Monday, March 26, 2007

We have just left Isla Isabella bound for Mazatlan. Isla Isabella is a protected wildlife refuge. There are hundreds of birds nesting on the island. When you go ashore first thing you notice is all the frigate birds, they are all nesting in the trees that are about eye level, I think a lot of the trees were lime trees. In a small tree there may be 7 or 8 birds perched there, the whole family, mom, dad and baby. These are not small birds, they must have a wing span of 3 1/2 to 4 feet. The dad's have big red sacks under their bills which they puff out at times, the babies aren't able to fly yet and just lie in the nest looking cute. They have white fluff where their tails will grow but their beaks are white with a pronounced hook at the end. I wouldn't want to get too close. The birds basically ignore you as you walk within a arms' reach. There was a large building that we think had been built to house park activities but has been let go to ruin. On the south side of the building there were 10 iguanas sunning themselves, the biggest would be about 2 feet long. The island is basically volcanic so it is very hilly. There are trails up to the top and on the trails the boobies are nesting. Near the bottom the red and green footed boobies are nesting on the ground, at the top the blue footed boobies have claimed their spot. Their feet are really quite blue and it is quite a surprise when they are coming in to land and out pop these BLUE feet. They are actually quite beautiful looking birds, the feathers on their necks have a lovely brown and white speckled affect. There were gulls up there as well and these birds were the only ones that objected to our presence, swooping in to try and scare us away. The boobies were still sitting on their eggs, so we tried not to disturb them. I walked into a lagoon on the other side of the island, there was a lovely path through the trees and the vegetation was quite different. A sign said something about banana trees, sugar cane and coconuts being planted there. I could figure out what kind of trees the sign was talking about, but not quite the context that it was referring to them in.
We went about a half mile around the corner in the dinghy and went snorkeling. The water was so clear and there were lots of different fish swimming about as well as some different types of coral. It was the best snorkeling we have had so far. When we pulled anchor and left the island there were a couple of whales sounding just outside of the area we had been snorkeling in. Wouldn't that have been something, nose to nose with a whale. I don't think I am ready for that yet!!!
It will take us about 18 hours to get to Mazatlan so we will sail through the night. At the moment the wind is pushing us along at 4 and 1/2 knots almost in the right direction, so all is well.