stay up til midnight, but this boating life changes that in a hurry!

So that’s the update – we’ll be hanging out in Puerto Vallarta a few days waiting on the arrival of our replacement inverter from the states. It should only take a few days and then we will commence with the real cruising part of our journey.

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