Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 17, Isla Isabel - The Galapagos of Mexico!

Welcome to Isla Isabel!  We arrived today around 10am and are so happy to be here.  When we left Cabo 2 days ago we started out with nice but brisk sailing for about 8 hours or so.  Then as night fell we found ourselves in sustained winds of 18-25 knots coming from directly where we were heading.  Grrr...who sent the wind Gods my itinerary and whoever it was next time please tell them to blow from BEHIND the boat!  Dang, it was a rough spell for about 20 hours.  After 10 hours or so the seas had time to build substantially and we found ourselves beating into 10-12' seas.  Not dangerous but ZERO fun!  Honestly, I felt crappy and had a splitting headache.  I have Dave and Stephanie aboard and they did amazing!  Stephanie felt kind of like I did but Dave was begging for more.  He is DA MAN!  Nobody officially got sick and donated any meals to the fish but it was extremely uncomfortable.  The wind finally abated around 6pm yesterday and the seas followed suit within 3-4 hours.  Last night we had near zero wind and calm seas and were delighted!

Arriving here at Isabel, it was all worth it.  A 48 hour passage that lead us to what is called "The Galapagos of Mexico".  Home of the Blue Footed Boobie, thousands of nesting Frigate birds and tens of thousands of Iguanas.  Our hike across one end of the island did not disappoint as we saw countless newly hatched, not out of the nest yet, Frigates, many Blue Footed Boobies sitting on eggs and so many large and small iguanas that we couldn't count them all.  The island is all volcanic rock with 200' cliffs going down to the water on most sides with a couple of small sandy beaches thrown in.  This is all wrapped up on an island of about 100 acres approximately 42 miles off the coast of mainland Mexico just southwest of Mazatlan.

The anchorage itself is pretty sketchy, strewn with rocks, some just below the surface and in pretty tight confines.  The bottom in the main anchorage is completely rock, large and small, and they say that this anchorage has swallowed more anchors than any other anchorage on the Mexican coastline.  I wasn't comfortable in the main anchorage so we pulled up anchor, very carefully and with much skill I might add, moved around the corner and threw our anchor down on a patch of sand just south of two large, volcanic rock pillars about 200 yards off of the main island.  The snorkeling is amazing with an abundance of fish in near perfectly clear waters and thousands of sea birds filling the skies above.  Oh, and for the water temperature report...drumroll please...here in the anchorage it is 77.7 degrees.  Pretty comfortable.

Dave and Stephanie are thoroughly enjoying the trip and Dave is a sailing sponge, soaking up all the info and picking up on things quickly.  Stephanie, however, did not get the memo that white people should really try that new invention called suncreen and after a day basking on the deck her whole body looks like Rudolph's nose.  Ouch, that is going to hurt.  They were a huge asset on the crossing and I was so happy they were with me to help.  We will sit here tonight then most likely move on to San Blas tomorrow which sits on the Mexican coastline about 42 miles to the southeast from here as we head south toward Puerto Vallarta over the next several days.  San Blas is home to the longest wave break in the world and we are hoping that the swell is right when we arrive.  San Blas is also famous for mosquitos and no-see-ums (nasty little biting critters that are about the size of the grain of sand that you can barely see and will leave you scratching for 2 weeks!).  We are hoping to anchor far enough off shore to avoid  that particular wildlife. ha.

Hope all is well on Terra Firma and we will update tomorrow.

Bret, Dave and Stephanie
SV Liahona

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