Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Isla Isabel

Isla Isabel

We were reminded of the remoteness of the Channel Islands in CA this week when we visited Isla Isabel,  an isolated volcanic island 90 nm southwest of Mazatlan.  Now 90 nm seems a somewhat short distance,  although it is likely the longest range we’d attempt to accomplish in one day.  (And a day = 24 hour). Isla Isabel is a somewhat natural path for sailors migrating from Mazatlan down south towards Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarto).  We left at 2AM in the morning from an anchorage in Mazatlan, after enjoying heartily the local garlic shrimp pizza with our friend Michael from Patanjali, and neighboring boat, Sojourn.  The wind gods were sleeping that day, so we had to motor most of the way.  The skies were clear, we were visited by our dolphin friends, occasional sea birds and several fishing pangas who were concerned that we might snag one of their long line nets, which we did..... three times.

As we approached the island the following afternoon, we could see hundreds of birds swirling high up in the thermals.  A few masts from sailboats started peeking up from one of the anchorages.  We had arrived.

The next day was full of fun.  We met friends ashore in our dinghys and hiked through the brush on trails, being careful not to disturb the nesting seabirds on the ground and above our heads. Nancy was in search of the blue-footed booby, which we sighted soon.  The frigates were plentiful and when excited, would puff up their throats displaying a bright red bulbous display, kind of like a turkey.  We found the local fish camp, and met two on-site college biologist grads from the University of Guadalajera.  They were very gracious in answering many of our random questions, and joined us further on the hike to a lookup ridge. 

After the hiking, three of us went off in the dinghy to snorkel.  We found hundreds of colorful Pacific Ocean fish, exploring coral cliffs and caves.  Nancy saw Moorish Idols, Raccoon butterlies and brightly colored wrasses.  
Later that night we hosted a sunset Shindig for 7 and had Popstar Mai-Tai’s, grilled shrimp and steak, coleslaw, brown rice and norwegian pea salad.  Dessert was Trader Joe’s Jo Jo’s cookies accompanied by an impressive photo show of our combined photos of the trip to date.  We all joked, that like proud parents, no one else would be patient enough to sit through such as “slide show”.  

Sunset at Isla Isabel
Long Line kit. About a hundres hooks streched out over 1/2 a mile.

Fisherman camp

Frigate bird yoga.  This is how they dry their feathers.

The Blue Footed Booby.   But really.... When it comes to boobies, who cares about foot color.

Lookout point.  Shindig and Patanjoli in the anchorage

Our own team from Survivor!!

Male Frigate proudly displaying his colors

Beauty on the inside

Show Off

Shindig dinner with friends from Patanjali, Wizard and Autumn Wind
Nice Mexican sundresses


  1. Rob: Nice line about the Boobies' foot color!


  2. This is Roz from Fish 'N Chips; LOVE your photos and your blog; you two are having so much fun and learning so much!! What a great experience! We were back in Cabo for Thanksgiving but would have loved to have been where you were! Happy Holidays!

    1. Love those jo jo's peppermint from trander joes, too. We had them for thanksgiving!

  3. Thanks Roz!! Sounds like you had a fun Thanksgiving too. We are saving the ono you gave us for a family dinner once Bryan arrives.
    Look forward to seeing you on the water. Nancy and Rob
    PS - I love those peppermint jo jo's.

  4. I love "watching' your adventure; isn't technology wonderful? keeping people back home informed so that they do not 'worry' about you is so nice!!
    Harry & I will be celebrating 49 years of marriage tomorrow night at Mesa Verde County Club with family and friends. We leave for Seattle Friday for a few days. After Christmas we will head back to Cabo with friends to try to catch another Wahoo! Have fun with Bryan! I LOVE Barra de Navidad; the marina there and the Grand BayHotel with a pool and great restaurants is so nice! The Marina has nice showers as well. Take the panga over to the other side and there are some really neat restaurants and shops; oh, I wish I was there right now!! Merry Christmas, Roz